3 Reasons Why a Will Might Be Contested

Wills are legal documents whose validity, by definition and by design, is extremely difficult to challenge. Last wishes presented in a Will are legally protected so that a person creating a Will may confidently expect that its contents will be respected and carried out accordingly. Still, rare and infrequent though they may be, situations where someone attempts to invalidate a Will do happen. Such legal actions are Read More

Understanding California Inheritance Rights

Having a valid Will in place is an established way to ensure that, after your passing, both your legacy and the financial interests of your property will be adequately protected. One way a Will can achieve these goals is by providing a guarantee that your assets and property will be transferred to your heirs and beneficiaries in an orderly manner and strictly according to your wishes. Still, more than half of Read More

How to Avoid Probate in California

Probate is a court-supervised process in which a deceased person’s assets are passed to their heirs in an orderly and organized manner. It guarantees that the person’s wishes explicitly stated in their Will are going to be respected and fulfilled to the letter. It also gives the person’s legal heirs and other beneficiaries of the will the assurance that the estate of their deceased family member will not be Read More

3 Things a Will Can’t Do

Having a Will is arguably one of the hallmarks of financial responsibility and awareness. By taking the time and dedicating some resources to prepare this important estate planning document, you make a vital step to ensure that your assets, property, and personal belongings will make their way to your heirs and descendants. Creating a Will is also a way to guarantee that this distribution will take place strictly Read More

3 Common Trust Disputes

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year - the last period for which the complete data is available - California probate courts received 47,170 filings in connection to legal disputes related to various matters of estate law. Many cases heard by probate courts concerned trust disputes, which often arise due to a conflict between the beneficiaries of a trust and the trustee - that is, a person appointed to manage it. Since money, Read More

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Conservator

A conservator is a person appointed to take care of personal affairs of a person who has become incapacitated due to a severe mental or physical impediment. A conservator will make financial decisions on behalf of the person and manage their estate. Even though the terms “conservator” and “guardian” are sometimes used interchangeably, in California, a guardian is appointed to make decisions on behalf of a minor while Read More

5 Ways to Reduce Your Estate Tax

Benjamin Franklin once said that only two things in life could be considered certain: death and taxes. It seems that nothing testifies to the truthfulness of this maxim better than the estate tax - after all, it’s a tax paid after a person dies. It is levied on the estate of the deceased person before the distribution of the assets to heirs and beneficiaries. In 2018, the amount of the estate tax remained at 40% Read More

California Estate Planning: Understanding Probate

Estate planning may at times feel like an intimidating subject and there is little wonder why. After all, it requires a person to think and plan for the time they are no longer around - and this is a thought many find challenging to come to terms with. Still, most adults realize at some point in their lives that having an estate plan is a prudent way to secure both their legacy and the financial needs of their family Read More

How is Incapacity Determined in California?

California law defines incapacity as an inability to make decisions or perform certain acts when at least one of the mental functions referenced in CA Prob. Code § 810-13 (2017) is impaired or lacking. The deficiency or deficiencies can result in: Inability to understand or communicate with others Problems recognizing familiar people and objects Failure to reason logically Presence of delusions and/or Read More

5 Common Examples of Elder Financial Abuse to Watch Out For

Thanks to improvements in health care and overall quality of life, more people in the U.S. are living longer. Unfortunately, many of them have their golden years tarnished by financial exploitation and abuse. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association, an estimated five million seniors are victims of such schemes every year. The true number is a lot higher, given the fact that only one in 44 Read More