You have probably heard people say that Los Angeles residents should do all they can to avoid having their estates go to probate. This is because the perception is that probate costs a lot (and its expenses must be paid from estate assets). Yet there are times when it is necessary (even prudent) for an estate case to go to probate court. If you happen to be party to an estate that is headed to probate, then you may rightly be questioning how much the process will cost?
Our law office has covered many different topics related to the probate process, such as wrongdoing involving executors and misunderstanding with respect to fiduciary duties. Many more challenges related to probate may arise and some can be especially difficult for entire families to work through. For example, siblings may find themselves in a dispute over the way in which an estate is distributed following the passing of their loved one. In extreme cases, these disputes can lead to permanent estrangement and even threats and violence. As a result, it is critical for those involved in a dispute and those who anticipate a dispute to approach things with care.
If it falls on you to make the tough decisions in your family, you may contemplate seeking a guardianship and/or conservatorship over a loved one who became unable to care for him or herself. As difficult as this decision is to make, carrying out the duties you agree to take on could prove a challenge as well.
If you are a pet lover and you are creating an estate plan, chances are you have wondered what will happen to your furry loved ones if you were to die and how the California laws might affect their care after you are gone. You may have considered bequeathing funds to someone in your will to cover the expenses of caring for your pet. While it is a good idea to designate a person that you trust for this job, if that person passes or is unable to provide care for the animal, your pet may be left without the care you had hoped. A will also does not guarantee that the funds will go expressly toward your pet's care or mandate the quality of care that is given. If your pet passes earlier rather than later, the person to whom the funds were given to provide the caretaking duties can still keep the money.
If you are a California resident working on your estate planning, you may be thinking that it would just be easier to add your child onto your financial accounts instead of going through the steps of creating a valid will or trust. After all, you will need to pay for the legal work and when a will goes through probate, it can come with a price tag. So simply adding your beneficiary to your account just makes sense, right? Wrong. You can actually find yourself paying for that shortcut in a multitude of ways down the road.
After the passing of a love one, you and your family likely have many questions to answer and decisions to make. If your loved one left a will or trust, some of the answers may be within those documents. In many cases, however, the estate cannot be entirely settled until it goes through the probate process.
As an interested party to the estate of a family member or friend in Los Angeles, you may view the prospect of said estate having to go through probate court with a certain degree of trepidation. After all, the assumption is that the probate process is costly and can eat away a good portion of an estate's assets. Many have come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu with the same concerns. Our first question to them is what is the value of the estate? The answer to that question (in your case) will determine whether it even needs to go through probate at all.
The administration of an estate is rarely a singular event; rather, it is a process that can go on for months, years or (in certain cases) even decades. When issues such as copyrighted material, trademarks and intellectual property are introduced into the estate administration process, they often are indicators of years of continued responsibilities for an estate's personal representative. These properties will typically continue to generate income, thus consistently adding value to the estate. The question then becomes which of the estate's beneficiaries becomes entitled to those profits.
To be asked to be the personal representative of an estate in Los Angeles is an awesome responsibility. Those who assume it agree to represent the best interests of not only the testator, but also his or her beneficiaries. The job might seem as first glance to be quite complex, yet there are several resources to help personal representatives clearly understand their duties.