When a loved one passes away, many surviving family members may feel as if their lives have been turned upside down. If the deceased was someone particularly close to you, you may want to do everything you can to make sure that his or her estate is settled in accordance with that person's wishes.
If you are one of the many millennials in California, you may not have yet thought about making a will, trust or other form of an estate plan. The farthest you might have gone in this direction to date may be identifying a beneficiary for your employer-sponsored 401K plan. However, it is actually wise for you to give serious thought to more than just that.
Probate is a very complex process that entails many different steps, such as determining a will’s validity and paying off outstanding debts. Even if you have a will in place at the time of your death your will may still enter into probate, especially if your family has objections. TheBalance.com explains a few of the things that can occur during a probate hearing.
Every California family has a history. Many have members who are estranged, moved away without telling anyone or are simply difficult to reach. When another member of the family passes away, it is the executor's job to locate everyone who qualifies as a legal heir or who is named in the will.
After agonizing over the decision that your loved one can no longer make decisions for him or herself, you decide to petition a California court to become his or her conservator. You may be convinced that your loved one needs assistance, but you know the court won't just take your word for it.
It’s not uncommon for a will to be contested. After all, family members may feel as though they didn’t receive their fair share, or they might allege that the will was created under duress or via coercion. Only certain people can challenge a will in this case, such as those who can show they thy would suffer from personal ramifications if the terms of the will were carried out. TheBalance.com explains who can and cannot contest a will.
It is an unfortunate reality that as people age, they also lose some of their physical and mental capacity. In some cases, this decline can seem relatively minor and not impact a person's ability to care for him or herself. However, some people -- possibly even your parent or another loved one -- may face serious decline in mental health due to Alzheimer's disease.
When it comes to the disposition of the property of someone who has passed away in California, the task may either fall to an executor or an administrator. According to FindLaw, the duties involved in the two roles are very similar to one other.
Before you decide to challenge a will in California, be sure that you have a very good reason to do so. According to FindLaw, the court sees the will as the voice of the decedent, and in the interest of respecting the wishes of one who is no longer able to speak for himself or herself, the court maintains strict adherence to the will, and challenging one is therefore very difficult.