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probate Archives

Approaching probate after a loved one passes away

We have covered a lot of different topics that frequently arise for those who are in the middle of the probate process, from reasons behind disputes to other complications that are not uncommon. For some families, however, simply approaching the probate process, in general, can feel overwhelming, especially for those who are having difficulty recovering from the loss of someone they love. This can be a time of great uncertainty and stress, not to mention sadness. However, it is critical to take the right steps to ensure that things move forward smoothly.

Add trusts to your estate plan

Many people believe that having a last will and testament is the only document you need for California estate planning. While it is generally considered the centerpiece, other tools exist that can help distribute, manage and protect your assets.

Should I update my estate plan?

Having a valid estate plan in place is a must. However, even if your wills and trusts currently meet your needs, how can you rest assured that they will continue to do so in the future? This question highlights the importance of reviewing your estate plan every few years or so to ensure it's still sound. According to Forbes, you should also look over your estate plan after these major life occurrences. 

How do you disinherit an heir?

Disinheriting an heir from your will is a very serious decision. Not only can it cause a rift in your family, failing to take the proper steps can also result in your will being contested in court. In order to prevent a poor outcome, The Balance offers the following advice. 

What does a personal representative do?

While creating a will is crucial, choosing the right personal representative is equally important. After you're gone, this person will be obligated to perform many essential tasks regarding your estate, including dispersing assets to your heirs according to your wishes. The Balance explains some of the many duties of a personal representative so you can make the best decision when selecting a candidate. 

Explaining temporary possession of estate assets

After the impact of one's death in Los Angeles has had a chance to sink in, their immediate family members will often share the same question: "Now what?" Specifically, when one leaves behind a family, they typically want to know what will become of the decedent's estate, including their home and other personal property. Who maintains ownership of those assets? Who becomes responsbile to settle any unresolved debts? The uncertainty that can come with such questions can often compound what is already a difficult situation. 

Fiduciary duties and probate administration

The probate process can be challenging for multiple reasons, not only for those in charge of an estate but for beneficiaries as well. As if the emotional toll of losing someone you love is not hard enough, stress related to the probate process can be overwhelming. As a result, it is imperative to do what you can to minimize these difficulties and prevent complications. Unfortunately, disputes arise for many reasons, and if you are the executor of an estate you may find yourself in a tough position if you have been accused of failing to respect your fiduciary duties.

Challenging a will over dementia

There are a number of reasons why wills are challenged, but in this blog we will take a closer look at will contests due to dementia. Whether you are in charge of a will as the executor and a beneficiary has decided to contest the will, or you are a beneficiary who is upset with a will that you do not believe is valid, it is imperative to handle this situation carefully. When a will is challenged, the outcome of the contest may have a significant impact on an entire estate and could significantly affect you and your loved ones.

Distributing an inheritance without causing discord

Making designations for inheritance is a process that takes time for many families in California. In fact, it is a process that experts recommend be revisited frequently to make sure that the original designations remain appropriate despite marriages, births and divorces within a family line. One of the biggest concerns for many people is the worry that their decisions will be opposed by surviving family members and ultimately leave them quibbling over their opinions about what the intentions of their deceased family member were. 

Contention erupts between late singer's widow and daughters

Many in Los Angeles may view an estate as simply being those assets that one will pass on to their heirs when they die. While that may be the case in many situations, there are also many scenarios where an estate is intended to be a vehicle for generating income for beneficiaries. In cases where a decedent leaves behind intellectual and artistic works that still have value, beneficiaries can often expect royalties from the use of such properties to provide them with funds for years (if not decades). It may come as little surprise, then, that such estate cases can often become contentious. 

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