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probate Archives

The court’s role in probate when there is no will

When a loved one passes away, emotions often run high. Managing the funeral details, notifying family members and other necessary tasks is stressful for the family members left behind. A will can ease some of the pressure, as there are provisions for dividing the estate. However, if you do not have a will, the courts may step in and distribute the estate as it sees fit. At The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, we have experience in helping clients understand the probate process.

Grounds for contesting a will due to undue influence

The complexities of California family relations coupled with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s can complicate legal issues when it comes to estate distribution. Contesting a will on the basis of diminished or altered capacity is common when addressing significant estates. At The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, our team has experience representing clients who believe their relative was mentally unfit at the time of the last will modification. If proven true, the will, as it stands is invalid.

How are estates probated?

There are many different reasons why your estate may end up in probate court after you die. Even if you have a solid estate plan in place you could still run into issues, such as disputes from heirs, failures to properly fund trusts, or mistakes and omissions in wills. To ensure you’re completely informed about the process, The Balance offers the following information.

Outside factors that can affect the probate process

When it comes to probate, many different issues are frequently taken into consideration, from the wishes of a loved one who passed away to the proper way to handle a dispute. It is important to bear in mind that other factors may affect the probate process also, even if they have nothing to do with probate whatsoever. Moreover, these challenges can increase the likelihood of a dispute surfacing and other challenges appearing at some point. For example, high levels of job-related stress, health problems and addiction to drugs or alcohol can all affect someone with respect to the probate process.

Probate disputes with stepparents

For many stepchildren, there are a number of issues that may arise with stepparents from time to time. However, some are especially upsetting and can be very draining for all parties, such as probate disputes. If you have found yourself in the middle of a probate dispute with your stepparent, you may be struggling with more than just anxiety over the estate and uncertainty. You could be feeling betrayed or emotionally bitter because of your stepparent's behavior. It is crucial to carefully think your options through during this time and try to minimize conflict if you can.

Reviewing California's views on no-contest clauses

The last thing that you want is for there to be discord amongst your beneficiaries once you are gone. Not only do you want to avoid familial tension, but the thought of the administration of your estate being slowed and having to pay out more in probate cost may concern you. Some might suggest avoiding the potential of disputes altogether by putting a no-content clause in your will. Many have come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C Yu after having received such advice wondering if it is a valid option. The answer to that question depends largely on the context in which a dispute arises. 

How can I tell if a senior loved one needs help?

Growing old can be difficult, especially for seniors who live independently. In this case, family members must be able to identify when a loved one needs additional help, either due to cognitive impairments or because of mobility issues. AARP offers the following advice in this case, which can help you help your elderly relative secure the assistance he or she needs to stay safe.

How can I avoid scams targeting the elderly?

Unfortunately for many seniors in California, there are a number of scams and fraud targeting elderly individuals. Falling victim to a scam can lead to a number of financial issues, including depleting assets you’ve set aside for your loved ones after you’re gone. In order to avoid common scams, the National Council on Aging offers the following advice.

Should I make my own will?

If you’re currently estate planning in California, you may be tempted to create your own will. While there are numerous resources allowing you to do just that, if the will you create is deemed invalid your estate might end up in probate. The Balance offers the following information on why you should consult with a legal professional when creating your estate plan.

Keeping harmony in the family even after your death

Few people enjoy family feuds. The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu understands that family harmony is important to most California residents, especially when it comes to avoiding probate disputes. You may realize that disagreements among your loved ones are inevitable, but there are things you can do that may lessen the chances of your relatives arguing over your estate after you have passed on.

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Torrance, CA 90505

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