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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fantastic stories may exist about people producing wills that were written on napkins or in emails. Many in Los Angeles may be surprised to learn that it is not so much the medium on which a will is written that determines its validity, but rather whether it meets the state's standard of proof. Given that the American Association of Retired Persons reports that only roughly 40 percent of American adults actually have a will, it may be understandable that probate courts first require that a will be proven before it can be probated.
The ex-spouses of many deceased California men and women may be shocked to know they can inherit the deceased’s debt. According to CNN Money, this may be the case even when your divorce settlement clearly says you are not responsible for debt repayment.
The passing of your family member or friend in Los Angeles may represent the end of their lives, yet it might also signal the beginning of a long and complex process for you if you have been tasked to oversee the administration of their estates. As a personal representative or executor, you have a number of different roles to fulfill, including notifying beneficiaries, making an accounting of the estate's assets and filing estate tax returns. Yet before any of that can happen, you need to determine which probate court has jurisdiction over the estate case. Several in your position have come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu concerned that this can be a very complex process. Fortunately, it does not have to be.
If you are a charitable person who likes to give to the unfortunate or to causes you believe in, then the chances are pretty good you would like one of your final acts on this earth to be giving to charity. You do have the ability to include a donation in your estate plan in California. However, you want to plan any charitable giving carefully to avoid any issues for your heirs or in the execution of the donation.
When you create an estate plan in California, you set things up for when you die. The plan outlines your wishes and creates a legally binding guideline for your executor to follow when dispersing assets. However, there are a few ways that an estate plan could end up doing harm or causing issues. This is especially true when inheritance theft occurs.