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All Courts in California

It’s very easy for me to appear in probate Courts throughout California. I can “appear” telephonically via CourtCall. It’s an incredible service that allows you to hire the most organized and efficient probate attorney regardless of where your probate case is in California.  I have personally conducted probates in just about every single probate Court […]

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Options with $140,000 in assets

“My mom died with $140,000 in assets so I want to do a small estate.” “I want to avoid a full probate because I have heard how horrible it can be.” “What do we have to do to qualify to be a small estate?” “Do we have to do a small estate if we have […]

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Easy Asset Protection

Some things you can do to protect your assets for your family are easy to do and some are very difficult.  Why not do the easy ones? First of all you have to remember there are no simple magic trusts.  If there was a magic trust that insulated a person from creditors and liabilities most people would […]

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Professional Fiduciaries in Trusts and Probates

I have had a law practice focused on trusts, estates and probate since 1994.  I have been involved with some thousands of wills, trusts, and probates during that time.  I am not yet aware of a professional, third party, fiduciary stealing, making errors or generally causing trouble in the administration of a trust or estate. […]

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Letters Testamentary

Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration are the key in a California probate case.  Testamentary means the Personal Representative (or “Executor”) is named in the will to serve.  When the Letters are “of Administration” that means there was no will or that the person was not named in the will to serve.  The latter more accurately would […]

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What’s a Probate – The 5 W’s

Who should do your probate? What’s a probate? Where do you probate?  When do you probate?  Why a probate? How do you probate? Let’s start with what’s a probate:  It is simply the Court administered process or clearing title to assets and paying debts after death. Where do you probate: A probate in California is […]

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Trust Funding es muy importante

It’s getting to the point where a large percentage of my probate Court work is for people that didn’t plan their trusts properly. That is, they failed to properly fund their trust.  The key is getting ALL your assets lined up with the trust or with proper death beneficiaries.  I say all assets as people forget […]

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Estate Planning for Miles and Points

You have worked hard to earn those airline miles, hotel points, credit card awards and the like. Make sure they don’t go POOF when you die!  Most awards are transferable at death. Most have forms to be filled out by your loved ones, after death, to avoid a full probate.  Some even allow a beneficiary […]

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Estate Planning Basics – Come to the First Meeting Ready

I always tell clients they can just bring themselves to the first estate planning meeting. I tell them they probably have all the information I need to know in their heads already.  However, if you want to make sure you are ready for that first meeting here are FIVE important things to think about before […]

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Airport Estate Planning

I actually have clients stop to see me on the way to the airport! Yes, really. On the way to the airport they stop to sign their new estate plan or amendments to their current estate plan. What if you don’t have time to stop? What if you are at SMF or any other airport […]

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