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Paulina Porizkova was excluded in Ric Ocasek’s will

I love celebrity probate and estate stories. The latest is a double celeb story! Paulina Porizkova was excluded in Ric Ocasek’s will according to the story I read. Paulina was, of course, a famous model and actress.  Her husband, or according to the story estranged husband, Ric Ocasek was the lead singer of the Car’s. […]

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What is a “document specialist?”

A client contacted me last week and said she needs “an actual deed in her name” so that her “document specialist” could transfer the house to her trust.  I re-sent her a copy of the court order that I recorded after her husband died. I explained that we did a spousal property petition, to transfer […]

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California Lost Property Page

I have reported on this before but a good reminder there are tens of thousands of people who have money being held by the state of California. Go check your name and see if any is there in your name. Here is the link to that California lost property page or is the found money […]

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Common costs in a California probate

After doing approximately 1,500 California probate estates, or “full probates,” I have a pretty good idea what the costs will be… but it’s still an approximation. Today I want to discuss the current costs and what you can expect.  Our probate cost calculator is a good start but remember it’s an approximation. So first thing […]

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Small probates come in different sizes

Lately I seem to have a run of small probate matters and I can say that small probates come in different sizes.  Though the rules are fairly simple I thought you might like to hear some fact patterns so you could see probate code section 13150 and 13200 inaction in real life! Messed up Title […]

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2019

I know for several years there has been a National Estate Planning Awareness Week every year in October. Now, I am not sure how many people have been aware of this and very likely the only people aware of this already have an estate plan in place. However, anything we can do to get the […]

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Aretha Franklin’s attorney files THREE handwritten wills

I saw this headline today and here’s a link to the article in Aretha’s hometown paper. The reality is it’s not shocking to have three wills and even three handwritten wills. This happens as people change their mind from time to time and/or in some cases handwritten documents might be wills. For a lawyer helping […]

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Games of Thrones and California Probate

Ok, I admit it I just wanted to put “Game of Thrones” in my blog to see a spike in readership. I am sorry. It’s like the old days when we talked about Star Wars. Here’s the strange thing though, and this has absolutely nothing to do with California probate law, I have never watched […]

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John Palley speaking on probate and estate law April 18th in Sacramento

I am excited to announce that I have been invited to speak on California probate law and how to improve your trusts. This will be April 18, 2019 in Sacramento AND online! Here is a link to the Facebook page. Probate & Real Estate Workshop.2019

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Some Thoughts on Spousal Property Petitions in California Probate Courts

As a probate attorney since 1994 I have prepared and file a lot of Spousal Property Petitions over the years. The main form is state form DE-121 which you can find here on the web. I think a lot of people gloss over the many nuances in these cases and thus I wanted to talk […]

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