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When to open probate when house is almost upside down?

I often have clients or potential clients who come to me to discuss when to open probate when their parents, or other loved one’s, house is almost upside down.  That is, what’s enough equity to make it worthwhile to file for probate?  Upside down, or when the mortgage balance is higher than the value of […]

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Ancillary probates for California assets

There are different situations that an ancillary probate can be required in California.  I have seen it spelled anciliary, ancillary, anciliary, ansiliary, and a whole bunch of other ways.  The California probate code spells it ANCILLARY so let’s assume that’s correct. Today I want to speak specifically about situations where a California ancillary probate is […]

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How E-filing works in California probate courts

How E-filing works in California probate courts differs, a lot, from county to county. Some options: Some counties are still 100% paper filing; Some counties are close to 100% E-filing; Some counties say they are E-filing but require paper filing; The point is it’s different throughout the state. It’s changing all the time. For example, […]

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I don’t know if my mom or dad had a will – what do I do?

I don’t know if my mom or dad had a will – what do I do?  I have been asked some version of this question countless times over the years. A recent one was something like, “my brother is living in dad’s house, he says dad gave him everything, I don’t know if there is […]

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When a trust beneficiary requires a probate in California

I have had a few cases recently where a person, who has now died, had been the beneficiary of a trust.  However, in all the cases the person who has now died never got their beneficial share from the trust before they died. So what happens?  When does a trust beneficiary require a probate in […]

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How quickly will I receive my California probate court ORDER?

If you are reading this page you probably had the question: “How quickly will I receive my California probate court ORDER?” There are many different probate court orders so we will talk about the two most common. Also, every county in California does things differently and in some cases majorly different. As I have a […]

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Starting probate without meeting your attorney in person

You are looking at starting probate without meeting your attorney in person. Can this really be done?  YES!  We do this all the time.  Some simple reasons why this is so: I have clients that live all around the country, and even the world, who lost a loved one in California. Most of my clients […]

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Options when your court date is WAY out

What can you do when your California probate court date is way out?  By WAY OUT I mean way out in the future.  Let me backtrack a little first…. In the old days, when I was a young attorney, court dates were often given 4 weeks out from the date you filed your petition. Back […]

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Wait, that house is mine! Mistake or probate fraud?

I recently had a potential new client who discovered his father had properties in Sacramento county… or so he thought.  Though dad had died some years ago this seemed to be pennies from heaven for this nice young man.  The client was very nice and due to his father’s unique name these certainly seemed to […]

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The Covid crisis is not over yet in California

A lot of us were thinking it was heading in the right direction, right?  We had flattened the curve, right?  The death rate was going down, right?  Unfortunately it seems that once we opened stuff up the numbers started going back up!  As a California probate attorney my focus, especially here in my blog, is […]

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