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Billionaire dies without a will

The headline catches your eye right!?  Could a billionaire die without a will!? Actually, reading the story again he was “only” worth an estimated $840 million at death!  Let me say right now if you have $840 million, or $84 million, or $8.4 million, or $840,000 I suggest you get a will and most likely […]

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Are attorney fees in California probate based on the gross or net estate?

Are attorney fees in California probate based on the gross or net estate is a question I am often asked. The law is clear that it is the gross assets.  Let’s dive into this deeper though as attorney fees in probate should be understood if you are dealing with a California probate case. Please remember […]

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Selling used cars during a California probate

I am frequently asked about selling used cars when there is no probate – i.e. when the car is the only asset or one of the only asset. However, today I want to talk about selling used cars during a California probate. First of all it’s important to remember that the personal representative has a […]

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What’s wrong with a Willmaker will and ending up in California probate Court

So this blog is basically covering two topics in one title – What’s wrong with a Willmaker will and ending up in California probate Court!? First I want to be clear there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with a Willmaker will or a Susan Orman will or a Legal Zoom will or any other such […]

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Chadwick Boseman Probate Documents from Los Angeles County

On, or about, October 15, 2020 a new probate was filed for the Chadwick Aaron Boseman estate in Los Angeles Superior Court.  I was talking about this case with a lawyer friend as it is interesting talking about any probates but especially one with a known decedent like a great actor.  As we like to […]

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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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