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California Probate DIY – what can possibly go wrong?

Let’s be honest some people are just DIYers and some people want it done for them. There is no judgement one way or the other.  My law firm provides extremely competent, full service, legal services. That’s what we do.  Therefore my post is about full service legal services and, in particular, the problems that can […]

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Probate cases and county counsel, county coroner and the public guardian

I was recently contacted, as I have been many times throughout the years, by a family member (often a distant family member) who was contacted by a county employee from some county in California. It could be county counsel, county coroner or the public guardian’s office.  The one this past week was from a new […]

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Hourly v. Statutory Fee in a California Probate

I find myself a little frustrated by a potential new client that has decided not to hire me… at least not at this time. Not everybody hires the best probate attorney and that’s fine. They don’t know what they don’t know. However, YOU know because you are reading this blog. So I got their voice […]

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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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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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Filing the Original Will with a California probate court

I spoke recently to a potential new client who lives in the great state of Texas. Her daughter died here in California, with assets exceeding $150,000, and thus she needs to start a probate. This is the type of case I specialize in. I deal with dozens of such cases each year where my client […]

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Can I change the locks on my mom’s house?

Dealing with well over 1,000 probate cases in my 25 years as a probate attorney I have been asked “Can I change the locks on [mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/etc] house now that they are dead?” The stories are different, and though often unlawfully, there are people in living in mom’s house. This may be a squatter, this may […]

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