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Estate planning lessons from other’s mistakes

On March 11, 2016 I got the call of a lifetime… and I do not mean that in a good way. I got the call from the police, in Logan, Utah, that my mother had been shot to death by her husband. This is not a post about domestic abuse, gun control or mental health […]

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Listing all assets in estate planning

Below I have posted a sample of the information we like to have when we do estate planning. Though we do not require the information it’s helpful to us. It’s helpful in different ways. Let’s discuss. First, the dollar amounts are certainly not required but knowing the approximate estate size helps determine what plan is […]

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Where to file a trust petition in California

In many cases it’s easy to determine where to file your trust petition. See California probate code sections 17000-17006 pasted below for ease of reference. In a probate case you file where the decedent lived at death. That is the county, in California, where they were last a resident. This can, in some cases, be […]

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Legal Fees for Trust Funding After Death in California

Generally speaking one of the main reasons people get trusts is to REDUCE ATTORNEY FEES AFTER DEATH.  Yes, there are other benefits to a trust but this is one of the main reasons.  People want to avoid probate.  Sure probate takes 7 months minimum but beyond that it is costly… and most of that cost […]

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Requests for Trust Accountings

Requests for trust accounting should be done by a beneficiary as soon as possible. Pursuant to California probate code 1060 (the accounting section) and 16060 et seq (the duty to inform section).  This starts a time clock and the trustee’s failure to comply with a reasonable request can put the trustee in a place of […]

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Flat Fee Probate Court Attorneys

Ethics are important to us and thus our hourly fee time is carefully noted in our time keeper program. However, some clients just do not like hourly fee arrangements. They want to know exactly how much they are going to spend.  We have heard the request many times and now we can offer FLAT FEE […]

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California Probate Code 850 Petition

I have personally filed, and successfully completed, more Heggstad petitions than any attorney I know of.  I know the nuances.  I know what Judges like to see. I know what the Heggstad case says. I also know to use California probate code 850 and not California probate code 17200 for a Heggstad petition. Ask your […]

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Parent to Child Exemption Form

Upon death or any other transfer of real estate in California you need to evaluate if a PT-58 form is required. It is the document which tells the county assessor that a transfer has been made, of real property, between a parent and a child.  This will preserve the parent’s property tax assessment or basis. […]

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Finding Lost Assets

In California probate and trust administration cases we often have to go find the money. There are a number of things we do.  These are often employed when I am hired as to represent a beneficiary. That is, they want to make sure the Executor or Trustee is doing things right and accounting for all […]

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California Trustee Powers

A lot of times when I go through a trust client’s ask “why is that there?”  Of course these documents are based on forms and some of the form is “boilerplate” and the same for most clients.  Our forms have been tweaked over 30 years of development to have what we think our the crucial […]

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