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August 14, 2021

What Is the Purpose of Probate?

When you lose a loved one who did not create a comprehensive estate plan, you must probate the will to legally validate it before any of the terms set forth in the will can be carried out. Probating a will tends to be a complex, lengthy, and confusing process, so many people choose to develop estate plans to avoid leaving their family members with this burden. In their will, the decedent should have designated an […]
August 13, 2021

What Happens If You Don’t Apply for Probate in California?

Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences you will go through in your life, and this difficult time becomes even more challenging if they died without establishing a comprehensive estate plan for their assets and property. Most people understand that creating a valid will is a crucial step in planning for the management of their estate after they pass away, but few realize that a will is usually subject to the […]
July 5, 2021

What Exactly Is Probate?

When a person dies, the assets, property, and debts they leave behind become the responsibility of their surviving loved ones. However, adequate preparation on your part can help alleviate these responsibilities. Sweeney Probate Law, our team strives to help our clients prepare for the end of their lives by creating comprehensive estate plans—legal plans set in place to distribute their assets to their loved ones according to their wishes. Unfortunately, if you do not make […]
June 3, 2021

Childbirth After a Parent’s Death and Intestate Succession

Scientific developments have made possible the use of assisted reproductive technologies to create alternative families. One problem is determining parenthood in cases of after death conception (post-mortem conception.) If you die without a will in California, your assets will go to your closest relatives under state “intestate succession” laws. What intestate (without a Will) inheritance rights does the after death conceived child have? Consider the following: Through artificial insemination of his mother a baby boy […]
May 20, 2021

Impact of Marriage or Domestic Partnership on Existing Wills

What happens if a person makes a will and thereafter marries, or registers as a domestic partner, and the new spouse, or new domestic partner, is not provided for in the will or otherwise provided for or disinherited? Unless a Will or Trust provides for a new spouse or domestic partner, or clearly indicates the new spouse or domestic partner will receive nothing, the marriage effectively and automatically invalidates any pre-existing Will or Trust. If, […]
May 19, 2021

Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

If you have lost a family member because of the wrongdoing of another, you should consider filing either a wrongful death or survival action lawsuit or both if the circumstances permit. I handle probate matters, including wrongful death and survival lawsuits by personal representatives. To file a lawsuit you may need a probate representative which is a term that includes both “executors” and “administrators.” An “executor” is the person designated in a Will to administer […]
May 18, 2021

When Is a Real Property Deed Effective in California?

California’s “statute of frauds” requires that a deed that transfers title in real property must be in writing. The parties to a grant deed are the grantor, the owner, and the receiver of title, the grantee. With a quitclaim deed the owner transferring the property is commonly called the “quitclaimor.” Many falsely believe only the act of recording a deed transfers title and if not recorded the deed is ineffective. There are times when an effective deed […]
May 17, 2021

What Is Ancillary Probate in California?

An “ancillary probate” is a proceeding when a person dies with property in more than one state or dies in one state with property in another. If a person dies owning assets in his or her sole name or as a tenant in common, then chances are the assets will need to be probated in order to get them out of the decedent’s name and into the names of his or her heirs or beneficiaries. […]
May 14, 2021

What Does a Probate Court Do?

In general, probate means that there is a court case that deals with: Deciding if a will exists and is valid; Figuring out who are the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries; Figuring out how much the decedent’s property is worth; Taking care of the decedent’s financial responsibilities; and Transferring the decedent’s property to the heirs or beneficiaries. In a probate case, an executor (if there is a will) or an administrator (if there is no will) […]