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October 8, 2021
What Is San Diego Famous For

What Is San Diego Famous For?

Widely recognized as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego is famous for gorgeous weather, miles of white-sand beaches, and some of the nation’s most popular tourist spots. This city is considered the birthplace of California, becoming part of the U.S. during 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and is now the eighth-largest city in the country. Renowned for its pleasant year-round climate, San Diego experiences warm, dry summers and mild winters, with the average yearly […]
September 4, 2021

What is the Difference Between a Probate Lawyer and an Estate Lawyer

Facing legal issues can be intimidating. At times, it can even feel impossible. This is especially true for families experiencing the death of a loved one. When a loved one passes, one of the first arrangements that needs to be made is the division/distribution of their assets. In many cases, the instructions for this process are laid out in a will. In other situations, there is no will, or the will is invalid, making the […]
September 4, 2021

What Do Estate Litigators Do?

The legal world can be confusing, and navigating it can feel especially difficult when you are experiencing the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, the powerful force of grief can bring out the worst in a family. However, one of the primary tasks families face when a loved one passes is a sensitive one that can affect many people on a personal level: determining the division of assets between the beneficiaries. In some cases, when […]
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 13, 2021

What Happens in California if You Cannot Find the Will?

A common question that a probate attorney is asked is how to obtain a copy of a last Will and Testament. Locating the Will may be urgent if funeral or burial instructions are contained in the Will or if anatomical gifts or the authority to conduct an autopsy are granted in the Will. First of all note that you cannot ask to see a copy of a living person’s Will – this is because while […]
May 12, 2021

My Spouse (or Registered Domestic Partner) Left Me Property, What Should I Do?

In California, spouses or registered domestic partners are given privileged status in regards to collecting the assets of their deceased partner’s estate. After the death of a spouse or domestic partner, a spousal property petition can be used to transfer assets from the deceased spouse or domestic partner to the surviving spouse or domestic partner. It is a simplified probate, and takes much less time than a full probate. Legal fees are usually much lower […]
May 10, 2021

Payable on Death (POD) and Transfer on Death (TOD) Accounts

The form of ownership determines how property will be managed during the owner’s lifetime and how it will be distributed at the owner’s death. Alternative methods of transferring property on death are sometimes known as “nonprobate transfers,” which include transfers made under California Probate Code §5000. If an account, e.g., a bank account, is payable-on-death (POD) or is a retirement account, e.g., an IRA or non tax deferred brokerage account, is transfer–on-death, with a designated beneficiary (TOD), at death […]
May 7, 2021

Ownership of Real Property by Same-sex Couples in California

As with heterosexual relationships, breakup or death are the two possible endings for homosexual relationships. The manner in which property is held affects the outcome of co-owned property between same-sex couples, just as it does with opposite-sex couples. Manner of Holding Title Or Ownership By Multiple Parties Since 1872, California law has defined four types of ownership interests in real property by multiple persons: 1) joint interests; 2) partnership interests; 3) interests in common; and […]
May 6, 2021

Out of State Wills

Many people migrate to California each year. The fact that thousands of people come to California means that their estate planning instruments also follow them to California. If you were domiciled in another state or outside the U.S. and prepared your Will in that other state or foreign country (both regarded as “foreign Wills”), but later change your domicile to California, is your foreign Will valid in California if you die? Yes. Under California Probate Code §6113 a foreign Will is valid […]