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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 […]
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 […]
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) […]
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 […]