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How to Probate a Will Without a Lawyer in California

By |2020-12-29T11:04:10-08:00December 29th, 2020|Estate Planning|

When a loved one passes away, you may face the overwhelming task of settling their estate. Unfortunately, for some people, juggling attorney fees on top of funeral costs and other expenses can make probate an impossible task. If this sounds like a familiar situation, you may want to look into how to probate a will without a lawyer.

Will California Probate Laws Enable You to Avoid Probate?

By |2020-09-20T15:05:19-07:00September 20th, 2020|Probate|

California law does not require a full formal probate process for every estate. For small estates where there are no disputes about who should inherit property from the estate, California probate laws provide for several simplified probate alternatives. If the estate of your recently deceased family member is small enough to qualify to avoid probate, then it is not fair for you to have to pay exorbitant hourly fees to a probate lawyer just to collect your inherited money or to become the official owner of the house your parents owned when they were alive. Most people do not really need the services of a lawyer even if they have to go through full formal probate.

The Downside of Holographic Wills in California

By |2020-08-25T11:25:16-07:00August 25th, 2020|Estate Planning|

Holographic wills are estate planning documents that the testator writes and signs completely by hand. Furthermore, testators are not required to sign these documents in front of witnesses. As a result, probate courts often deem holographic wills invalid! That said, if you choose to create a holographic will, there are several elements you MUST include to ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

Dying Without a Will in California

By |2020-08-16T09:24:16-07:00August 16th, 2020|Estate Planning|

Dying without a will in California subjects your estate to California intestate succession laws. In other words, the court will distribute your property depending on your living relatives. For example, your assets may go to a spouse or your children. However, if you want your property distributed in a certain manner, contact A People's Choice today. We can help you prepare a will or other estate planning documents to protect your assets upon your death.

Living Will vs. Living Trust – What’s the Difference?

By |2020-08-05T11:55:03-07:00August 5th, 2020|Estate Planning|

When it comes to estate planning, everyone should have the proper legal documents in place to ensure their property and assets are distributed according to their wishes upon death. However, there are a plethora of estate planning forms, and it can be difficult to know which is best for you. Therefore, it's important to educate yourself on what each document means. For example, you should be familiar with the legal implications of a living will vs. living trust!

California Probate Without a Will

By |2020-07-30T12:57:26-07:00July 30th, 2020|Probate|

Usually, the probate process utilizes a decedent's will to determine how the estate will be divided. However, when a will is missing, incomplete, or invalid, the court follows the California Intestate Succession Laws instead. Read on to learn more about how these laws work and how you can complete the process process without an attorney, even if you're missing a will!

How to Get a Last Will – Quick and Easy!

By |2020-07-23T11:28:03-07:00July 23rd, 2020|Estate Planning|

Did you know EVERYONE should have a last will? Not only will it ensure your wishes are followed after your death, but it will also save your family members time and money. Luckily, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys fees to write a will. Instead, follow these three steps to create a will with A People's Choice!

Will vs Trust: How are They Different?

By |2020-06-13T11:58:20-07:00June 13th, 2020|Estate Planning|

Estate planning can be confusing. How do you know whether you need a will vs a trust? You have been hearing it for most of your adult life, at least since you first bought a house or had children: You need to have a will in place. What if you found out that there is an even better way to transfer your property to your heirs? Basically you have two choices: a will vs a trust.

Probating A Lost Will in California

By |2020-05-26T09:36:23-07:00May 26th, 2020|Probate|

Probating an estate is complicated to begin with - but what happens when the original will has been lost or destroyed? Probating a lost will requires proving that the testator did not intend to revoke the will. Luckily, A People's Choice can help you complete and file the proper documentation for probating a lost or destroyed will. Read on to learn more.

Probate of a Will or Estate in California

By |2020-04-25T12:59:38-07:00April 25th, 2020|Probate|

Probate of a will or estate usually takes nine months to a year, unless there is a dispute over the deceased person’s intentions. Fortunately, probate does not have to be expensive. If the estate of which you are in charge has a value that does not exceed $166,250, you can do a simplified probate alternative instead of the full probate. These alternative processes are faster than full probate, and they cost less. If the estate is worth more than that the process is a bit more involved but you may not need a lawyer. 90% of probate is paperwork, and in the case of the simplest probate alternatives, 100% is paperwork. You do not need a lawyer for probate of a will or estate, just an expert in probate court documents, such as a non-attorney legal document assistant.

How a Fill-in-the-Blank Will Can Go Wrong

By |2020-04-25T08:49:41-07:00April 24th, 2020|Estate Planning|

If you're considering creating a will with a DIY fill-in-the-blank service such as LegalZoom or Nolo, be sure to read up on the consequences beforehand. Unfortunately, wills created with these services often result in incorrectly distributed estates. Luckily, registered legal document assistants like A People's Choice are here to help.

What are My Duties as Executor of a Will?

By |2020-03-31T17:15:55-07:00March 31st, 2020|Probate|

In California, most people who put together an estate plan appoint someone as executor of their will. One of the main duties as executor of a will is to carry out the decedent's wishes after they die. If you are the executor of a will, your duties begin when you open the estate for probate with the court. They do not end until the estate settles and every beneficiary gets his or her share of the estate. California law acknowledges that being an executor of a will is a real job, so if you need help with the probate documents, rely on a professional. Contact A People’s Choice to help you prepare and file the forms for California probate.

What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

By |2020-03-21T14:12:09-07:00March 21st, 2020|Estate Planning, Probate|

Writing a will can be scary because it requires you to think about your own mortality. It can be just as frightening to think about what will happen if you die without a will. You might have heard that the state takes all your assets after you die without a will, but in fact, that rarely happens. If you die without a will you will not be able to choose who receives your assets.

Why You Need a Will

By |2019-09-02T09:30:53-07:00August 19th, 2019|Estate Planning|

The older we get, the less we stress about things that do not matter in the long run. Grandparents at the beach are just happy to enjoy the sunshine, the waves, and their grandchildren’s company. They do not care if they look silly in a bathing suit! When you turn 59, you do not [...]

Difference Between a Will and Trust

By |2019-05-12T09:01:05-07:00October 7th, 2018|Estate Planning|

A lot of people don't understand the difference between a will and trust. A will is a legal document which directs who will receive your property upon your death. In comparison, a living trust is a legal document which can also give instructions on how to distribute your property upon your death. With this in mind, however, a key difference between a will and trust is that a trust can also be used to distribute property before someone passes.

How to Lodge a Will in California and File Probate

By |2019-05-12T09:29:24-07:00July 11th, 2018|Estate Planning, Probate|

Most Executors have a hard time giving up possession of a decedent's original will. However, by law, the custodian of an original will must lodge the will with the Superior Court within 30 days of learning of the testator’s death. This is a statutory requirement under California Probate Code Section 8200. Keep in mind, the custodian can face legal penalties if they do not lodge a will in a timely fashion.

How will my marital assets and debts be divided?

By |2018-06-17T17:49:08-07:00December 3rd, 2017||

Although California community property laws require courts to divide marital assets between both spouses 50/50, the parties can mutually  agree to any other division they feel is fair and equitable. If the parties do not agree, then most likely the court will divide all community assets and debts down the middle between both parties. This [...]

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