About apeopleschoice

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice, has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. Sandy is dedicated to the expansion of affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation.

Understanding Federal Estate and Gift Tax Rates in California

The federal gift tax is a tax by the government that applies to either assets left by a decedent at their death or assets given by an individual during their lifetime. In essence, whether you give your assets away while you are still living, or give them away when you die, they are subject to a tax. Gift tax applies to lifetime gifts; estate tax applies to assets left at death. Read on to learn about the federal estate and gift tax and how it may affect your estate.

By |2022-09-17T14:20:15-07:00September 12th, 2022|Estate Planning, Probate|0 Comments

The Difference Between Joint Tenancy and Community Property With Right of Survivorship

Right of survivorship is an important legal right that allows property owners to keep property in the event of the co-owner's death. Some states offer right of survivorship in the form of community property. However, community property with right of survivorship has additional restrictions and different tax implications than joint tenancy. Read on to learn more and determine which type of co-ownership is right for you.

By |2021-04-08T13:57:30-07:00April 7th, 2021|Real Property|43 Comments

Understanding The Six Month Waiting Period for Divorce in California

What is California's six month waiting period for divorce, and what does it mean for you? Oftentimes, this period is also referred to as the "cooling off" time for couples to determine if they'd like to reconcile. Additionally, it establishes the first day individuals may legally remarry. Read on to learn more about the six month waiting period in California divorce and how A People's Choice can help you.

By |2021-04-24T15:34:52-07:00April 4th, 2021|Family Law, Divorce|79 Comments

What is a Probate Referee in California?

If you are settling an estate through the probate process, most likely you will need a probate referee. The role of a probate referee is to appraise property in the estate.  A probate referee is a professional, usually an attorney, a certified public accountant, or a person with several years of professional experience in property [...]

By |2021-05-19T11:09:30-07:00March 6th, 2021|Probate|14 Comments

California Living Trust Checklist

With our living trust preparation checklist, a DIY trust is possible! Plus, by working with a registered legal document assistant such as A People's Choice, you can avoid high attorney's fees for help drafting your trust. Read on for our complete California living trust checklist and to learn more about the necessary actions that come along with writing a trust.

By |2021-03-08T07:07:49-08:00March 4th, 2021|Estate Planning|2 Comments