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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.

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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Probate an Estate with Lost Will

By |2018-01-18T15:46:35-08:00November 11th, 2016|Probate|

If you have to probate an estate with lost will in California, it is not an easy task. If a will is lost, specific facts, circumstances, and state law will decide which family members inherit the decedent’s assets. For example, if the will was revoked prior to the decedent’s death, and a new will did [...]

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When You Need a Pour-Over Will

By |2019-07-26T07:19:27-07:00October 18th, 2016|Estate Planning, Videos|

Most people create a revocable living trust to avoid probate. A pour-over will is also executed to allow any unknown assets outside the trust to pass through the pour-over will into the trust upon the testator's death. Trust property is then distributed to trust beneficiaries. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to prepare a pour-over will.

How to Get a Copy of a Will

By |2018-01-18T15:46:54-08:00May 10th, 2016|Estate Planning|

If you are involved in a loved one’s estate, you may be wondering how you can get a copy of their will. If your loved one is still living, it may be difficult to get a copy of their will unless they willingly provide it to you. This is because the will is considered personal [...]

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How is an estate distributed when there is no will?

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||

If a person dies without a will or trust, their estate will be distributed according to California intestate succession laws. Generally speaking, intestate succession laws in California state that a person’s estate will be distributed in the following order: 1. Spouse 2. Children 3. Parents (if you have no children) 4. Siblings (if you have [...]

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How can someone find out if they are named in a will?

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||

California Probate Code Section 8200(a)  requires that the original will be filed with the court in the county where the person who dies resided within 30 days after the person's death. Unfortunately, this statutory requirement is rarely complied with. In fact, in most cases, the original will is only lodged with the court if the [...]

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Common Terms in Wills and Trusts

By |2020-01-02T11:13:39-08:00April 12th, 2016|Estate Planning|

If you are looking to create a will or trust in California, A People’s Choice can help you. A People's Choice offers estate planning documents at a fraction of the cost an attorney would charge. To help you understand some of the terminology used in estate planning documents, below is an overview of common terms [...]

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California Living Wills

By |2021-03-02T08:11:55-08:00December 7th, 2015|

A Living Will vs Advance Healthcare Directive The Advance Healthcare Directive, and not a living will, is now the preferred and legally recognized document for end-of-life decisions by an individual who lives in California. Quick Start My Documents! A living will is a limited type of advance healthcare directive. A Living Will only identifies your decisions about specific life­-sustaining procedures [...]

California Wills

By |2021-03-01T20:04:30-08:00December 7th, 2015|

California Wills What is a Will? A will is a legal document that is effective at your death. This document will name your executor who is the person who will handle your assets after your death. It also permits you to name beneficiaries, set up support trusts for minor children or other dependents, and [...]

What Makes a Will Valid in California?

By |2020-12-03T15:19:40-08:00June 7th, 2015|Estate Planning|

What Makes a Will Valid in California to Probate? Probate is the legal term used in presenting a will to the probate court for filing (“to probate a will”). A will is probated through a specific process. This process makes sure all the testator’s debts are satisfied in full before the assets are distributed to beneficiaries. If a [...]

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