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Last Will and Testament Questions

Why Won’t My Deceased Father’s Bank Honor His Last Will and Provide Account Access?

Banks do not accept a Last Will and Testament document as proof to provide access to funds in an account for obvious reasons. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  April 15th, 2014

If a Property Was Quitclaimed Years Ago to One Child, Can a Will Give Shares to Other Children?

If a real estate property has been properly assigned via Quitclaim Deed to any other person, that property is no longer an asset of the person who gave it away. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  April 1st, 2014

What Happens if I Can’t Find My Parents’ Will After They Die?

Generally, if a Last Will and Testament cannot be found after the death of a family member (or even a copy of the original Will document), it may be presumed that the person died intestate, i.e. without a Will. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  March 18th, 2014

If My Spouse Had a Home and Child Prior to our Marriage, Do I Get the Home If He Dies?

The answer to this question would depend on a number of factors: [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  March 17th, 2014

Can an Will’s Executor Use a Quitclaim Deed to Transfer Listed Property?

An Executor has no authority to sign a Quitclaim Deed on behalf of a deceased person. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  March 16th, 2014

What is the Best Way to Exclude Children from a Last Will?

When children are to be excluded from a Last Will and Testament, the situation can be handled in one of two ways: [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  January 8th, 2014

Can We Collect Rent from a Family Member Who Won’t Leave a House to be Sold per a Will?

The estate of the deceased should be directed through a Probate Court proceeding shortly after death, with the property distributed per the Probate Court according to the terms of the Will. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  December 3rd, 2013

Must a California Will Be Notarized or Are Two Witness Signatures Sufficient?

Two witnesses signatures on a Last Will and Testament suffice to make that document legal and valid in the state of California. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  November 8th, 2013

Can a Will’s Executor Override the Stated Distribution?

Certainly not. The Executor of a Will has a legal, fiduciary duty to distribute the assets specifically as directed within the Last Will and Testament document.

If an Executor fails to follow the Will’s instructions, a petition may be made to the Probate Court.

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  October 29th, 2013

How is Property Not Mentioned Specifically in a Will Distributed to Beneficiaries?

Typically, a well-written Will has a ‘remainder’ clause that distributes all assets not specifically gifted to a named beneficiary.

If such a remainder clause does not exist in the Will, the Probate Court will typically direct the distribution per state law.

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  October 29th, 2013

Does a Beneficary of a Will have the Right to Full Disclosure of All the Deceased’s Possessions?

It is the responsibility of the Executor to detail the inventory and distribution of all assets and expenses of an estate after the death of the Maker of the Will, and to follow the instructions for distribution of those assets as listed in the Will. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  June 9th, 2013

How Does a Wife Take Over a Home Willed to Her When Only the Husband’s Name Was On the Deed?

In most states, a Probate Estate would need to be opened so that the probate court could issue an order transferring title to the sole beneficiaries’ name.

Most states have an expedited or summary process if the assets to be probated are limited.

Last Will and Testament Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  May 22nd, 2013

If Specific Dollar Amounts Are Listed for Distribution in a Will But the Estate Has Lower Value, How are the Assets Distributed?

A close examination of the specific language of the Will, as well as the type of property being made as bequests through the Will, is required to determine distribution. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  May 15th, 2013

How is Money in a Joint Bank Account Treated if it is Not Mentioned in the Decedent’s Will?

In most cases, money held in a joint bank account is owned equally by the parties whose names appear on the account.

Upon the death of one account holder, the surviving account holder is the sole owner of the money in the account.

Such jointly held money is not typically considered a part of the decedent’s estate.

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  May 9th, 2013

Can an Attorney in Fact Create and Sign a Last Will and Testament on Behalf of the Grantor of a Power of Attorney?

No. Only the Maker of a Last Will and Testament can sign the Will document.

No person can be authorized via Power of Attorney to create and sign a Will on behalf of the Grantor of the POA.

Last Will and Testament Questions · Power of Attorney Questions  ·  April 4th, 2013

Can an Last Will’s Executor Charge a Fee to the Estate for Services?

In most cases, state law dictates what fees (if any) can be charged by an Executor of a Last Will and Testament. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  March 13th, 2013

If My Mother Dies Without a Last Will, Does My Stepfather Get Everything?

Typically, if no Last Will and Testament exists to distribute specific assets to specific beneficiaries, the spouse of the deceased retains all marital assets — even if that spouse is a second marriage (or more). [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  March 11th, 2013

If One Adult Child is to Live in the House I Split Between Two in a Will or Trust, Is a Rent Payment Required?

Upon the death of the Maker, the assets of a Will or Trust become the property of the named beneficiaries. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions · Living Trust Questions  ·  March 7th, 2013

If My Father Made a New Will But Didn’t Show it to All Siblings, Is It Invalid?

While it is wise for the Maker of a new Last Will and Testament to distribute copies to all of the potential beneficiaries of that new document, there is no legal obligation to do so. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions  ·  February 21st, 2013

If Multiple Persons Own a Property and One Does Not Wish to Sell, Can the Majority Vote to Sell Anyway?

Absent an agreement amongst all of the owners, a “majority vote” cannot compel the sale of a person’s ownership interest in a property against his or her will.

But there is another option available to move the process forward for all parties. [ Read More... →]

Last Will and Testament Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  January 23rd, 2013