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
Last Will and Testament Questions · January 8th, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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... →]
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... →]
If I Quitclaimed Our House to My Ex-Husband in Divorce, and He Just Died Without a Will, is the Quitclaim Deed Void?
Properly signed and notarized Quitclaim Deeds are generally unaffected by death. [ Read More... →]
How are Assets Disbursed if a Will States I Receive a Bank Account and Deposit Box but also States All Money is Divided Equally Among Siblings?
Typically, specifically-listed gifts and assets from a Last Will and Testament are disbursed first.
Once those assets are provided to the named beneficiaries, only then does the general division of all remaining assets begins.
But that assumes very clear instructions are provided within the Will document. [ Read More... →]
Last Will and Testament Questions · January 9th, 2013
Bank account owned jointly “with rights of survivorship” are not subject to the probate process when one of the owners dies.
Upon the death of one owner, the other account owner simply continues to own and have complete access to the money in the account.
But there are several drawbacks to setting up and using this type of bank account: [ Read More... →]
If My Stepmother Willed the House She Shared with My Father to Me, Can My Father Give that House to His New Wife?
A Will is effective immediately upon the death of the Grantor, and must be executed as written at that time.
The Grantor cannot control any property “from beyond the grave.” [ Read More... →]
Last Will and Testament Questions · December 14th, 2012
As Executor, If an Asset Listed in a Will Cannot Be Found, Do I Pay That Beneficiary an Amount Equal to the Value of that Missing Asset?
If any specifically-mentioned assets are disposed of (sold, given away or lost) by the decedent while the decedent was still alive, those assets would no longer be considered part of the estate, regardless of what the Will might say. [ Read More... →]
Last Will and Testament Questions · November 30th, 2012