Is everything I inherit from my parents considered community property between my self and my spouse?
Mr. Johnson and Mr. Aparicio are correct.
I would only add the following: if your father has a Will, you may be looking at having to probate his estate upon his death. You may wish to consider if this is the best method of inheriting his estate. Often probate can be expensive, public, prolonged and emotionally taxing.
Further, you may wish to consider having your father leave your inheritance in trust for you so as to protect you from accidentally comingling your inheritance and giving you an added layer of protection if you and spouse divorce.
Please speak with an attorney for further guidance.See question
My mother in her will forgot to place her car in her trust/will. I have siblings. My mother's witnesses to her will asked how the car was, when I asked them what that meant the witness who signed as a witness on my mom's will said my mom wanted me...
Mr. Hartnett's answer is on point.
I would only add the following: sometimes both the Will and the Trust point to a "Personal Property Memorandum". The personal property memorandum is typically used to distribute personal items of relatively smaller value like furniture and cars. Typically the Trustee and the Personal Representative are instructed by the Grantor/Testator (your mom) to divide certain personal items as outlined in in the Personal Property Memorandum. You may look to see if your mom left such instrument.See question
we understand that she cannot have any assets when she goes on medicaid. She is not of sound mind and is paralized. she needs to stay institutionalized but can't afford it.
It appears you may have two distinct projects: 1. management of mother's financial affairs during her incapacity, and 2. qualify mom for Medicaid.
In order to manage mother's financial affairs, you will need a durable financial power of attorney which names you as the agent. The document must specifically authorize you with the power to manage mother's property interests. Alternatively, you may need to have a judge appoint you as the conservator of your mother's estate.
As for your second project you will also need a durable financial power of attorney which, again, specifically authorizes you to re-position your mother's assets to qualify her for Medicaid.See question
Dad has two homes with mortages what happens when he passes
You should be clear on the terms of the mortgages. Most provide that the loan is due and payable immediately at death. Evaluate the contract and/or consult with the bank servicing the loan. There are numerous things that can happen with the loan: 1. the heirs may take on the loan and continue servicing the debt themselves (assuming the lending institution allows this); 2. the property is sold and the balance, after paying off the loan, is divided among the heirs; 3. the debt is refinanced; 4. in rare instances, the heirs, through private arrangement among themselves, continue making payment on the loan (note, there are many pitfalls with this). Indeed, it would be best to address the issue of mortgages as part of the estate planning process.See question
My will leaves everything to my children. Should they divorce, will their inheritance be outside of any divorce settlement? Thanks, Fred
If your objective to totally avoid government interference and achieve maximum protection for your heirs, you should consider the following:
1. Create a trust to hold title to your assets. At death, if all of your assets are in trust, your children should be able to avoid probate. If you leave your assets to your children by way of a only a will, they may have to open probate at your death, thereby suffering unecessary costs and delays.
2. Leave your assets in trust for your children. At death, your children's inheritance is separate property. If you leave your children's share in trust you may appoint a 3rd party as a trustee and limit your children's ability to appoint their inheritance to their spouses. This strategy will increase the likelihood that your children will not co-mingle their inheritance and thereby expose their inheritance to a divorce proceeding.
Primary assets are mutual funds, stocks, bonds in both personal and IRA accounts. One lot in addition to home. Owner is 60 year old widow with two college age children who may also do grad school.
Often creating a document is not difficult per se. Indeed, with the myriad of self-help books, online forms and internet services, there are plenty of resources for you to choose from. What you must also factor into your planning is the fact that laws are constantly changing and so are the dynamics of your circumstances. In opting for the easiest most inexpensive method, you risk that when the laws change again you will not know how it impacts your current strategy nor will you know how you will need to modify your plan based upon changes in your dynamics. Estate planning is an on-going process. You do best by finding a specialized attorney who is the "right fit".See question
power of attorney change
The law requires that your Nana have legal capacity to execute a power of attorney. If she is confused and forgetful, she may not have the requisite capacity to change her old power of attorney and name your aunt. Assuming your aunt does have capacity, then she may name your aunt as the power of attorney and remove you. However, if the "convincing" amounts to "undue influence", the naming of your aunt may not be valid. To protect your aunt, you must first verify that you have power to act on her behalf. If you were named as an immediate power of attorney, then you may act on her behalf as of the moment you were named in the document. However, if your Nana prepared a "Springing Power" of attorney, then a triggering event must first occur before you can act on her behalf (typically incapacity as confirmed by 2 doctors).See question
does a trust need to be written by an attorney?
Absolutely not. However, most estates confront a labyrinth of different area of law simultaneously. In many instances you will be facing contract law, real property law, family law, asset protection law, tax law, probate law, trusts and estates law and elder law. If your trust is prepared by the untrained and inexperienced eye, you risk too much. Further, over time the strategies that we attorneys recommend to our clients evolve based on changes in the law and unique circumstances we encounter in our everyday practices. If for no other reason, consider hiring counsel so that if there is an error there is recourse.See question
I have 2 checks under $15,000. made to her that is all of her estate i am trying to find out how i would be able to cash them what legal process do i have to go through
Assuming there are absolutely no other assets in her estate, the heirs at law may seek from the check issuing entity that those checks be re-cut in the name of the heirs at law. The procedure that would allow for this is found in CA probate code 13101 - 13106. The document you may need is called an "Affidavit of Small Estate". Often the issuing entity has such a form available. Also, you will have to wait at least 40 days since the date of death of your mother.See question
what is the time frame required to contest a will after the person has dies in washington state?
You would have to check the statute for the State of Washington. Typically you have a set number of days to contest a will. Of course there are exceptions, so you should be clear on those. You should also look into the "no contest" clauses within that statute so that you do not inadvertently cut yourself out of any beneficial interest you may have in that Will (assuming you are a beneficiary).See question