My stepfather and Mother had a living trust. Myself(son) and my sister as well as his son-in-law were named trustees. My Mother's house was paid off and there was substantial savings. My stepfather has now removed my sister and I and his son-in...
You need to contact a probate litigation attorney who practices in the county where your stepfather resides - that is the county that will have jurisdiction over the trustee. Make sure the lawyer has probate experience - a general civil litigator who does not specialize in probate might miss a number of important issues that need to be addressed. I would also suggest that you ask the lawyer to petition for an accounting of the the trust transactions since your mother's date of death.
When you choose a litigation lawyer, keep in mind that the Alameda County Courthouse is in Berkeley, so if you don't want to pay for a couple of hours' round trip travel time for the lawyer each time s/he goes to court, you might choose someone whose office is closer to Berkeley than to Hayward. Having said that, though, I believe there's a proposal to start hearing probate cases in Hayward again.,,,See question
I'm a funeral consultant and would like to help my clients with self-help estate planning. Is it legal for me to charge a fee to help them? I'm not lawyer, LDA, or paralegal.
It is a misdemeanor for a non-attorney to charge clients for legal services. Preparing an estate plan is a legal service. I'm a member of the State Bar's Board of Trustees. The legislature has been encouraging us to pursue people who are practicing law without a license more vigorously - they view it as part of our mission to protect the public against scam artists.
I suggest you think long an hard about what you're proposing - and I hope that you decide the best course of action is to refer your clients to lawyers who are skilled in estate planning.See question
Shall we put "LAST" word for "Wills" even if it is the first "WILLS"? Please advise. thanks
As Ms. Sinclair states "ttorney's don't sell pieces of paper; they sell services".
If you aren't sure of the legal reasons for calling your will a "last will", it seems to me that you don't understand some of the fundamental issues that you need to know to make sure everything passes to the people you want to pass your things to at the time of your deaths.
Most lawyers don't charge a lot of money to set up a will. I urge you to see a competent estate planning lawyer. And remember, there are no "do-overs" if you don't do this correctly before you die.See question
That say there's a living trust for life insurance only for my uncle. He has already empty his home and will not give me any information on if there is a will or trust.
I'm sorry about your father's death. If your father's estate is worth $150,000 or less then you (and your siblings) can collect the bank account by using a "small estate affidavit" UNLESS your father named someone as his "pay on death" beneficiary (in that case the POD beneficiary is entitled to the account). If the estate is worth more than $150,000 then it will need to be probated (unless all of the assets are held in a living trust - it's unclear from your question whether there's a trust or not).
I urge you to contact a probate lawyer in the city where your father lived.See question
We have lived in the US for 4 years, our children were born here and we own a house. We also own life insurance policies. My friend said we might get the full estate tax exemption but I saw our exemption might only be $60,000 since we're nonreside...
I respectfully disagree with Bob Bergman. Even though you would be considered "residents" for income tax purposes, "residency" is irrelevant for estate and gift tax purposes. The estate and gift tax sections of the Internal Revenue Code deal with "domicile" - and by definition, a non-resident alien is not domiciled in the United States (in fact, there have been cases where the Courts have held that a green card holder is not domiciled in the US for estate tax purposes).
This is a highly specialized area of estate planning. It is one in which I have experience. My office is in Palo Alto, and I would be happy to assist you with this.
To address your particular question, when you are a non-resident alien, only assets that are considered to have a "U.S. situs" are part of your estate ... and it's interesting to learn what is not a "U.S. situs" asset.See question
My father's will said assets divided 50-50 between me and my brother. A cd account had my brother only listed as beneficiary. He says the money in that account is his alone. Does the money in that account go into the estate to be split?
I agree with Mr. Green. This is yet another example of why "do it yourself" estate planning is a bad idea.See question
My Grandfather passed away almost 30 years ago. He didn't leave a will and his house never went through probate. My Aunt has been living there as well as some of his great grand children. I would like to start probate now as the occupants have...
You definitely need a lawyer to assist you with this, as the other lawyers who answered your question said.See question
My mother passed w/ no will in place, she is survived by 4 children w/ a big estate. She put me as the POD on her bank account & i've been the only child to stay with her during her terminal 4 lung cancer. I have been living in her home for a ...
You can file an amended petition and list yourself as both the petitioner and also as the person being nominated to administer the estate ... assuming that the hearing date has not already occurred.
You indicate that you want to be the "sole executor/administrator" and also the "trustee". If your mother had a trust, then only the person named in that document as the "successor trustee" can be the trustee. If your mother didn't have a trust, the probate court will not create one now.
Although there are many reasons for wanting to be the executor/administrator/trustee of a person's estate, I suspect that one of your reasons might be that you think if you're in charge, you can do what you please and not have to distribute anything to your siblings. That's not going to fly....
It also seems to me like you're trying to do this yourself. As you can already see, it's not quite as easy as one might think. I urge you to get a competent probate lawyer to assist you.See question
i wish to buy property but dont have enough funds. can my parent, who is a non-US resident, invest in the property with me?
As Mr. Shultz indicates, your parents can certainly invest in a house with you - but it might result in their having to pay estate taxes in the US if the transaction isn't set up properly. Likewise, if they were to decide to make a gift of their interest to you, it could have significant gift tax consequences.
My office is in Palo Alto, and I provide international estate planning services. I would be happy to assist you in this matter.
You might want to download my free guide on this issue: http://www.calprobate.com/NRA/#See question
We have a residence valued at 1.3 Million and have about 500K in cash and 400K in retirement funds. Is a Will sufficient or should we establish a Trust. What type and how do we best go about it? What fees should we expect to pay?
If you pass away and your house isn't in trust, the executor and the attorney would each be permitted to charge approximately $31,000 as probate fees, whether the probate was quite simple or fairly complex ... and it was complex, they could probably charge "extraordinary" fees in addition to the $31K of "regular" fees. As a ballpark estimate, a trust would probably cost $2500 - $5000 depending on the complexity of your situation (age & maturity of your heirs, special concerns, etc.).
In addition, in California it's not unusual for a probate to take well over a year while a trust could probably be settled in days or weeks (but note - I usually recommend that the trustee not do things hastily, so unless there's a single heir and no potential problems at all, there's a process and it's not instantaneous).
There are many competent estate planning lawyers in the Palo Alto area. Choose the lawyer that you and your family feel the most comfortable with.
My office is in Palo Alto, and I'd be delighted to meet with you.See question