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Getting married: I am an american male marrying a European female. What steps we should take to be legally married in California.
What financial, legal matters we should consider before signing.

Asked almost 3 years ago in Family

Sarah’s answer: There are many considerations which are too detailed to go into in this sort of forum. Getting married is very simple - go to the County Clerk's Office in the county where you want to get married, apply for the license and follow the instructions.
If your wife-to-be wants to become a U.S. Citizen, you should consult an immigration attorney. Depending on your assets, you may also want to consult an estate planning attorney. If you marry in California, you should be aware that it is a community property state.This means that your earnings and purchases during marriage are community property - you both have a half interest in them.

Answered almost 3 years ago.


Each year our escrow keeps falling short why: For each year since we bought this house or escrow keeps comming up short and then they keep raising our payments. Why can't they catch it before it happens so we DNT have payment increase ? every year does property taxes raise ?

Asked almost 3 years ago in Real Estate

Sarah’s answer: If you feel that the value of your home has decreased, you could try to contact your local property tax assessor to adjust the assessed value.

Answered almost 3 years ago.


Preparing Estate Tax Returns - Attorney or tax preparer?: Should the Estate tax returns be included in the attorney's base probate fee? and actually prepared by them? I ask this because it seems many law firms provide this service as part of probate, do they charge this as an expense, like the ref, or pay it out of the base court awarded probate fee? I found this online from a law firm back east... "Thus, if an attorney uses an outside accountant (not an employee of his firm) to prepare any income or estate tax returns or the probate account, the attorney’s fee should be reduced by the accountant’s, so their combined fees do not exceed the amount of an attorney’s fee for doing all work.". Any one agree with that or should the estate be expected in So. California to pay for an outside tax prep?

Asked almost 3 years ago in Tax

Sarah’s answer: I agree that the Estate Tax returns should be prepared by someone qualified to do them, such as a CPA, or the attorney if he or she has this experience and knowledge. As to the fee, you seem to be referring to the California statutory probate fee. That fee is for basic legal services for handling the probate process. Attorneys can also request fees on top of the statutory fee for extraordinary services. Some things that would generally be considered extraordinary would be handling the sale of real estate as part of the probate and tax returns as well. You can always attempt to negotiate with the attorney for a fee lower than the statutory amount. However, your success with that will depend on the complexity of the estate and the amount of work required.

Answered almost 3 years ago.