January 2018 Archives
For a trustee, being legally responsible for managing, investing, and distributing trust assets can be a daunting task, especially since the trustee is also legally liable should any breach of fiduciary duties occur. Consequently, if you are a trustee who wishes to resign or a beneficiary who wishes to remove a certain trustee, you have to act according to the guidelines dictated by California's trust laws.
Your parents built up their estate through hard work, dedication, smarts and a little bit of luck. Upon their deaths, they likely wanted you and your siblings to benefit from their tidy estate that may include heirlooms such as your great-grandmother’s dresser from the old country, plenty of investments such as stocks and retirement accounts, property and cash.
Stepmothers face numerous hurdles when becoming part of a blended family and blended families are particularly susceptible to tension and family disputes. Estate disputes between stepmothers and stepchildren are a common occurrence.
The late Charles Manson, who died at age 83 after decades in prison for orchestrating the deaths of nine people, continues to demand attention from the California legal system. A judge in Los Angeles must now evaluate competing legal claims for Manson's estate. The judge must determine the legitimacy of at least two wills attributed to Manson and three people presenting themselves as heirs.
Challenging a will can be a daunting task, but California residents that believe they have a valid claim may be able to successfully contest a will. Nationwide, 99 percent of all wills pass through probate without problems arising. Probate courts generally stick pretty closely to what the will says since it represents the last wishes of the deceased person.
Californians who are fans of Prince might be interested in learning about the latest twist in the administration of his estate. Recently, the new special administrator who was appointed by the court to oversee the estate submitted findings that Prince's estate should seek the recoupment of legal fees and costs that the estate paid to its former attorneys in a failed $31 million deal with Universal Music Group.
When contesting a will, you must have valid grounds. Challenging a will can be problematic because the testator, the author of the will, cannot defend or rationalize their wishes. The court system tends to stick to the testator’s wishes as outlined in the will unless the challenger can prove valid grounds for the will to be contested.
When a loved one passes away in California, sometimes the will may carry with it some bitter surprises. This is the case for relatives of one retired factory worker, a lifelong loner who lived by himself and died of advanced dementia at the age of 92. After a funeral service which family members were excluded from, they learned that his entire estate, as well as his power of attorney for medical issues and his annuities, were given to a financial adviser that he met 10 years prior to his death.