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Probate Litigation Archives

What to do if a loved one has no will

When a California resident dies without a will, the process of settling their estate can get complicated. However, it is possible that the individual actually had a will and neglected to tell anyone about it. Even if an estate owner never mentioned a will, there could still be one saved on a computer or located in a filing cabinet.

Getting through probate in a proper manner

When an individual passes away in California or any other state, his or her estate may be subject to probate. This can happen if a person dies with or without a valid will. If a person does have a valid will, assets will be distributed according to its instructions. Regardless of how a person dies, a personal representative will be appointed, and a person may choose his or her representative in a will.

Probate process provides a means to challenge invalid wills

After a person in California dies, their estate enters probate, the process by which their property is transferred after death. Probate collects property, ensures debts are paid from the estate and then sees that the property is distributed according to the wishes of the person who passed away. This is possible if the person has enshrined their wishes in a written document, most frequently a will.

Estate litigation on the rise

Dealing with probate issues after the death of a loved one can be a difficult time for many families and individuals. However, this may be exacerbated when the situation is complicated by disputes over inheritances and other estate matters. A number of reasons can spawn estate litigation to deal with challenges and questions that emerge after a person's death.

Probate litigation can pursue claims against an estate

After a person passes away in California, his or her estate will enter into the probate process, where claims against the estate are handled. Probate claims can arise for any number of reasons from inheritance disputes to late wills that may have been executed due to undue influence by a beneficiary. Creditors of the deceased individual may also have a reason to file a claim once that person's estate has entered probate.

Several claims filed for probate of Charles Manson's estate

A California courtroom is the site of a battle over the estate of the late Charles Manson. Manson, who died in 2017 after spending almost five decades in prison, was notorious for his involvement in the murder of nine people.

Unsealing of Harper Lee's will reveals little new information

California fans of the work of the late author Harper Lee may be aware that in keeping with the private life she led, her will was also made private. However, on Feb. 27, following a lawsuit from The New York Times, the will was unsealed.

Family in battle with Yahoo over email account

A 42-year-old man died intestate in 2006 after a motorcycle crash. He had a Yahoo email account that he had created and shared with his brother. When his surviving siblings sued for full access to the account, Yahoo was initially granted a summary judgment. Now, the Supreme Court may make a ruling in the case, and its decision could have an impact on California residents.

Lawsuits related to James Brown's estate continue

A lawsuit filed in a California federal court in January is one of over a dozen dealing with the disputed estate of the singer James Brown, who died in 2006. Brown's will left around $2 million worth of effects to the six children he acknowledged as belonging to him, $2 million to his grandchildren to be used as scholarships, and most of the rest of the estate to the I Feel Good Trust, which was established by Brown to give scholarships to children in Georgia and South Carolina. Unfortunately, none of his beneficiaries have received that money.

3 parties making claims upon estate of Charles Manson

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.

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