Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
Preparation of Living Trust and Related Documents
In order to organize and preserve assets prior to death, a living trust provides orderly and the least expensive transfer costs to keep assests out of probate and distribute the assets to the intended beneficiaries of your estate.
In the event there is a question of who the decedent's children are or if a beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, the court may entertain a motion to determine who the heirs of the decedent are and in what proportions the estate should be distributed.
Responsibilities include advice relative to payment of debts, marshalling of assets in the trust, and distributing the assets pursuant to the instructions of the trust estate.
Probating Last Will and Testament
The legal procedure to obtain a court order to admit a will and probate a will is complicated. All of the decedent's debts must be paid, the probate estate must be inventoried, and distributed only upon court order.
If a trust has been entered into without the requisite formalities, or the owner of the property does not have the capacity to enter into a trust, then the court may entertain a petition to determine whether or not a trust was created.
Wills must be executed pursuant to the CA probate code and the makers of the wills must have the requisite capacity to sign the will. In the event there are questions relating to signing and/or capacity issues, a will contest is a formal court proceeding to test the legality of the will in question.
Certain assets and valuation of those assets, can be transferred without probating the will. California probate code statutes provide for summary administration and/or transfer without probate. This procedure is available depending on the value of the assts and the relationship of the beneficiary or heir of the decedent.
Helpful Legal Resources:
San Diego Superior Court Home Page
San Diego County Recorder/Assessor/ Clerk
Find California Code
California Department of Housing and Community Development
California Business Portal
State Bar of California