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How to Initiate Probate Litigation in California

In California, probate petitions are initiated in superior court where the court has jurisdiction pursuant to probate code section 7050. The superior court has jurisdiction over (1) will probate and will contests, (2) the appointment or removal of personal representatives, (3) estate management and (4) the distribution of the probate estate. One issue that comes up when initiating a probate proceeding is the property venue – the place to file the lawsuit. If the decedent (person who died) was living in California at the time of their death, then the proper place to commence the probate is in the county where the decedent lived prior to their death. Probate petitions or responses thereto must be verified under Probate Code section 1021. This means that the

Posted in Probate Disputes

Probate: When Is it Necessary?

 What is Probate? In the wake of a loved one’s death, many families and friends may be faced with a necessary, but unenviable, task of sorting out the decedent’s estate. This process, when the Court is involved, is called “probate.” Probate is the court-supervised administration of a decedent’s estate.  Historically, the term “probate” only involved the specific process of establishing a decedent’s will before the court. In modern usage, probate refers to the entire process of court-supervised estate administration, regardless of whether the decedent died with a will or without one, i.e. testate or intestate. When Is It Necessary? Whether probate administration is necessary varies depending on a number of factors – not all property in which decedent had an ownership interest is subject to probate

Posted in Joint Tenancy, Ownership, Probate Disputes, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles, Wills / Trusts

What is Probate?

What is probate? Probate is a word that most people have heard but few really understand.  They may have some idea that “probate” is something that happens when a loved one passes away, but they often have very little information beyond that.  Let’s take a brief look at what probate court is and when you might need to bring a case there. Probate courts deal with the financial and proprietary issues that come up when a person dies.  A probate court is where you go to determine whether a will is valid or to interpret the terms of a trust.  Probate courts are also responsible for transferring ownership of any property from the person who recently passed away (the “decedent”) to the decedent’s heirs or

Posted in Probate Disputes, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles, Wills / Trusts

5 Things to Know about a Transfer on Death Deed (TOD)

On January 1, 2016 Assembly Bill 139 went into effect in California allowing a non-probate method for conveying real property upon death, now known as a Revocable Transfer on Death Deed (“TOD Deed”).  This deed is really just a future conveyance that provides that a certain person will get the property upon their transferor’s death. How it works?  The grantor determines that they would like their property to go to someone upon their death.  They record the TOD and then when they die the person who they named in the deed gets the property.  But, before they die, they can change their mind and decide that they do not want the property to go to that person upon their death – very much like a

Posted in Deeds, Probate Disputes, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles, Transfer on Death Deed

Conservators Cannot Represent Conservatees In Pro Per (Without Counsel) in Legal Proceedings

In California, the Courts may appoint a conservator for any individual who is gravely disabled due to a mental disorder.  (Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 5350.)  Gravely disabled means a condition in which a person, as a result of mental disorder, is unable to provide for his or her basic personal need for food, clothing, or shelter.  (Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 5008.)  Once appointed, the Court may grant a conservator substantial powers, including the power to require the conservatee to receive medical attention and, when granted by the Court, the power to place the conservatee in a psychiatric nursing facility.   (Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 5358.) While granted substantial powers, conservators, who are unlicensed to practice law, must remember that they

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Posted in Conservator, Probate Disputes

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Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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