Have You Ever Wondered What Happens If You Die Without a Will in California?
Sometimes we get so busy with daily life that we forget to take time out to plan for big life events, like distribution of our assets after we pass away. Writing a will and creating an estate plan is one of those important things on our list that we intend to get to someday, but there never seem to be enough hours in a day.
Unfortunately, this means some people pass away without a will. So you may be wondering what happens if you die without a will in California? If you die in California without creating a valid will, then you’re said to die “intestate.” This means the distribution of your remaining property and assets will not necessarily proceed a[...]
Placer County is stunning – graced with a breathtaking national forest, picturesque parks and Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. The county has a rich and storied past – and, a vibrant present. It is a great draw for people of all ages.
It’s population is over 400,000 people. About 20% of its residents are 65 years and older. It is this age group – seniors – who are sometimes targeted for elder financial abuse – financial exploitation by a wrongdoer who uses or takes the assets of a vulnerable elder adult for his or her own financial benefit. These takings can occur by outright theft, fraud, or even changes in estate plans.
One of the most tragic financial takings is that of the family home[...]
Over 200 million Americans are staying home – sheltering in place. Covid-19, the culprit behind our need to take cover, is capturing the world’s headlines.
And, we Americans, overwhelmed by minute-by-minute breaking news, want our questions answered. Headlines are not enough.
And, the first question is how does the Coronavirus impact our bodies. The answer to the question is better shown, than told.
So, thanks to the generosity of High Impact, a leading team of animators, forensic experts and physicians, this most important question is answered. High Impact is nationally known for assisting firms like Hackard Law in telling stories in ways that mere words cannot describe.
The leaders of High Impact freely share this video wi[...]
When someone wrongfully takes the family home in an estate or trust dispute, Sacramento heirs and beneficiaries end up frozen out and seemingly short of options.
Sacramento’s housing market has seen tremendous growth, and the median home value is just over $350,000. Unfortunately, higher real estate prices will tempt wrongdoers to steal the family home through fraud, undue influence and elder financial exploitation.
There are around 574,000 owner-occupied houses in Sacramento County, and residents 50 and older dominate ownership statistics at 65%. Senior citizens are more susceptible to fraud and undue influence, especially those suffering cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s or dementia, which means they’re more vulnerable to[...]
We have a cascade of coronavirus updates. Given our firm’s presence in litigating both probate and civil cases in California’s courts, we have an active interest in staying up to date how our judicial system is treating the coronavirus pandemic.
We collectively meet every Friday for a status review of cases and their scheduling requirements. Part of this review is an update of any changed court procedures. We can start with the highest court in the land.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday, March 12, that it “will be closed to the public until further notice amid the coronavirus pandemic.” As of today, March 13, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego Courts are approaching the pandemic in different ways.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an integral part of virtually all California civil lawsuits. ADR encompasses mediation, arbitration, court settlement conferences and neutral case evaluation. Less than 3% of civil lawsuits proceed to an actual trial.
So, mediation of a civil lawsuit is common. The common mediation scenario starts at the mediator’s office. The parties to the lawsuit are assigned different meeting rooms. Some mediators start the mediation with an introduction that gathers the parties together in the same room.
Now, you see where we’re going.
Given the current heightened concerns over the high contagion factor of COVID-19, two leading California mediation groups have issued outbreak advisories for mediation[...]
In the current age of digital information and global business, many estates present complicated issues involving international law. A testator may execute a will in one country and eventually die in another. Different countries across the world may harbor assets. Different tax regulations, probate laws, and administrative regulations may apply in each of these countries.
All of these complications can raise disputes among beneficiaries and increase the chances of probate litigation. The experienced Los Angeles estate litigation attorneys at Hackard Law also serve areas throughout California, including Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara. Here, they explain some of the complicated legal issues present within internatio[...]
For many people who make wills, the most important provision is identifying the beneficiaries who will inherit financial assets, real estate, and sentimental personal property. These generous testators often want to leave something for everyone. Unfortunately, when vast numbers of family, friends, and loved ones become involved, the chances of a will contest can increase.
Complicated legal issues and property disputes often require the assistance of a probate attorney. The experienced Los Angeles estate litigation attorneys at Hackard Law serve areas throughout California, including Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara. Below, they explain the potential complications raised in situations involving multiple heirs.
California has incorporated scientific knowledge into statutes defining undue influence and financial exploitation of elders. These legislative efforts culminated back in 2014 with the effective application of the new California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. These statutes provide a powerful remedy against undue influence, including instances of deathbed transfers.
Undue influence is defined by California Probate Code Section 15610.70 as “excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity.” It includes four elements:
Vulnerability of the victim
Apparent authority of the influencer
Even when a will is set in place, when a family member dies, disputes can arise as to the division of assets and settling the estate. The probate process must resolve all financial and property-related disputes caused by a person’s death. Because of this, probate courts are sometimes tasked with solving strange and unexpected problems.
This was the case after the recent death of notorious cult leader Charles Manson on November 19, 2017. Three months after his death, family members are still struggling to even get a hearing to resolve their conflicting claims to his remains.
Whatever common or uncommon problems you face, an experienced Santa Clara and Los Angeles probate attorney can protect your rights during the administrat[...]