Mar
08
2018
0

What Assets Can Be Administered By The Probate Court When The Decedent’s Will Is Filed?

Only certain assets left through a person’s will can be administered through a probate proceeding.

For a married person, all of his or her separate property, which is in that person’s name alone, can be distributed through a probate court proceeding. Separate property is identified as what was owned by the decedent before marriage. In addition, separate property refers to assets acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance. If the decedent is single, all assets in the decedent’s name alone can be distributed through a probate proceeding. For community property, one-half of each asset which is titled in the couple’s names as community property can be handled through the probate court process. In addition, the portion or percent owned by the decedent with others as tenants in common can be subject to the probate court process. Assets that are not registered in the decedent’s name, such as furniture, coins and jewelry can also be distributed through probate.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, is general in nature, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek, CA Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Mar
02
2018
0

How Long Does A Probate Usually Take?

Probate proceedings typically take about a year to complete, and can take even longer depending on the assets and complexities of the case. After the petition is filed, notices are given and probate publication is made. Probate statutory time frames must be adhered to, and apply to various aspects of the probate, including filing dates, publication and creditors’ claims. If there are creditors’ claims against the estate, the probate can take even longer in order to resolve the claims. If beneficiaries contest certain aspects of the probate, such as the amounts of distributions and which parties are to receive which distributions, the probate proceeding could take even longer. Real estate can be sold during the course of a probate administration, even though the probate is being contested. When real property is sold during the course of a probate proceeding, the proceeds of sale are distributed from escrow to the probate bank account, pending completion of the probate proceeding.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek, CA Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Mar
02
2018
0

What Happens To A Mortgage During Probate?

Many probates involve real estate where a mortgage or loan, is secured by a deed of trust which is recorded against title of the subject real property. Properly recorded mortgages survive the death of the borrower/owner of the property, and remain as liens against the real property through probate. As a result, mortgages are not subject to probate creditors’ claims and time limits requirements for making a claim against probate. If a mortgage is not paid off during probate administration, the lender may eventually foreclose against the real property, even during the course of a probate proceeding. The probate administrator is not required to pay off the loan through probate. It is important to communicate with the lender through the course of the probate. If the lender knows that the subject real property is being marketed for sale during the probate, the lender will usually hold off on foreclosing, pending sale of the real property through the probate proceeding.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek, CA Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Mar
01
2018
0

Items Generally Exempted for Medi-Cal Qualification

If you apply for Medi-Cal, the following list includes items that are generally exempted for qualification.

  • Your home is exempted if it is your principal residence. When applying for Medi-Cal, you will confirm on the application that you intend to return home after your stay in a skilled nursing facility. Medi-Cal requires a “subjective intent in writing to return home” to establish the home as an exempt asset. We have our clients execute an “intent to return home” form when we prepare their asset protection estate plans.
  • IRAs, 401k’s and other “qualified accounts” are exempt. The applicant however must be taking RMD’s or some amount of principal and interest on a periodic basis.
  • Not more than $2,000 in cash in the applicant’s name, which could include savings and checking accounts.
  • One care is exempt. If a couple owns two cars, we request an exemption for the more expensive car.
  • Term life insurance is exempt, but whole life insurance cannot have more than $1500 cash value.
  • Burial plots are exempt, and prepaid irrevocable burial plans are exempt.
  • Qualified or work related annuities are generally exempt. Other annuities may be exempt according to the Medi-Cal regulations.
  • Household furnishings are exempt.

This list is not exhaustive, and this information is not to be taken as legal advice. You are encouraged to see your elder law and probate attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com, we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, probate avoidance, wills, trusts, powers of attorney and probates. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek Elder Law

Elder Law, Asset Protection,

Medi-Cal and Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

Feb
07
2018
0

The Personal Representative of the Probate Estate

When a probate is filed, the court will appoint a Personal Representative of the estate. This personal representative will be identified in the court proceeding as the executor or administrator of the estate. This person will sign and file the various documents that will be required by the court through the course of the probate proceeding. If there is a will naming an executor, the court will most likely name that individual as the executor of the estate. If there is no will, then the surviving spouse, the children of the decedent, parents, etc., can petition the court to be named as the “Administrator With Will Annexed.” The term “administrator” is also used when a person dies without leaving a will which would name an executor. If the executor named in the will has died or cannot serve for some reason, the court will appoint an administrator. If a former spouse is named in the decedent’s will as the executor, and there has since been a divorce, Probate Code § 6122 prevents the former spouse from serving as executor.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see Michael J. Yung, your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek Elder Law Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Feb
07
2018
0

The Probate Spousal Property Petition

Assets that pass to a surviving spouse can be confirmed to the surviving spouse, through a petition process in probate court. This is not a full probate, and is called a “Spousal Property Petition”. This petition process usually takes around two months to complete, as opposed to around a year that is needed to complete a full probate. California Probate Code § 13500 provides for this petition process. The petition can be filed by a surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner. If a will exists, and the only beneficiary named in the will is the surviving spouse, then the property will pass to the surviving spouse. If the will lists other beneficiaries in addition to the surviving spouse, then only the property listed in the will that goes to the surviving spouse is subject to the petition. If there is no will, the community property can also be passed to the surviving spouse through the “Spousal Property Petition.” For the spousal property petition, the probate court will require that the probate form “1-DE-221, Spousal Property Petition”, be completed and signed by the surviving spouse. The petition will need to be supplemented with an explanation as to why the subject property should pass to the surviving spouse.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek, CA Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Feb
07
2018
0

Assets That Are Not Subject To Probate

Not all assets are subject to probate. For instance, life insurance policies that name a specific beneficiary are not subject to probate. If however, you name “my estate” or “my children” as beneficiaries, a probate will probably be required. Retirement accounts, also known as “qualified accounts” like IRA’s and 401K’s, are not subject to probate if they name a specific beneficiary. Title to real property that is held in a revocable living trust is not subject to probate, because the real property will be distributed to the beneficiaries of the trust, by operation of the terms of the trust. Title to real property that is held in joint tenancy or community property with right of survivorship will not require probate. However, if you die with your name alone on the deed, and the property is not in your revocable living trust, a probate will be required.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Probate Attorney.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek, CA Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Feb
05
2018
0

Medi-Cal Treatment of Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgage loans are designed for homeowners who are 62 years of age or older, and who have a substantial amount of equity in their homes. The amount of equity is usually the difference between the fair market appraised value of your property, and the amount due on existing mortgages. As the borrower under a reverse mortgage, you can receive monthly or other periodic payments. You can also have access to the funds, like a line of credit, that you can draw on when needed. You make no payments until the loan is paid off, when you pass away and the property is sold, or when you go into a long term care facility for an extended period of time. For Medi-Cal qualification purposes, the State does not treat the amount of the loan as an asset. However, when you receive money from the reverse mortgage lender, Medi-Cal will treat that receipt of money as an asset in the month you receive it. As a result, you will need to spend that money down before the end of the month to meet the Medi-Cal qualification limits. A caveat on a reverse mortgage is that if you as the borrower go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, the loan may be called due, and the secured home will have to be sold. The proceeds of sale, which become a cash asset, could make you ineligible for Medi-Cal.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Michael J. Young

Elder Law and Asset Protection Attorney

Medi-Cal Attorney Walnut Creek

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

Jun
05
2012
0

Probate – Joint Tenancy Transfer Without Probate

Real property held in joint tenancy can be transferred upon the death of one of the owners of the property without a probate. However, this is not always a good idea.

For instance, lets assume that John Doe is the owner of 123 Wilkins St., and John Doe wants his friend Jim Smith to obtain title to the property upon John Doe’s death. This can be accomplished by John Doe granting the property with the use of a Grant Deed to himslef, John Doe and to Jim Smith, as joint tenants. Upon the death of one of the parties, an affidavit death of joint tenant with a death certificate attached is recorded with the county recorder. The survivor of the two individuals will now have sole title to the property. No probate is necessary. A probate will be necessary on the second death if nothing else is done.

This method of estate planning can avoid probate, but can create other issues. We have seen situations where parents have transferred their home to their children for government benefits planning and asset protection purposes. For Medi-Cal, the home can be established as an exempt asset and then transferred. But what happens if the child who has come onto title is having financial difficulties? If there is an abstract of judgment in the amount of $100,000 recorded with the county recorder against the child who is now on title, the lien created by the abstract of judgment in the amount of $100,000 has now attached to the parents’ home. This is not a good result.

A better method may be for the parents to create a revocable living trust in their names, and then transfer the property on the record to the trustees of the trust. Upon the passing of both spouses, the property should pass to the children without a probate and court involvement.

For government benefits planning and asset protection purposes, an elder law attorney such as Michael J. Young, probate and elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA, Contra Costa County, can draft the trust and related financial durable powers of attorney in such a way as to allow for intervivos, or lifetime transfers of real proprty between spouses and children, if necessary in the event of incapacity.

Written Michael J. Young, elder law attorney and probate attorney in Walnut Creek, CA and former in-house counsel for title insurance companies. www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing homes, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney

May
31
2012
0

Probates with Real Estate –

PROBATE is a court proceeding that is used to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries at the time of your death. Probates are complex, and require that numerous forms and regulations be followed, before the court will sign an order distributing your assets to your beneficiaries or heirs. 

A probate with regard to your home and other real estate assets can usually be avoided with the use of revocable living trusts. To do this, title to your home would be transfered on the County Record from yourself, to yourself as trustee under your revocable living trust. For instance, the deed would be from John Doe to John Doe as Trustee of the John Doe Revocable Living Trust dated January 15, 2012. The terms of the trust will state who the home will be distributed to after you die, and this transfer can be completed on the County Record without a probate. 

However, not everybody passes away with their home in a revocable living trust. There are many occasions where individuals will pass away with their home in their name alone, and they may or may not have a will. A probate will probably be required whether they have a will or not. The terms of the will determine who the beneficiaries of the home will be. If there is no will, the home will be distributed to the “heirs at law” of the decedent.

With regard to real estate, a probate is required to clear the title so that the property can be distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs of the decedent, or so that the property can be sold and the proceeds of sale distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs. Clients will ask me why a probate would be required if the decedent has a will naming somebody as a beneficiary. To find the answer to this, we first need to first look at the County Record to see who the record owner is for the home. The last deed of record could be in the name of John Doe. John Doe is now deceased, so who can sign a deed from John Doe to his beneficiary? The answer is no one, which is why a court order would be required.

Written Michael J. Young, elder law attorney and probate attorney in Walnut Creek, CA and former in-house counsel for title insurance companies. www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing homes, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney

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