Wills

Home/Wills

How Long Will it Take for My Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance?

2020-08-11T20:15:18+00:00

The answer to this question depends on what type of Estate Plan you have. Trust Administration typically takes between 6 to 9 months, but there are factors that can make it last longer, such as: Identifying all estate assets Preparing an accounting of all of the assets in the estate Selling real property Handling assets that were not properly titled in the trust For estates that must go through Probate because the decedent either had only a Will or died intestate, beneficiaries may wait at least 12 to 18 months. The availability of the court’s calendar and a designated [...]

How Long Will it Take for My Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance?2020-08-11T20:15:18+00:00

Do I need a Trust if I already have a Will?

2020-08-11T19:54:11+00:00

The short answer is: it depends. As Miranda explains in the above video, there are many factors that go into determining what type of Estate Plan is best for you. For example, if you have a Will but own real property, you should consider creating a Trust to give you more control over your assets and avoid Probate at your death.

Do I need a Trust if I already have a Will?2020-08-11T19:54:11+00:00

Wills In The News: Aretha Franklin Dies Intestate

2020-06-29T22:24:58+00:00

Wills In The News: Aretha Franklin Dies Intestate Recently, I wrote an article about how Richard Harrison’s reliance on a Will instead of a living trust meant that his family was unable to keep private matters private. In Richard’s Will, the “Old Man” of the Pawn Stars TV show “intentionally and with full knowledge” disinherited one of his sons—a fact he could have kept from the public eye by using a trust. Early in September, news of another celebrity estate-planning misstep broke: Aretha Franklin, who died on August 16, did not even have a Will. In other words, she died [...]

Wills In The News: Aretha Franklin Dies Intestate2020-06-29T22:24:58+00:00

The Hidden Danger of Living Wills – The Publicity of Probate

2020-06-29T22:25:03+00:00

The Hidden Danger of Living Wills – The Publicity of Probate [Transcription] I want to talk a little bit about wills and the publicity of having a probate. Hi there, Bridget Mackay of the Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California working in estate planning and elder law. And in the past, I've talked several times on video blogs and written blogs, the benefits of a trust over a will. And basically, the benefits of even just doing some level of estate planning, at a base level a will. However, I want to talk a little bit about [...]

The Hidden Danger of Living Wills – The Publicity of Probate2020-06-29T22:25:03+00:00

What Does Undue Influence Mean?

2020-06-29T22:25:13+00:00

What Does Undue Influence Mean? When a person dies without a Will, the rules of intestate succession determined by the California Legislature govern what happens to his or her property. A Will enables a person (called the “testator”) to make those decisions for him- or herself. But just because a person dies leaving a Will doesn’t mean that the Will will control, because there are several grounds on which a Will can be contested. A lot of the grounds for contesting a Will have to do with Will formalities: It wasn’t signed by the person making it, or there were [...]

What Does Undue Influence Mean?2020-06-29T22:25:13+00:00

Who Makes Funeral Decisions When You Die?

2020-06-29T22:25:19+00:00

Who Makes Funeral Decisions When You Die? [Transcription] Hi there. Bridget Mackay here with the Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, we do estate planning and elder law. And, today I want to talk about sort of a sad subject and that is, who has the right to make funeral decisions for you? If you're smart and you plan oftentimes you've made those choices and either a last will and testament or a health care directive here in California. And, you've designated a person who could make choices about where you're buried, whether you're cremated. Where your funeral [...]

Who Makes Funeral Decisions When You Die?2020-06-29T22:25:19+00:00

Tales of Caution: Don’t Try This at Home!

2020-06-29T22:25:28+00:00

Tales of Caution: Don’t Try This at Home! In May, the New York Post reported on an unfortunate fight over a New York City man’s multimillion-dollar estate. The story highlights an important point that I often try to emphasize on this blog: Estate planning is a complicated process, and it’s easy to get it wrong without a knowledgeable lawyer by your side. Let’s talk about what happened and what lessons we Californians should take from it. Stephen Evans’ Holographic Will Sometime last year, a New York man named Stephen Evans made a handwritten Will (which is also known as a [...]

Tales of Caution: Don’t Try This at Home!2020-06-29T22:25:28+00:00

California Will Contests: What You Should Know

2020-06-29T22:25:35+00:00

California Will Contests: What You Should Know In January, I published a video with the title “What Is A No Contest Clause?” In it, I explained that a no-contest clause is a tool that can help prevent a person from challenging your Will or trust. Today I want to expand on that video by looking at the flipside of that question and giving more detail on the process of contesting a Will. Who Can Contest a Will? Not just anyone can contest a person’s Will. Under California law, only an “interested person” can contest a Will, a class that includes [...]

California Will Contests: What You Should Know2020-06-29T22:25:35+00:00

California’s Statutory Will: Uses and Limitations

2020-06-29T22:25:43+00:00

California’s Statutory Will: Uses and Limitations If you were to thumb through the California Probate Code in your downtime—doesn’t everyone do this?—you would eventually come across section 6240, in which the California Legislature has created a Will form that Californians can use to dispose of their property at death. At first, you might think that’s awfully convenient, and wonder if you could put it to use for yourself? Well, maybe, but it’s a risk. In the first place, the statutory Will offers limited flexibility. If you have substantial assets, own a business, or want to create a trust or specifically [...]

California’s Statutory Will: Uses and Limitations2020-06-29T22:25:43+00:00