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Recent Posts in decedent Category

When a CA senior with a joint bank account dies, do the funds belong to the decedent's estate or the co-signer?

California courts have long grappled with this issue -- when a California senior dies with joint bank account, who does the money belong to? Is it the decedent's estate, or the surviving joint ...
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Can my Will leave a gift to someone on the condition that he or she get divorced?

In California, probably not. It's fairly common for a person to want to leave an inheritance to someone, "but not if he or she is still married to that monster." A gift conditioned on ...
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Did Mickey Rooney's widow really contest her late husband's Will?

Yes. According to her attorney, Mickey Rooney's widow just filed a contest of her late husband's Will, in the probate department of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The complete story can be ...
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California Supreme Court determines No-Contest Clause Unenforceable

In its most recent ruling about wills and trusts, the California Supreme Court in Donkin v. Donkin (December 26, 2013) ruled that a challenge to a Trust does not trigger the Trust's ...
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Will the IRS give me an extension of time to file my portability election?

The short answer? Yes (for some estates without a filing requirement). The slightly longer answer? The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2014-18 which: "...provides a simplified method for ...
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May I lodge my original Will with the Court for safekeeping?

No. Only a decedent's Will may be lodged with the Superior Court ( California Probate Code §8200 ). If you're still alive, the court will reject the document for filing. You're better ...
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"Portability" - what's that got to do with the new 2013 IRS Estate Tax Return?

The IRS recently released its new Form 706, U.S. Estate Tax Return, here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f706.pdf Thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), and its new $5.25 million ...
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Do I Need Estate Planning?

When you think about it, estate planning is the process of making decisions now so that other people don't have to guess what you want done later (at your incapacity or death). A good estate plan, ...
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Do I need a Will?

We get this question a lot. And the California State Bar Foundation (one of our favorite providers of free, easy-to-read consumer guides on many legal subjects) does a good job providing the answer: ...
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Eureka! California's Unclaimed Property Law

Are you looking for lost money? Believe it or not, you could be one of millions of Californians who is owed money by the State. The California State Controller's Office acquires hundreds of ...
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Stephens Law Group - Agoura Hills Estate Planning Attorney
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