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Los Angeles Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Healthcare agents must be prepared

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict when a medical emergency could happen. But Californians can take measures to plan for situations like these.

When an individual gives someone they trust healthcare powers of attorney, they also give that person the responsibility of representing them and their wishes. This person is the healthcare agent. And the agent must be ready to take on this commitment and take action at a moment's notice.

Intestate succession Pt. 2: Tips for navigating probate

Even if a loved one passes away without making a will, the surviving family members usually still have to handle the probate process. This can leave families with a lot of questions.

So, here are a few tips that can help individuals through the California probate process when there is no will. 

Intestate succession Pt. 1: What is intestate?

When the famous artist Prince passed away in 2016, people everywhere mourned the loss of a great talent and celebrated his achievements and monumental music. Then, word quickly got out that he never made a will.

Passing away without a will can cause a significant amount of stress for surviving loved ones. For example, there are several issues over Prince's estate that have yet to be resolved years after his death. Even if individuals do not have nearly as many assets as Prince did when he passed away, dying intestate can still lead to complex issues during probate.

How could a limited conservatorship help you care for your child?

Raising a child with special needs can be a challenging, all-consuming, full-time job. It can also be highly rewarding, but parents know the demands often seem endless. It's not uncommon for them to live almost in orbit of their children, patiently tending to their meals, homework, medications and activities.

Then, magically, when these children reach age 18, the kids become adults in the eyes of the law and gain a whole range of new legal privileges and responsibilities. As a parent, you may suddenly find yourself held at arm's length.

Two things every conservator must know

Watching as loved ones struggle with their health can be a challenge. However, it can be dangerous when loved ones can no longer fulfill their basic needs. In these cases, it might be necessary for families to consider establishing a conservatorship to ensure their loved one gets the care they need.

California law favors family members to act as conservators on behalf of their loved ones, such as spouses or children. But regardless of who is chosen as a conservator, there are a few things they must consider to help them be a reliable conservator.

Being a caregiver isn't easy, but is technology the answer?

Being a caregiver can often feel like another full-time job. It is usually an unexpected duty that takes up most of your time and can leave you feeling incredibly stressed.

Of course, this does not overshadow the love you have for your elder who needs care, whether it is a parent or a grandparent. But there is no question that being a caregiver can be both exhausting and challenging.

A DIY (do it yourself) will can mean trouble in estate administration

The availability of information and software on the internet has led many people to attempt do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions even with potentially complex matters such as making an estate plan.

Though this might save some time and money in the short term, it can also lead to significant challenges with probate and estate administration.

How can you keep your children out of inheritance battles?

If you’re like most people who take the time to create a will, you want to arrange for your family’s support even after you’re gone. You may also want to spare them from a lengthy probate and soften the blow of your departure. However, if you’re not careful, your will could become a minefield.

According to Forbes, in nearly 70% of all affluent families, the death of a patriarch or matriarch leads to lost wealth and fractured relationships. The issue of inheritance can rekindle old rivalries. Children may expect more money or assign greater value to certain keepsakes than their parents would expect. When these disagreements lead to legal battles, they can drain money out of the estate and wreck relationships. But there are steps parents can take to prevent these problems.

How do you know if your loved one was under undue influence?

Not many people can imagine that someone would manipulate their elderly loved ones. However, it is a sad reality that some people will use others for their personal gain, including with respect to the creation of various estate planning documents including deeds, powers of attorney or a will. 

In California, individuals can contest a will if they believe their loved one was under undue influence while creating it. However, it is important for individuals to know the signs of undue influence so they can protect their loved ones, prevent undue influence in the first place or, if necessary, effectively contest a will.

Planning for pets is important too

Including an animal companion in an estate plan might seem like something reserved for celebrities. However, that is not the case at all. As much as we think of our pets as members of our family, not many people think to plan for their pet's future.

While individuals can include their pets in their will, they can also ensure that their pets receive the care they need with a pet trust.

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