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Los Angeles Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

What should an inventory of your loved one’s estate include?

Many articles explaining the probate process, and even this blog, often state just how important it is for personal representatives and surviving family members to create an inventory of their loved one’s property. It is not only necessary for the probate process, but it can also make it much easier for you and your family to navigate probate during the tough time after your loved one’s death.

However, many people still have the question: how do you create an inventory?

What should you do if a loved one is mentally incapacitated?

As loved ones age, families can run into many tough decisions about how to care for them. These decisions become even harder if loved ones start losing mental capacity.

So, what can families do if they believe their loved one is mentally incapacitated?

How do you close a probate estate?

It is no secret that the probate of an estate can be a long and complicated process. There are several details families must be aware of and steps a personal representative must complete to bring the estate to a condition for it to be closed and distribute the assets left behind.

However complex the process is, what about when it is complete? What is the process for closing a probate estate in California?

What are the early signs of dementia?

According to the World Health Organization, someone is diagnosed with dementia roughly every three seconds.

That can be an alarming fact to think about, especially if you have aging parents or loved ones, or a family history of dementia. However, being on the lookout for the symptoms of dementia can help you ensure your loved ones get the care they need as soon as possible. So, here is an overview of some of the common symptoms and signs your loved one might have dementia.

Trustees: Keeping detailed records is critical

Taking on the role of a trustee is a great responsibility. In the past, we have discussed the particular legal duties that trustees have when administering a trust in California. However, another essential task all trustees should complete is keeping records throughout the entire process of the trust administration.

Organizing a system to maintain records is important to avoid legal disputes and liability, but also to ensure that trustees accomplish all of their duties.

So, here is a brief overview of some of the items that trustees should document.

When is it time to consider getting a professional caregiver?

When parents start aging, many adult children take on the duty of caring for them. Many might see it as their responsibility since their parents took care of them as they grew up. 

However, becoming a caregiver can be both a physically and emotionally stressful situation for any one person and their family. Caregivers might see it as their duty to care for their parents, or the caregiver may be the elderly parent's legal conservator who has the legal responsibility to secure quality care the parent needs. But when might it be time to consider obtaining a professional caregiver?

Tips for talking estate planning with your parents

There are two topics that many individuals do their best to avoid talking about: money and the end of their life.

This was clearly shown in a 2016 study conducted by Fidelity Investments. The study found that many families disagree about when it is necessary to discuss finances and end-of-life concerns. And nearly 43% of parents reported that they had not had conversations with their adult children about these topics.

What does it take to probate a holographic will?

Many people know that creating a will often involves several steps, including taking an inventory of one's assets and clearly documenting one's wishes. And then, they must go through the process of ensuring their will is valid by finding fit witnesses to sign the will and attest that the individual was of sound mind when they created and signed their will. 

However, in California, this is not the only option that individuals have to establish a will. California law accepts holographic wills as a valid will. However, families should be aware that they might run into some obstacles if their loved one has a holographic will.

What is ancillary probate?

Nowadays, many people own property outside of their home state. Whether their family has a cabin or a vacation home, the out-of-state property can provide a nice getaway from everyday life for everyone in the family. 

But what happens to this property if your loved one who owned it passes away? 

FAQ: How long does probate take?

The probate process can be a complex situation to navigate. And dealing with such a complicated process after losing a loved one can be distressing. 

Because of all of the details and emotions involved in this process, California families are often left with a lot of questions when they are facing the probate process. One of the most common questions that families have is: how long could probate really take?

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