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Estate Administration Archives

Clearing the family home from relatives who are squatting

It can be a huge hassle for an estate administrator to force his or her own family members to move out of a deceased parent's or other relative's former home. But this might be necessary to manage the property and get it ready to put on the market. Because of familial ties, these individuals may press all the guilt buttons while continuing to squat on the property.

For estate executors, it's all in the details

At this very moment, there are hundreds, even thousands, of individuals throughout California who have been handed the awesome responsibility of administering a substantial estate. For each, there are many ways that even the most well-intentioned executor or administrator can allow things to fall through the cracks.

Will the estate tax be repealed under the next administration?

With a Republican president in the White House next year and a Republican-controlled Congress, some people who have considerable assets to leave to their heirs are hoping that the estate tax (sometimes referred to by those opposed to it as the "death tax") will be repealed.

Is a qualified personal residence trust right for you?

When you're developing your estate plan, you need to determine what will happen not just to your primary residence but to your vacation home(s). Whether it's a centuries-old house by the ocean that's been in your family for generations or a mountain cabin where you spend Christmas vacations every year, these properties can have not just significant monetary value, but great sentimental value.

Helping executors and others manage your digital estate

Increasingly, more of our financial and social activity is carried out online. This can create a dilemma for surviving family members when someone dies. While people can and should designate an executor for their estate in their will, that designation doesn't give them access to accounts that are strictly online, such as some bank accounts and e-mail accounts.

What happens to a person's debts after death?

Generally, when people think about estate planning and administration, it's in relation to how a person's property, money and other assets are divided up and bequeathed to heirs and other beneficiaries. However, what happens to a person's debts when they die? That generally depends on the type of debt, what state the person lived in and whether or not there is a surviving spouse.

How long do you need to save estate documents?

Any person who has administered an estate knows that, even in this digital age, the amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. Once the estate is settled, it can be tempting to shred all of the documents that have been taking up room in your filing cabinets, drawers or wherever you've stashed them. Not so fast.

Understanding the basics of probate, and why you need an attorney

Two things in life are certain: death and taxes, which is probably why probate is a word that makes most people cringe. It forces you to consider your own mortality or comes into play after the loss of a loved one. You might find the term unfamiliar or confusing, not understanding what it actually means or what the process truly entails - and no one faults you for this.

California estates: when does a case belong in probate court?

Your loved one has passed away. Whether the passing took you by surprise or was expected after a long-term illness, it isn't easy to deal with their loss. When the only thing you want to do is mourn their death and look to the future, you have to think about their estate. You have to think about probate, something that can be very frustrating and confusing, particularly if this is the first time you have had to deal with the issue.

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