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Frequently Asked
Questions about Wills,
Trusts & Probate
Mina N. Sirkin
Certified Specialist Estate Planning Lawyer Los Angeles
Sirkin Law Group, P.C.
21550 Oxnard St. #300
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
818-340-4479
Email: Msirkin@SirkinLaw.com
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
What happens if you die
without a will?
• In California, if you die without a will, you are said to
have died intestate.
• California has a set of default rules for who gets the
estate if there is no will.
• Generally, as to community property, the surviving
spouse gets 100% of the community property if there
is no will in California.
• As to separate property, the children and spouse share
it depending on whether there are any children, and
the number of children.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
The Default Estate- No
will
Community Property: 100% to Spouse or Domestic
Partner, if any.
Separate Property:
If there are no children, the spouse gets it.
If there are children, ½ to spouse, and ½ if only one
child. If more than one child, then 1/3 to spouse and
2/3 split among the children.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
What is the Cost of Probate
Administration in Los Angeles
• Generally, there are several categories of fees and costs.
• Statutory Fees and for Personal Representative and for the
Attorney for the Personal Representative
• Extra-ordinary Fees for Personal Representative and his/her
lawyer.
• Bond (if not waived)
• Filing Fees for Petitions
• Probate Referee’s Appraisal Fees
• Miscellaneous Costs of Letters and Certified Orders
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
Translation of California
Statutory Fees
Estate Size Statutory Fees for Each Personal
Representative and his/her attorney
$100,000 $4,000
$200,000 $7,000
$500,000 $13,000
$800,000 $19,000
$1,000,000 $23,000
$2,000,000 $33,000
$3,000,000 $43,000
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
How long does it take to close a
probate estate in Los Angeles?
• A nice probate without any litigation in Los
Angeles can take about a year.
• Most cases take somewhere between 1-2 years to
complete.
• Complications can happen when there are
undiscovered assets or assets which have
escheated to the State of California or other
states.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
What if there is not enough money
to pay cash gifts in a will?
• Cash gifts usually get paid first before the residue.
• If there is no residue, and the cash gifts exceed
the size of the estate, the cash gifts get reduced
(called abated.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
What happens if the
deceased left more than one
will?
• If the decedent left more than one will, generally,
there is a presumption that the last one governs,
unless:
• You can show there was fraud, duress, mistake,
undue influence, or lack of capacity at the time of
execution of the will.
• In that case, there will be a will contest and the
court will set the case for a trial as to which will is
valid.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
What are the best ways to prevent
gold diggers from getting to your trust
assets?
• Preventing undue influence can be effectuated by:
• Naming a Professional Fiduciary as Successor Trustee
• Setting up an automatic change in the trustee to a
professional, once trustor reaches a particular age
• Creating an Exclusive Method of Revocation for the
Trust.
• Creating an Exclusive Method of withdrawal and
transfer of property from the Trust.
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
About Mina Sirkin, Los Angeles
Probate Lawyer
• Mina N. Sirkin has been practicing probate law in
Los Angeles County since 1992.
• Ms. Sirkin is a Board Certified Specialist in
Probate, Estate Planning, and Trust Law in
California.
• Frequent Media Expert on Estate and
Conservatorship Cases in Los Angeles
• Appeared on CNN, CNBC, Inside Edition,
RollingStone.com, KCET, NPR News
http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin

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Frequently Asked Questions About Wills, Trusts & Probate in Los Angeles | LosAngelesProbateLawyer

  • 1. Frequently Asked Questions about Wills, Trusts & Probate Mina N. Sirkin Certified Specialist Estate Planning Lawyer Los Angeles Sirkin Law Group, P.C. 21550 Oxnard St. #300 Woodland Hills, CA 91367 818-340-4479 Email: Msirkin@SirkinLaw.com http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 2. What happens if you die without a will? • In California, if you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. • California has a set of default rules for who gets the estate if there is no will. • Generally, as to community property, the surviving spouse gets 100% of the community property if there is no will in California. • As to separate property, the children and spouse share it depending on whether there are any children, and the number of children. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 3. The Default Estate- No will Community Property: 100% to Spouse or Domestic Partner, if any. Separate Property: If there are no children, the spouse gets it. If there are children, ½ to spouse, and ½ if only one child. If more than one child, then 1/3 to spouse and 2/3 split among the children. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 4. What is the Cost of Probate Administration in Los Angeles • Generally, there are several categories of fees and costs. • Statutory Fees and for Personal Representative and for the Attorney for the Personal Representative • Extra-ordinary Fees for Personal Representative and his/her lawyer. • Bond (if not waived) • Filing Fees for Petitions • Probate Referee’s Appraisal Fees • Miscellaneous Costs of Letters and Certified Orders http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 5. Translation of California Statutory Fees Estate Size Statutory Fees for Each Personal Representative and his/her attorney $100,000 $4,000 $200,000 $7,000 $500,000 $13,000 $800,000 $19,000 $1,000,000 $23,000 $2,000,000 $33,000 $3,000,000 $43,000 http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com
  • 6. How long does it take to close a probate estate in Los Angeles? • A nice probate without any litigation in Los Angeles can take about a year. • Most cases take somewhere between 1-2 years to complete. • Complications can happen when there are undiscovered assets or assets which have escheated to the State of California or other states. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 7. What if there is not enough money to pay cash gifts in a will? • Cash gifts usually get paid first before the residue. • If there is no residue, and the cash gifts exceed the size of the estate, the cash gifts get reduced (called abated. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 8. What happens if the deceased left more than one will? • If the decedent left more than one will, generally, there is a presumption that the last one governs, unless: • You can show there was fraud, duress, mistake, undue influence, or lack of capacity at the time of execution of the will. • In that case, there will be a will contest and the court will set the case for a trial as to which will is valid. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 9. What are the best ways to prevent gold diggers from getting to your trust assets? • Preventing undue influence can be effectuated by: • Naming a Professional Fiduciary as Successor Trustee • Setting up an automatic change in the trustee to a professional, once trustor reaches a particular age • Creating an Exclusive Method of Revocation for the Trust. • Creating an Exclusive Method of withdrawal and transfer of property from the Trust. http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin
  • 10. About Mina Sirkin, Los Angeles Probate Lawyer • Mina N. Sirkin has been practicing probate law in Los Angeles County since 1992. • Ms. Sirkin is a Board Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning, and Trust Law in California. • Frequent Media Expert on Estate and Conservatorship Cases in Los Angeles • Appeared on CNN, CNBC, Inside Edition, RollingStone.com, KCET, NPR News http://LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com Copyright 2017 Mina Sirkin