Your Guide to Expert Advice

The Chapman Law Firm is here to provide you with answers to common questions about estate planning guidance and more. Our firm specializes in providing expert assistance and advice to help you navigate the intricate world of estate planning. Whether you're looking for information on wills, trusts, probates, or any other aspect of estate planning, we're here to provide clarity and guidance at every step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Probate is a legal process that involves court monitoring to administer and distribute the estate of a deceased individual.

It does not mean you can avoid probate if you have a will. The will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for property distribution and names the person responsible for carrying out those wishes. However, even if you have a will, your estate will still need to go through the probate process. While having a will is a good idea, it does not eliminate the need for probate.

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows your successor trustee to distribute your trust estate to the beneficiaries you identified without needing formal probate.

The California Probate Code governs estate litigation and management during probate. It provides guidelines for the creation and execution of durable powers, trusts, wills, and other estate-planning documents. Although the trust administration process is usually not supervised by the courts, the Probate Code still regulates it.

It is essential to create a well-drafted trust during the estate planning process. However, funding the trust is equally crucial. The trust is like a vessel, and what you put into it is up to you. Therefore, following the instructions provided by your attorney for funding the trust is just as important as creating the trust itself.

Consulting with an estate planning attorney periodically or after any significant changes is highly recommended.

The person appointed as the successor trustee will be responsible for creating an inventory of all the assets held in the trust. They will need to sell some of these assets and distribute the trust's estate per the wishes of the person who created the trust. The successor trustee must follow certain trust administration formalities in California, per the Probate Code. However, the trustee and beneficiaries can agree and forego some formalities. Depending on the situation, trust administration can be either simple or complex.

Trust administration refers to the process of managing and distributing a trust. In contrast, a trust dispute is a disagreement arising regarding a trust's administration. A trust dispute can typically be resolved through an informal or formal agreement, settlement, or mediation. However, in some cases, the dispute may escalate to litigation, where the probate court will ultimately determine the outcome of the dispute.

Have More Questions

Did we miss anything? If you have more questions or still need help with the legal terms, reach out to our team at The Chapman Law Firm, and we will assist you.