Common Questions Clients Have Before Seeing An Estate Planning Lawyer

1. Q: What is the difference between a trustee and an executor?

A: A trustee is a person who administers a trust. A trust is not usually administered before the court. An executor is a person nominated in a Last Will and Testament to administer an estate, usually before the court.

2. Q: How do I know if I need to probate an estate?

A: An estate in California must go through a probate administration if the assets of the estate are worth $150,000.00 or more. If there is real property in the estate, there may be a question about title, if the Decedent held title at the time of death. Often, if the property is "improved property," the parcel will need to be administered before the probate court. However, not everyone needs to administer a probate estate before the court. A brief consultation may provide the clarity you are seeking.

3. Q: Do I need to probate assets with beneficiaries named on accounts?

A: No, if an account or policy names a beneficiary, then the asset passes to that beneficiary. If the beneficiary is deceased, you may need to consult with an attorney to discuss how to proceed. A brief consultation may provide the clarity you are seeking.

4. Q: My loved one receives government benefits. Should I disinherit my loved one in order to protect their benefits?

A: No, it is not necessary to disinherit your loved one. There are estate plans available to provide for your loved one's special needs without compromising their benefits. A brief consultation may provide the clarity you are seeking.

5. Q: I am already a conservator or administrator. The court has ordered me to prepare an accounting. What do I do?

A: You must provide a full account of all funds which have come in and which have been disbursed from the estate you are managing. The format is specific, and you must include certain information. A brief consultation may provide the clarity you are seeking.

Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Daniel today to have your estate planning, probate and conservatorship questions answered. Contact the Redlands, California, office at 909-792-9244, or use the online form. We serve clients in San Bernardino and Riverside counties and surrounding areas.