As many California residents may be aware, a child with special needs can generate many expenses. While parents can meet those costs while they are alive, their main concern is most likely going to be regarding the special needs child's care after they pass away. At the same time, they have to ensure that the inheritance left to the physically or mentally disabled child does not affect their eligibility to receive public assistance, disability benefits, such as Social Security Income or Medicare or Medicaid.
As mentioned previously on this blog, deciding how one's assets will be distributed after their demise is not something many California residents enjoy thinking about. This is one of the main reasons people shy away from engaging in estate planning.
At the end of the day, most California residents believe that a will is a document that outlines where one's property will go in case of their death. Therefore, drafting a will should not be a complicated task-in fact, any person can create one in the comfort of their home if they have access to the Internet and a printer. These days, there are computer programs that generate wills that are straightforward enough for any layperson to understand and complete. Then why shouldn't they be used?
People about to engage in estate planning may have been told that creating a trust is the right to protect one's estate from probate and also ensure one's legacy lives on. However, what many don't realize is that there are different types of trusts that can be created for different purposes. Simply creating a trust is not enough to protect one's assets-one must be sure of what he or she wants to achieve. An experienced trust and probate litigation attorney can discuss relevant options with them.
Most California residents have lost a loved one and are therefore aware of the ups and downs of trust or probate administration. They often share their personal experiences with others, and might be tempted to stretch the truth a little bit in order to make the story more interesting.
Generally speaking, it's not easy to get a court to rule a will is invalid. For the most part, as long as the will follows all the formal requirements, a court is likely to find it is enforceable.
Many disputes in trust and probate litigation concern the validity of a will, and for good reason. A will is a very powerful document. The person who created the will is no longer around to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings, and so the language must be very precise. The probate court examining the will needs to be certain that the will represents the person's wishes, and so it must find that the will meets strict formal requirements. Some of the most difficult cases involve handwritten wills.
Many cases of trust and probate litigation arise when people who thought they might inherit something from a friend or relative find out only after that person's death that they were left out of the will. But if they aren't named in the will, how do they find out? The answer is in the California probate court's requirement of notice.
Sifting through the details of an estate after a loved one dies can be a difficult and stressful task. While these situations can sometimes be completed without any friction between the parties involved, disputes can easily break out because of the emotional nature of the process. If this happens, it's important to have the right kind of representation on your side.
In a recent California case that saw trust and probate litigation, six siblings named in a trust after their parents' deaths, couldn't agree on how to move forward. Five of the siblings were in agreement to leave the funds in the trust in hopes of appreciation. One sibling disagreed and wanted to be cashed out of the trust. How the court responded is certainly new precedent for these type of trust litigation cases.