Inheritance Law – Sirkin Law Group

When you are handling any matter involving inheritance law, you may want to look into California’s Probate law about many topics.  Inheritances or legacies can get complicated because California’s community property rules play into who  actually inherits, and how much is inherited depending on whether or not the asset is community or separate in nature.

Does the wife inherit all or just some of the assets if there is no will?

The answer to that question depends on each asset.  You have to determine if the asset is community, the wife gets all of it, when there is no will.  That wife can be a wife of 50 years, or 15 minutes.   If the asset is separate property, the share of the wife (assuming she is the survivor) can be 1/3, if there are two or more children.  The share varies with the number of children.

How does the law protect children from a prior marriage?

California’s estate law is complex.   If a step-parent inherited real property from her spouse, and the deceased spouse had children from a prior marriage, then the children from the former marriage of a deceased spouse get her share under certain timelines.  If the spouse died within 15 years from the decedent and his real property had gone to the decedent, the step-children have rights to their parent’s share which landed in the deceased’s estate.

Probate Code 9402.5 provides

“(a) For purposes of distributing real property under this section if the decedent had a predeceased spouse who died not more than 15 years before the decedent and there is no surviving spouse or issue of the decedent, the portion of the decedent’s estate attributable to the decedent’s predeceased spouse passes as follows:

(1) If the decedent is survived by issue of the predeceased spouse, to the surviving issue of the predeceased spouse; if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the predeceased spouse they take equally, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take in the manner provided in Section 240.”

If you have received a notice of hearing, and you are wondering why you have received it, look to us to guide you in California’s inheritance law.  Call Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479

Is your inheritance at risk when a conservator is appointed? Call Sirkin Law

When a conservator is appointed for the estate of someone who lacks capacity, the law allows the conservator of the estate to  manage the money of the conservatee which sometimes can pose a risk to the conservatorship and the ultimate inheritance of the beneficiaries of the incompetent person.

Types of Risks in Conservatorships Law that translate to inheritance risk by law:

  1.   Risk of negligence with respect to investments.
  2.   Risk of mismanagement of assets.
  3.   Risk of overspending on conservatorship administration expenses.
  4.   Risk of financial elder abuse by persons other than the conservator.

What are the stop-gap measures to safeguard the assets in the conservatorship?

  1.   A bond, which protects the estate from the actions of the conservator of the estate.
  2.   Liability insurance insuring the conservatorship estate.
  3.   Periodic review of accountings.
  4.   Objections to a conservatorship inventory filed by the conservator if an asset is missing from the list.

Do family members have a right to object to the fees of the conservator and his attorney?

1.   Generally, yes.  However, in Los Angeles, the court appoints a PVP attorney to review those fees and report to the court.

Free evaluations and consultations are available at Sirkin Law Group regarding conservatorship administration expenses and risks, and their impact under the law on your inheritance.  Call Mina Sirkin, experienced conservatorship lawyer at 818-340-4479 to discuss how to protect your inheritance, if your family member is conserved.

Related Articles: Conservatorships in Los Angeles California.


Inheritance Disputes in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, Inheritance disputes generally arise after a person dies, and the range of inheritance law disputes can be very broad.  In disputes case involving inheritances, the disputes usually have arisen long before the actual inheritance battles begin, and often during the life of the parent or the deceased person.   Often, they rift is deeply rooted in old feelings among the parties. Some of the disputes involving inheritances can include:

  1. Whether a disputed property should be sold;
  2. Who should inherit the assets?
  3. Whether someone should be entitled to live in the property;
  4. When does the property get sold, and at what price.
  5. Who gets the personal property of the decedent?
  6. Rights of second spouses to the estate.
  7. Determination of application of prenuptial agreements to estate assets.
  8. Determination of rights of third parties to assets of decedent.
  9. Determination of rights of the decedent to assets in hands of others.

We are here to assist you with all aspects of inheritance disputes in Los Angeles.  Contact: Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479 inheritance law attorney in Los Angeles County for a free estate and inheritance consultation.


How the Court Views Inheritance Disputes in Los Angeles

Each year, the Court participates in the View from the Bench, a meeting of attorneys and judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court who are invited to speak about how each judge views inheritance disputes and litigation.

Some of the take aways from the most recent View from the Bench were:

  1.  Heirs and beneficiaries spend too much money fighting about inheritances, and time fighting, and not enough time mediating their disputes.
  2. Judges are frustrated by the number of cases filed in Los Angeles County probate court.  On average, there are 16000 new cases filed in probate in Los Angeles annually.   There are on average 7-8 judges assigned to the probate departments in Los Angeles. That is an average of 2000 new cases per year per judge.   This does not include the cases which are ongoing.
  3. With the advent of electronic filing in probate, judges now have to deal with a faster pace of documents arriving on their desktops.  Sometimes, the electronic filing providers do not provide the probate documents to the court’s services on time.  Litigants have to be ready to deliver paper copies of conformed probate pleadings to the court, on demand at any hearing.
  4. On a positive note, the probate attorneys at the court are processing probate notes at a faster rate.   Judges expect that notes will be posted to the court’s website at least a week before the hearing.

So, if you are having an inheritance dispute with your family members, keep in mind the volume of cases and how the court views inheritance disputes in Los Angeles.

Mina Sirkin is a Board Certified Specialist in Probate, Trust and Estates,  Since 1992, Ms. Sirkin has handled thousands of beneficiary and inheritance dispute matters, and their protection in Los Angeles.  Call our probate attorney at 818.340.4479