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Probate Section

The Law Offices of Tamara Benefield will help you plan your estate, represent you through the probate process, or contest a trust. First, we begin by developing a strong attorney client relationship in order to learn about you, your family and your finances. We then develop an “asset protection plan” to deal with your concerns. We also will develop a “legacy plan” based upon your goals of how best to leave your assets to your loved ones. We will make sure your have a properly drafted living trust and/or a will and review the one you may currently have in place. We have an advanced estate planning specialist who will handle larger portfolios with an irrevocable trust, a family limited partnership, a qualified personal residence trust, a minor's trust.

Probate Law

It is necessary for you to retain an Attorney who will handle your matters confidentially, competently and honestly"

Probate law is a set of laws that must be complied with in order to distribute the property of a person who has died. It is designed to make sure that the heirs receive the deceased person's intended legacy, small or large. The process of probate begins with a “petition” to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased’s property. Creditors must be notified by a Notice of Publication and debts must be paid if a creditor makes a claim. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.

Probate Law in California

The Law Offices of Benefield is here to guide you through the local rules, California Court Rules, Probate Code and the Internal Revenue Code as it applies to particulars of your case. Call now to consult with our firm, protect your assets and know your rights.

 

To:

From:

Date:

Re:

BASIC ESTATE PLANNING CHECKLIST

Family Information

A.

Husband's name:

B.

Wife's name:

C.

Address:

D.

Date of marriage:

E.

Place of marriage:

F.

Net Worth at date of marriage:

G.

Residence(s) since marriage:

H.

Names and ages of children:

I.

Prior marriages:

J.

Children of prior marriages:

K.

Children of deceased children:

L.

Other prospective beneficiaries:

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

(Indicate whether community, joint tenancy, separate property (H or W), or unknown.)

Request copies of all deeds relating to real estate.

REAL ESTATE: (Obtain addresses; legal descriptions; descrip-tion of i mprovements; dates acquired; cost basis; approximate present market value;encumbrances; manner of holding title.)



SECURITIES: (Obtain company names; number of shares; types of stocks or bonds; dates acquired; cost basis; approximate present value; manner of holding title.)



INSURANCE: (Obtain names of companies; addresses; policy numbers; type of insurance; face value; loans outstanding; name of insured; beneficiaries; method of ownership.)



PENSION AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS, IRA'S: (Name and address of company; nature of benefits; beneficiary designation.)



VALUABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY: (Jewelry, furniture, furnishings, art, stamp and coin collections, etc.)



BUSINESS INTERESTS: (Corporations; S corporations; general partnerships; limited partnerships; sole proprietorships; minority interests.)



OTHER ASSETS: (Beneficial interests in trusts; powers of appointment; expected inheritances; annuities; promissory notes (secured and unsecured); copyrights; patents; mineral rights.)



OUTSTANDING DEBTS AND LIABILITIES NOT DESCRIBED ABOVE:

DOCUMENTS FOR REVIEW

  1. Present wills, if any
  2. Trust documents
  3. Recent income tax returns
  4. Gift tax returns (1977 and thereafter)
  5. Deeds to all real estate
  6. Financial statements
  7. Insurance surveys, if any

For Business Interests: Tax returns, agreements affecting the business (e.g., stock purchase agreement); financial statements; pension and/or profit sharing plans; group insurance policies; business owned life insurance policies.

OUTLINE OF TESTAMENTARY PLAN

Named Executors:

Named Guardians (if applicable):

Specific, Demonstrative and General Gifts:

a.

Tangible personal property

b.

Principal residence

c.

Other gifts

Disposition of Residue: (1) marital deduction gift (outright or in trust, QTIP) (2) credit equivalent gift (outright or in trust); (3) other contingencies: