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What Is an Executor? How Does and Executor Differ from An Estate Administrator?

Executors and administrators are both appointed by the court to take charge of an estate. They are both referred to as “personal representative of the estate.” The powers and responsibilities of executors and administrators are identical.

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Advice to People Who are Going to Give Testimony

Here is the advice I gave and will continue to give to clients who are going to testify at a deposition or a trial.

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Why Some Legal Documents Are Too Long and Why That is Harmful

Obviously, a legal document must cover the subject, including necessary definitions, covering contingencies, explaining the purpose, etc. That is fine. In documents as with communication in general, my philosophy is, “Say what you have to say and then shut up.” Why do so many lawyers add so much excess to their documents? Here are my theories.

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When Do Trusts Expire? How Often Should I Have My Trust Reviewed?

The trusts I do expire either only when there is no property left in the trust or 20 years after the death of the last person mentioned in the trust.

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What Is a Living Trust? How Does It Differ from A Regular Trust?

Trusts have existed for hundreds of years. Originally, they were intended for people like the Rockefellers and the Kennedys to enable the makers of the trust, called the trustors, to do things like prevent their heirs from getting their share of the fortune all at once.

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Do Wills Avoid Probate?

Wills are simply instructions to the court as to who is to get your property when you pass away as well as who you want to be in charge of your estate.

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How Long Does Probate Take in California?

Probates in California have built-in delays. First, the court has to hear the probate petition. How quickly it is heard depends on the court and the particular judge. It could be six weeks. It could be six months. It could be slightly shorter or a lot longer.

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How Much Does a Probate Cost?

There are two basic kinds of expenses associated with a probate, court costs and fees.

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What Does It Mean when A Bank or Similar Institution Says I Need to Get Letters or A Letter from The Court?

First off, they are not talking about the kind of letter you mail. They are referring to Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.

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What Can I Do if Someone Has Taken Something that Rightfully Belongs to An Estate?

It depends on the circumstances. If the estate has not been opened, then you or someone else with priority for an appointment can open the estate and become its executor (if nominated as executor in the will) or administrator (if not nominated in the will). Once appointed, you can seek relief under California Probate Code Section 850.

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