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Probate Archives

Helping clients with estate valuation questions

As previous posts on this blog have discussed, one of the hardest things to do in the probate process is to place a value on the deceased person's assets. This is a particularly complicated task when the property involved is hard to value, such is in the case of antiques and collectibles, intellectual property like copyrights and, especially, the value of a small business that does not trade on the public markets.

Overview of California's intestacy laws

One of the basic steps a Fresno, California, resident can do in term of estate planning is prepare and properly execute a will. While doing so does not guarantee that all will be well after the person dies and it comes time to distribute the person's property, it is a positive step in that direction which many people, even very wealthy people, never take.

Interpreting a will or trust

This blog has in many cases discussed the types of probate litigation with which Fresno, California, residents and those who live in the surrounding area are most familiar, that is, those situations in which a will or trust is challenged outright as being invalid or somehow worthy of being ignored.

Putting a value on the family business

A previous post on this blog discussed the important task a personal representative of an estate faces when he or she goes to put a value on both the overall estate of a recently deceased person. Equally important is the process of putting a value on each asset or debt within the estate, particularly those assets that do not have any easily identifiable value.

Overview of the asset valuation process

Although often overlooked in the midst of discussions about will contests, asset valuation is actually one of the most important parts of the probate process in California. Residents of Fresno and Fresno County who have the privilege as serving as a personal representative or executor of a loved one's estate will need to understand the basics of how to put a value on both the estate as a whole and on each item in the estate.

The doctrine of undue influence in California

In least in this law office's experience, undue influence is perhaps the most common claim made in a probate dispute over the terms of a will. However, residents of Fresno County, California, especially those who are involved in or are unfortunately having to contemplate probate litigation, may need a better understanding of what exactly "undue influence" entails.

Representing people in undue influence cases

A previous post on this blog overviewed what the claim of "undue influence" entails. While one is not free to claim "undue influence" simply because he or she does not like the results of a particular will, the issue does come up often in probate cases, usually when one family member seemed to enjoy a special status with the deceased person and may have seemed to take advantage of that status.

3 signs a will has been affected by undue influence

One of the best things parents can do for their children and loved ones is to have in place a will that clearly and accurately documents their wishes. Creating a will can ensure that grieving loved ones are not put in a position to make difficult decisions or fight each other for assets, authority or recognition.

Thinking of contesting a trust? Don't wait until it's too late

In the days, weeks and months following the death of a loved one, people often struggle to try to adapt to a new norm. This can certainly be overwhelming, upsetting and seemingly impossible when you are consumed by sadness and grief, but understand that things change over time.

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Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
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