Frequently Asked Questions

The death of a loved one is a traumatic and heartbreaking time. Following such a tragic time, you may experience the difficult and possibly confusing task of the probate process. You may be filled with questions regarding probate and wills. Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, and the answers that we can best provide you.

What is a will?

A will essentially relegates an individual's property, resources, belongings, land, finances and the like to others when the person who made the will passes away. There are some stipulations that are involved in the process of constructing a will that an individual needs to be aware of.

Is there an age limit of when I can get a will?

Yes, there is an age limit. Under California law, in the probate code §6220, a person must be coherent in thinking, as well as older than 18. Any party that is younger than 18 cannot have a will made.

What of my belongings won't experience probate?

According to California probate code, §6240(5), belongings which are not the individual's sole property can be given to a party without probate . Belongings and resources including shared bank accounts between two individuals, or a legal document of ownership for the individual's place of residency that has the names of other individuals or family members on it will go to that individual.

The individual who was chosen as recipient will receive the advantages of the person's pension program as well as the insurance coverage program, which allots that when an individual passes away some amount of finances will go to the chosen recipient or heir from the insurance company. Essentially if an individual's resources and belongings do not solely belong to them, they will most likely not be involved in probate proceedings, but if an individual's belongings are solely theirs, they can be a part of the probate proceedings.

Does divorce affect a will?

Yes, a divorce will affect an individual's will. California probate code §6227(a) notes the effects. When an individual divorces, that which was to be relegated to the other spouse if they die, as presented in their will, is no longer valid. It will also take away the selection or suggestion to give the divorced individual responsibility to take care of the other spouse 's will, estate, children and other individuals that may require assistance and care, finances, belongings, property and the like. These revocations are reinstated if the couple weds again.

What is an attorney-in-fact?

Attorney-in-fact is associated with the power of attorney, in fact it is a specific facet of power of attorney. To gain more understanding about what an attorney-in-fact is, a definition is given below. 

Essentially, an attorney-in-fact, as defined by §4014, is when a party that carries out power of attorney allows an individual to carry out and execute things for them - there must be permission given. This particular term can also refer to the next as well as substitute individual, also known as the "attorney-in-fact," that makes decisions and does things for the individual who carries out power of attorney, as well as individuals that the attorney-in-fact assigned or gave power to.

If you want more information on probate law, or have more questions, don't hesitate to call the Law Offices of David Shapiro as soon as you can. Also feel free to complete the case evaluation to receive more information on what our firm can do for you legally.


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