Trust & Probate Litigation Attorney

Heir at Law

A person who is entitled to receive a decedent’s property under the laws of intestacy.

Holographic Will

A will that is handwritten, and signed and dated by the creator of the will.

IAEA (Independent Administration of Estates Act)

A California statute which defines the level of authority an executor or administrator of an estate is granted in administering the estate, especially with regard to the sale of real estate with or without court supervision.

Inheritance

Property which a person receives from a decedent, whether by the laws of intestacy, a will, or a trust.

Intestacy

The type of estate for a person who passed away without having made a valid will. Intestacy laws define who should receive the decedent’s assets.

Joint Tenancy

A form of ownership in which property is jointly owned by two or more persons, and when one joint owner passes away, their ownership interest automatically passes in equal shares to the other joint owners.

Last Will and Testament

A decedent’s most recent will which thus fixes the decedent’s intentions regarding the disposition of their assets after their death.

Letters of Administration

A legal document ordered by a probate court which recognizes a person as the administrator of a decedent’s estate and which grants that person the authority to administer the estate. Many entities, such as banks, will require an administrator to present them with...

Letters of Special Administration

A legal document ordered by a probate court which recognizes a person as a special administrator of a decedent’s estate and which grants that person the authority to take certain limited acts on behalf of the estate until permanent letters of administration are...

Letters Testamentary

A legal document ordered by a probate court which recognizes a person as the executor under a decedent’s will and which grants that person the authority to administer the estate. Many entities, such as banks, will require an executor to present them with letters...

Litigation

Legal proceedings brought before a court to enforce a legal right.

Living Trust

A trust that is created and becomes effective during the settlor’s lifetime.

No Contest Clause

A provision in a will or trust which is designed to prevent people from challenging the terms of the will or trust by imposing the risk that a challenger will lose everything that they would otherwise receive under the will or trust.

Notice of Proposed Action

A written notice which a trustee may provide to all the beneficiaries before the trustee takes some action, particularly when the trustee is concerned about how the beneficiaries might react to the proposed action.

Notice to Creditor

A written notice which the personal representative of an estate must provide to known creditors of the decedent, which then allows the creditors to file a claim against the estate within a certain amount of time.

Objection

A formal opposition to something that has occurred, or is about to occur, in a legal proceeding, and which seeks a judge’s ruling on the matter.

Omitted Children

A decedent’s children who have been intentionally removed from the decedent’s will or trust, thereby causing the children to inherit nothing.

Per Capita Distribution

All living individuals in the closest level of consanguinity to the decedent receive an equal share of the assets from a will or trust. If any individual at that level of consanguinity is deceased, then their share is divided equally among the other members at that...