Walnut Creek Probate & Trust Litigation Attorney
Do You Need Help Resolving an Estate Matter in Court?
If you’ve been named as the executor of someone’s will or appointed by the court as the administrator of an estate, you’ve suddenly got a lot on your plate. You may be unprepared to take on this role or find yourself in over your head when it comes to understanding and dealing with another person’s property, investments, and financial affairs.
Nevertheless, you now have a legal duty to perform the required tasks competently in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries – and you can even be held personally liable for mistakes that cost the estate and its intended heirs and beneficiaries.
Work toward minimizing the risk you’ll assume during this process by reaching out to Walnut Creek probate and trust litigation attorney Aaron Feldman for help. At The Feldman Law Group, Aaron can assist you in the important and difficult tasks required to accomplish probate administration while minimizing your personal liability.
We can help your legal matters concerning an estate such as:
- Will Contests
- Property Disputes
- Breach of Trust
- Failure to Account
- Failure to Distribute
What is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised legal process of validating a deceased person’s will and gives effect to the terms it lays out according to the deceased’s wishes. The word “probate” comes from the same Latin root as “prove” and “proof,” and indeed, entering a will into probate “proves” that the will is the valid and enforceable last will and testament of the deceased person who made the will (known as the testator).
Once the will is accepted into probate, the executor or administrator – which you may have been named by the deceased in their will or assigned by the court – can then distribute the deceased person’s estate according to the terms of the will.
Before this can happen, however, a myriad of other tasks, such as the following, must be completed:
- Notifying creditors of the probated estate
- Filing a final tax return for the estate
- Collecting and inventorying all assets of the estate
- Managing, selling, or liquidating estate assets as appropriate
- Paying debts or resolving claims against the estate
Do you Need a Probate or Trust Administration Litigator in Alameda County?
For help with probate and/or trust administration in Walnut Creek and Alameda County, contact the Feldman Law Group online or call (925) 208-4543 for an efficient probate process with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
If you would like help from someone with more than 35 years of experience in these matters, reach out to The Feldman Law Group online or call (925) 208-4543 and ask how you can get Aaron’s assistance today.
“He actually visited my mother in her care home to get the necessary signatures for me to be able to proudly take care of my dying parent.”- Karen H.
“The Feldman Law Group was responsive, covered all options and had an excellent staff.”- Clay C.
“I especially appreciate Mr. Feldman coming to us when we could not come to him and he remained available when I had questions.”- Gail B.
It seems that no matter how thoughtful, careful, and thorough your estate planning is, some issue always arises during probate that was not foreseen at the time the will was prepared. With more than 35 years of legal experience in estate planning and probate in Alameda County, attorney Aaron Feldman is well-situated to provide sound advice and professional representation in your probate dispute, no matter how unique or complicated the matter.
A Walnut Creek probate and trust litigation attorney can help you resolve common legal problems such as:
- Multiple wills – People sometimes redraft their will or revoke an old will and write a completely new one. If the old will was not properly amended, revoked, or destroyed, it can create doubt, confusion, and disagreement over which is the true “last will and testament” that should be admitted into probate and given effect by the court.
- Invalid wills – Drafting and executing a valid will requires hewing to a strict set of statutory requirements in California probate law regarding the testator’s capacity and intent, the presence of witnesses, and other technical aspects of the statute of wills. A challenge or will contest that results in a will being declared invalid may mean there is no will at will, and property will pass according to the California laws of intestate succession.
- Fraud, duress, and undue influence – Even a will that appears valid on its face may be challenged by beneficiaries who believe a family member or caregiver exercised undue influence on a vulnerable testator, forcing the individual to make a will that did not truly reflect his or her actual wishes. As an experienced elder law and financial elder abuse lawyer, attorney Aaron Feldman provides valuable assistance when dealing with allegations of fraud or undue influence.
- Omitted heirs – A spouse or child who expected to inherit under a will but was left out either intentionally or unintentionally may challenge the omission as improper. California law provides an “elective share” to an omitted spouse except under a few specific circumstances. Wills involving blended families with children from a previous marriage may give rise to challenges by omitted or pretermitted heirs.
- Challenges to the personal representative – Beneficiaries of the estate may complain that the executor or administrator is failing to properly exercise his or her fiduciary duties as the personal representative of the estate, such as by failing to maintain the value of estate property during probate, or engaging in dealings that involve self-enrichment or a conflict of interest. These issues may especially arise when the personal representative is also an heir or beneficiary of the estate, making the resolution of disputes even more challenging and complex.
Our deep roots in the community extends far and wide from volunteering as mediators at the Contra Costa Bar Association and sponsoring organizations like the Down Syndrome Connection, Morgan Autism Center, Special Kids Foundation.