TRUST LITIGATION, FIDUCIARY ABUSE AND FRAUD, ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, LITIGATION, MEDIATION, APEALS COURT, TRUSTS, PROBATE, IRVINE, LAGUNA WOODS, LEISURE WORLD, ALISO VIEJO, LAGUNA BEACH, SANTA ANA, Southern California, Probate Laguna Woods, Probate Huntington Beach, Santa Ana Probate, Probate Laguna Hills
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ORANGE COUNTY

PROBATE ATTORNEY - LAWYER
Trusts, Wills, Probate and Estate Planning
..

Free Initial Consultation - House Calls Upon Request
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9070 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618
Specializing in Trust and Probate Litigation, Trust / Probate Funding and Administration, Wills, Appointment of Guardianship for Children, Special Needs Planning, Incapacitation Planning, Advanced Health Care Directives
"There is comfort in taking care of your loved ones"
Call Us Today! (949)916-6020
 
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FIDUCIARY ABUSE AND FRAUD

Fiduciary Fraud and Abuse

Fiduciary fraud, trust fraud, and estate fraud all involve a breach of fiduciary duty. In some cases, the abuse is willful and undertaken with intent to defraud. It may start small and continue that way for many years, or it may occur in one large financial transaction. Other cases of trustee, executor, or conservator malfeasance can be very gray.

For example, an adult child who is a conservator for a parent may think he or she is doing the right thing, when in reality they have inadvertently broken their fiduciary duty or improperly used assets. Fiduciary fraud can involve financial assets, the illegal transfer of real estate, or fraud involving personal property.

Resolving Disputes Prior to Litigation
Because litigation can be costly and time consuming for our clients, we seek practical solutions to avoid litigation whenever possible. Our team is experienced in alternative dispute resolution to assist clients in promptly addressing probate disputes prior to or at an early stage of litigation. However, if litigation cannot be avoided, our Team has substantial trial experience and we stand ready to represent clients in court.

Summary Proceedings

In certain circumstances, some or all of the decedent's property may qualify for a "summary probate" or "set-aside proceeding." These procedures are less complicated alternatives to a formal probate.

For example, if all of the decedent's property goes to the surviving spouse, a summary probate proceeding can be used where a "spousal property petition" is filed with the court seeking court confirmation that the surviving spouse owns the property. This proceeding can take as little as 30 days. In other cases, if the total value of a deceased person's property otherwise subject to probate is less than $100,000, an affidavit procedure may be used to transfer personal property, and the transfer of real property can be confirmed through a relatively simple proceeding.

While these procedures avoid the court proceedings of a full probate, this does not mean that the estate will avoid federal estate tax, income tax, or inheritance taxes. And, even if these methods are used, the decedent's debts must still be paid. Finally, even if a summary proceeding is available, there may be important reasons for deciding to proceed with a formal probate instead of electing a summary proceeding or a set-aside proceeding. (See Benefits of Probate below.) In all cases, you should consult with an attorney before you take any steps to transfer a decedent's property without a court proceeding.

If There is No Will in California

In many instances, a person dies without leaving a will. When this occurs, the decedent is said to have died "intestate" and the heirs to the estate are determined by California's laws of intestacy. The laws of intestate succession determine how the estate will be divided based on a person's relationship to the decedent, e.g., surviving spouse, children, other descendants, etc. Probate will still be required unless specific property of the estate is not subject to probate, such as life insurance, etc., or a summary procedure is available. If the deceased person did not leave a will and a formal probate is required because of the nature and size of the assets, the court will appoint an administrator to handle the probate proceeding. In most cases, the court will appoint the decedent's closest relative to act as the administrator.

Benefits of California Probate

Despite the negative image of probate, probate proceedings do provide some important benefits. There are some situations where, although formal probate is not required, it may nevertheless be advisable to elect to proceed with probate. In many cases, there are tax advantages to receiving property through probate as opposed to being received by way of joint tenancy or a gift made prior to death. Property obtained through probate almost always receives a "step-up" in the tax basis to the date of death value. This often results in a substantial capital gains tax savings on the sale of the property. Further, if there are creditors' claims against the estate, it may be beneficial to have probate court supervision so that the validity and amount of the claims can be determined. Probate also bars creditor's claims if they are not asserted during the "creditor's claims period" (generally four months after the executor or administrator is appointed). In addition, probate provides court supervision which ensures that the decedent's property will be accounted for and distributed in accordance with the decedent's intent. Court supervision can also be helpful when the family members or the beneficiaries have difficulty getting along.

Further, the "delays" associated with probate are generally not a significant problem. Family members usually have prompt access to joint back accounts and insurance proceeds. And, where special needs exist, the probate court will allow for preliminary distributions or a family allowance. Formal probate usually only takes six months to a year to complete.

In sum, even where probate is not required, you should consult with an attorney to consider these and other factors in deciding how best to proceed in handling the estate.

Our firm's practice is to charge a reasonable hourly rate for the hours that we spend on the case which, in most cases, is less than the statutory fee.

If you are interested in hiring our firm to handle a probate or trust matter in California.

Please call Tracy Murphy at (949)916-6020
to set up a FREE initial consultation.


Probate, Trusts, Wills, and Estate Planning Attorney

Servicing Orange County, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Leisure World, Seal Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza, San Clemente, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach

 
     
"There is comfort in taking care of your loved ones"
Call Us Today! (949)916-6020
 


ORANGE COUNTY
PROBATE ATTORNEY - PROBATE LAWYER
Trusts, Wills, Probate and Estate Planning
..

Free Initial Consultation - House Calls Upon Request

PROBATE ORANGE COUNTY, IRVINE PROBATE, LAGUNA WOODS PROBATE, LEISURE WORLD PROBATE


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Disclaimer: The information and notices contained on this website are intended as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as financial or legal advice. We attempt to ensure that the material contained on the website is accurate and complete at the date first published, however you should recognize that information contained on this website may become out of date over time. Readers who have a particular question about estate planning, business succession, tax planning, probate, living trusts, probate litigation, trust litigation or who believe they require legal counsel, should seek the advise of an attorney


Tracy Murphy Attorney At Law, 9070 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618
Tel: (949)916-6020, Fax: (949)861-6520

"For Driving Directions Click Here"


Specializing in Trust and Probate Litigation, Trust / Probate Funding and Administration, Wills, Appointment of Guardianship for Children, Special Needs Planning, Incapacitation Planning, Advanced Health Care Directives

OUR CUSTOMERS COME FROM THE FOLLOWING CITIES FOR TRUSTS, WILLS, AND FINANCIAL PLANNING:

Aliso Viejo, 92653, 92656, 92698, Anaheim, 92801, 92802, 92803, 92804, 92805, 92806, 92807, 92808, 92809, 92812, 92814, 92815, 92816, 92817, 92825, 92850, 92899, Brea, 92821, 92822, 92823, Buena Park, 90620, 90621, 90622, 90623, 90624, Costa Mesa, 92626, 92627, 92628, Cypress, 90630, Dana Point, 92624, 92629, Fountain Valley, 92708, 92728, Fullerton, 92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838, Garden Grove, 92840, 92841, 92842, 92843, 92844, 92845, 92846, Huntington Beach, 92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649, Irvine, 92602, 92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623, 92650, 92697, 92709, 92710, La Habra, 90631, 90632, 90633, La Palma, 90623, Laguna Beach, 92607, 92637, 92651, 92652, 92653, 92654, 92656, 92677, 92698, Laguna Hills, 92637, 92653, 92654, 92656, Laguna Niguel, 92607, 92677, Laguna Woods, 92653, 92654, Lake Forest, 92609, 92630, 92610, Los Alamitos, 90720, 90721, Mission Viejo, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92694, Newport Beach, 92657, 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663, Orange, 92856, 92857, 92859, 92861, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868, 92869, Placentia, 92870, 92871, Rancho Santa Margarita, 92688, 92679, San Clemente, 92672, 92673, 92674, San Juan Capistrano, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694, Santa Ana, 92701, 92702, 92703, 92704, 92705, 92706, 92707, 92708, 92711, 92712, 92725, 92728, 92735, 92799, Seal Beach, 90740, Stanton, 90680, Tustin, 92780, 92781, 92782, Villa Park, 92861, 92867, Westminster, 92683, 92684, 92685, Yorba Linda, 92885, 92886, 92887, Coto de Caza, El Modena, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Midway City, Orange Park Acres, Rossmoor, Silverado Canyon, Sunset Beach, Surfside, Trabuco Canyon, Tustin Foothills