Law Office of Sally Cooperrider

  210 N. 4th Street, Suite 101
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 287-7717
Email: sally.cooperrider@sbcglobal.net

Blog

view:  full / summary

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK (or so) Week Five: I need/don???t need a will

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Myth – Everyone needs a will

Truth – If you die without a will and you have money or property that doesn’t have beneficiaries and is not in trust, then the property will pass to your next of kin (called intestate succession). In California the priority order for next of kin is:

First your spouse or domestic partner(all of community property and part of separate property), if none then children, if none then grandchildren and other descendants; if no spouse or descendants, then parents, if none living then siblings, if none living then nieces and nephews, etc.

So if you want your money and property to go to your next of kin, and if you don’t want to specify anything else, like who would be the guardian of your minor children, who would distribute your property (executor), or instructions for your funeral or burial, then you may not need a will.

Even if you decide not to have a will prepared, you still might want to consider a power of attorney for your finances, and an advanced health directive, in case you become unable to make decisions or manage your own affairs.

 

 

For more information see www.Cooperriderlaw.com , or for more details on intestate succession see: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-california.html

 

 

 

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK (or so) Week Four: Probate and Wills

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Myth – If I have a will, my estate won’t have to go through probate.

 

Truth – A will specifies who will receive your property when you die, and who would be in charge of distributing it (executor). In a will you can also specify guardians of minor children and cremation or burial instructions. It doesn’t affect whether your estate needs to be probated.

 

Probate is necessary if you have money or property when you die that:

 

a) Is worth more than $150,000 total, that

 

b) Doesn’t go to a joint owner or beneficiary, and

 

c) Is not in trust

 

If you have property that would be probated, such as a house, you can avoid probate for your heirs by creating a living trust.

 

For more information see the http://www.cooperriderlaw.com/estate-planning

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK 3 (What happens if I die without a will

Posted on September 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK (or so). Week Three: What happens if I die without a will

 

Myth – If I die without a will my property will revert to the state.

 Truth – The only time that property ends up with the state after a person dies without a will (dies intestate) is if no relatives can be found. The State of California, as well as other states, has a default order of inheritance, called intestate succession, for people that die without a will. The first is spouse (for community property) or spouse and children (for separate property). If no spouse, then children, if no children then grandchildren and other descendants, if none then parents, then siblings, then nieces and nephews, etc.

 

What a will does accomplish is to allow for giving property to other people or in other proportions than by the default scheme. In the will you can nominate an executor that will be in charge of carrying out the will. Also, you can nominate a guardian of the estate and of the person for minor children, and give instructions for your burial and funeral.

 

The State Bar pamphlet linked below has more information.

 

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/Will.aspx

 


LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK. Week Two: Canceling California Contracts

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Myth – If I buy a car but change my mind, I can take it back the next day.

Truth – Most contracts in California are final once they’ve been signed by both parties, particularly if you’ve received something of value (like a car).

There are particular contracts in California that have a cancellation period, such as Credit Repair Services, Dating Services, Funeral contracts, Door to door sales contracts, Internet sales when the order hasn’t been filled yet, service contracts, and weight-loss services. Note that these are generally contracts where no product or service has been provided yet. This is an incomplete list. For more information see the California Department of Consumer Affairs http://www.dca.ca.gov

 

 

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK. Week One: California Community Property

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Myth – If I get married, all my money and property will turn into community property.

 

Truth - Whatever interest in property you bring into a marriage remains your separate property, unless your transfer title to your spouse (or anyone else), or if separate funds are so commingled with community funds that the separate funds can’t be traced. (Like my twisty ficus tree below.)

 

New investments during the marriage that are added to separate property (such as using earnings to pay down the mortgage or to remodel) generally create a community interest in the property.

 

Similarly, the amount in a 401(k) or other pension from before the marriage remains separate property and new investments into it during the marriage are community property.

 

Caveat: This is not intended to be legal advice. With any legal rule there are exceptions and special circumstances so that these general rules might vary in a particular case.

 

 

 

 

 

LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK. Week One: California Community Property

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Myth – If I get married, all my money and property will turn into community property.

 

Truth - Whatever interest in property you bring into a marriage remains your separate property, unless your transfer title to your spouse (or anyone else), or if separate funds are so commingled with community funds that the separate funds can’t be traced. (Like my twisty ficus tree below.)

 

New investments during the marriage that are added to separate property (such as using earnings to pay down the mortgage or to remodel) generally create a community interest in the property.

 

Similarly, the amount in a 401(k) or other pension from before the marriage remains separate property and new investments into it during the marriage are community property.

 

Caveat: This is not intended to be legal advice. With any legal rule there are exceptions and special circumstances so that these general rules might vary in a particular case.

 

 

 

 

 


Rss_feed