Trusts & Estates Law/California Probate

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Question
My husband died with a will in Chelan County Washington.  None of his Washington assets required probate.  However, he owns interest in a house in Pasadena, CA.  I was hoping to take advantage of the Spousal Transfer of Property.  However, and I realize you might not be able to answer this, when I called the clerk in Chelan County she said they don't probate wills that don't have an estate to probate.  How do I get the will registered and get letters of testamentary? I may very well need a lawyer in California for various issues, but I would like to avoid one here if possible.

Answer
I'm very sorry about your husband's death.  Your husband's will can be admitted to probate in California under the circumstances you describe.  Depending on what the will says, it should also be possible to do a spousal property petition to have the house transferred to your name.

If you would like my assistance, you can contact me through my website (www.calprobate.com) or by phone at (650) 325-8276.

Regards,
Janet

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Janet Brewer

Expertise


BE CAREFUL about taking legal advice from non-lawyers.

I am a licensed attorney in California. I am available to answer questions about probating estates, preparing wills and trusts, administering estates and trusts, forming family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and establishing a wide variety of estate and gift tax-sensitive trusts (charitable trusts, children's trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, etc.).

I can also answer questions regarding the preparation of estate tax returns (Form 706) in taxable estates. Please note that I do not prepare trust income tax returns and cannot provide you with any information about that type of return.

Please note: I am only able to practice law in the State of California. I cannot answer specific questions about other states' laws; I can only provide some "general" information that may or may not apply to your situation.

Experience

I have practiced California estate, gift-planning, and probate law exclusively since 1991. I am certified as a specialist in estate planning and probate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization (there are less than 125 such specialists practicing in Santa Clara County and fewer than 7,000 practicing in California - out of over 170,000 lawyers statewide).

I have served as an Instructor in the CFP (certificate in financial planning) program at University of California Santa Cruz, teaching the estate planning segment.

Organizations
Silicon Valley Bar Association
Wealth Counsel
Wealth Advisors' Forum
Executive Committee Member, Solo and Small Firm Section of the California State Bar (appointed to a 3 year term by the California State Bar Board of Governors)

Education/Credentials
I received my law degree (J.D.) from University of Denver Law School in 1975. I was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1975 and to the California Bar in 1977 (NOTE: although I am a member of the Colorado Bar, I am on INACTIVE status there). I earned an M.B.A. in 1982, and I earned a Masters Degree in Taxation Law (LLM) at Golden Gate University Law School in 2010 (with honors).

More at:
http://www.calprobate.com

Awards and Honors
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 - chosen as a "SuperLawyer" - one of the top 5% of Northern California lawyers practicing in the estate planning and probate area (www.superlawyers.com). Avvo Rating of 10.0/10.0

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