DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE AND IS NOT A GUARANTEE, WARRANTY, OR PREDICTION REGARDING THE OUTCOME OF ANY LEGAL MATTER. NAKAHARA LAW, A.P.C. DOES NOT INTEND TO CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP THROUGH PROVIDING THE INFORMATION BELOW.

Question 01

What can I do if the person in charge of the probate refuses to answer my questions about delays in closing the estate?

The California Probate Code provides some support. Probate Code §8200 states that an individual in possession of a decedent’s original will must file it either with the county clerk or the person named as the primary executor of the decedent’s will, within thirty (30) days of learning of the decedent’s death.

Probate Code §12202 provides that the heirs of a decedent and beneficiaries named in a decedent’s will have a right to have the Personal Representative appear in court to explain the status of the probate administration and Probate Code section 10950 allows the beneficiaries to request the Personal Representative file an accounting that shows an inventory of the estate assets and the receipts, disbursements, and sales that have occurred since the probate proceeding began.

Question 02

What can I do if a person dies leaving a revocable living trust, and the successor trustee refuses to provide a copy of the trust?

If the Settlor (creator) of a living trust dies, a beneficiary named in the Settlor’s revocable living trust can request a copy of the trust from the trustee. Probate Code section 16061.5.

Question 03

What can I do if a person dies leaving a revocable living trust, and the successor trustee and takes no action to administer and distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries named in the trust?

If the acting Trustee does not administer and distribute the trust assets within a reasonable period of time, a beneficiary can request an accounting and explanation of the delay from the trustee. If the Trustee refuses to provide an accounting or explain the delay in distributing the trust assets, the beneficiary can compel the trustee to file an accounting with the probate court. Probate Code sections 16062 and 16420.

Question 04

What is Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is the physical and/or financial abuse of an elder over the age of sixty-five (65), or a dependent adult.

Question 05

What can I do if I feel I am a victim of elder abuse?

The following are some alternatives if you feel you are a victim of elder abuse:
a)Try to reach out to trusted family members, friends, or clergy and apprise them of the situation and seek their assistance;
b)Contact Los Angeles County Adult Protective Services (APS) at (213) 351-5401 and file a report. Adult Protective Services (APS) is a social services program provided by state and/or local government serving older adults who are 65 years and older and adults with disabilities who need assistance. APS workers investigate cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation, working closely with a wide variety of allied professionals such as physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers;
c)Contact your family lawyer or seek a recommendation to an attorney by friends or family members. You can also seek assistance from a lawyer referral service in your community and request a referral to a lawyer that is familiar with elder abuse laws. The Los Angeles County Bar Association has a lawyer referral service and can be of assistance. You can contact them by phone: (213) 243-1525 (Monday through Friday, 8:45 am to 5:00 pm), or on-line at www.smartlaw.org.