Like other states, California has laws that specify what happens if a resident of this state dies without a will.
A previous post on this blog discussed the fact that there has been considerable controversy surrounding the estate of Aretha Franklin, the world-famous singer who died about this time last year. As that previous post stated, some family members have questioned the actions of Ms. Franklin's niece, who is serving as personal representative. These family members believe that someone else would be in a better position to control the finances of Ms. Franklin's multi-million dollar estate.
The battle over the famous rhythm and blues singer Aretha Franklin's estate is continuing. The latest move involved one of Ms. Franklin's sons asking the court hearing the case to be appointed personal representative, helping and then eventually replacing Ms. Franklin's niece. The niece has been acting as executor since last year.
A man who at one point helped lead Warner Brothers was recently at the center of a legal battle over his medical care. Despite being wealthy enough to afford in-home care, the current wife of this man has for the past couple of years arranged for him to stay in a nursing home.
Even when everyone is getting along within a family, going through the administration of an estate in probate court can be a long and stressful process. In all significant probate cases, there will be paperwork and other legal obligations that the designated personal representative must satisfy.
While some in the world of law treat probate as a kind of a dirty word that inevitably spells years of time, money and emotional heartache, the term actually refers to the process of distributing a person's property after he or she dies.