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Wills Archives

Disinheriting a family member can be a delicate balancing act


Problems can arise when a child or other family member in California is excluded from the will of a deceased loved one. This situation is becoming more and more commonplace in recent years, as more and more people in the "baby boomer" generation inherit money from their dying loved ones. A study has shown that baby boomers could inherit an estimated $8.4 trillion. With so much money changing hands, it's no wonder that some people are feeling deeply slighted when their loved one forgets them or intentionally excludes them from their will.

Same-sex marriage still up in the air

Same-sex couples and domestic partners in California may have something to worry about as they wait to hear how the Supreme Court's rulings may determine whether Proposition 8 will go into effect. In addition to this impending landmark decision, the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is under court scrutiny at the same time.

Murder victim's alleged lover challenges his estate

Last month the estate proceedings in the case of a murdered Silicon Valley mogul took another interesting twist, when the man's lover filed a petition seeking half of his estate. The Silicon Valley man was killed during a vicious home invasion last November, during which money and valuables were stolen and his wife was brutally beaten.

Deceased woman's donated clothes contain hidden treasure

People in California may have heard an interesting and amusing story about a woman who discovered a treasure trove of $100 bills in the pockets of the clothing of an 85-year-old woman who had recently died. The woman found some $30,000 in currency in the clothing, which had been given to her by family members of the deceased.

Court weighs in on James Brown's will and estate turmoil

California residents may have seen the recent headlines about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, and the turmoil surrounding his substantial estate since his death in 2006. Brown died at the age of 73 and left behind an estate purportedly worth anywhere between $5 million and $100 million. Up until late last month, his estate was the subject of numerous legal challenges from family members and people claiming to be family, but a court ruling may have finally settled the issue for good.

Writing family members out of a will requires tact

A recent news story focused on a California woman who was preparing her will and deciding how to split her earthly possessions amongst her four children. Ultimately, she decided that she would exclude one of her children from receiving any inheritance. Of course, excluding a child from a will can sometimes be easier said than done.

Thomas Kinkade estate battle ends in silence

Our California readers may have read about what initially appeared to be an imminent and vicious court battle between the wife of deceased painter Thomas Kinkade and the woman who was his live-in girlfriend at the time of his death. Kinkade, whose paintings and licensing netted him millions of dollars, had not divorced his estranged wife, but also allegedly left most of his estate to his girlfriend in the form of two hand-scrawled wills of controversial origin.

Substitute teacher inherits astounding treasure of gold coins

Earlier this month a Nevada judge certified that a substitute teacher from California is the sole heir to an unexpected fortune. The fortune was left behind by a family member who was a reclusive retiree from Carson City. As the only traceable living heir, the woman will receive the entire proceeds of her deceased first cousin's estate.

Sherman Hemsley's body laid to rest after will contest

Blog readers may recall the story of deceased Hollywood sitcom star Sherman Hemsley's estate and the legal challenge from his brother that kept his body above ground for more than three months after his death. Finally, an El Paso, Texas, judge has ruled that Hemsley's will was valid, meaning that Hemsley can finally be buried in accordance with his written wishes.

Whitney Houston's estate settled after family squabble

Californians may have seen that deceased pop star Whitney Houston's estate has finally been settled. Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, will receive three sizeable installments from the estate as she hits certain age milestones.

My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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