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Enforcing a California Small Estate Affidavit (CA Probate Code section 13105)

I previously described how it is sometimes possible – at least in California – to handle a deceased person’s estate informally without the need to go to court, hire lawyers, etc. In California, this is often referred to as the Small Estate Affidavit process. I even made a video about it on my Youtube channel. While you’re at it, throw me a subscribe if you wouldn’t mind. The Small Estate Affidavit process in California is only available if the deceased person’s estate meets various criteria. I’m not going to go over every single criteria, but the two big ones are: (1) the gross value of the estate has to be less than $150,000, and (2) at least 40 calendar days has to have elapsed since the person passed away. If you’re looking for the language of the affidavit, I’d recommend you check out Section 13101 of the California Probate Code for a start. However, let’s say that you’ve met all the criteria to do the Small Estate Affidavit process in California (e.g. the estate is definitely worth less than $150,000 and 40 calendar days definitely have passed), but the person or business you’re trying to use the Affidavit at won’t honor it. What then? The answer to that question is in Section 13105 of the California Probate Code which provides that the person presenting the Affidavit is entitled to whatever property or items he or she is seeking as long as the person has met the requirements contained in Sections 13100 to 13104 of the California Probate Code. Sections 13100 to 13104 are fairly straightforward and include requirements like...

Statutes of Limitation – Breach of Contract

In a prior blog post, I went over statutes of limitation and specifically discussed the New York and California statutes of limitation for defamation. To continue with that idea — and totally not because I have run out of ideas to blog about — I’m going to go over the statute of limitations for breach of contract. In my experience — which is by no means exhaustive — breaches of contract are very common. Many people have an intuitive sense of when a contract is broken (i.e. someone is supposed to do something and they aren’t) so it is logical to wonder what statute of limitations applies. Knowing what statute of limitation applies is only a small part, though. Actually proving the existence of a clear and enforceable contract can be quite involved. Always consult an attorney regarding your personal and — most likely — unique situation. All of that said, let me talk about California first. California applies different statutes of limitation on contract breaches depending on whether the contract in question is oral or written. For an oral contract, the applicable period is 2 years under California Code of Civil Procedure section 339. For a written contract, the applicable period is 4 years under California Code of Civil Procedure section 337. New York does not distinguish between breaches of oral and written contracts like California does. In New York, contract breaches are subject to a 6 year statute of limitations under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (NY CPLR) section 213(2), but exceptions do exist. Some situations (see NY CPLR section 213(a)) have a 4 year...