Our blogs and videos are designed to give you valuable insight into estate planning, probate, asset protection, and more. Read our attorneys’ latest updates and stay informed.


Why do I need a California Probate Attorney?

The California Probate Court administers estates upon someone’s death. If you don’t have an estate plan the Probate is a process you will have to endure. It is stressful, really confusing, the courts are backed up and delays are inevitable. The primary reason you would hire a probate attorney that is certified in California is to ensure you are doing everything you can to navigate through the probate process efficiently. The team at NM Law Attorneys are execellent in either estate administration or can navigate through conflict should there be a need for probate litigation. Discuss your matter with our team today and get take the right steps to work through Probate. Contact us HERE

Learn how to avoid California probate HERE

What role does the beneficiary play when someone passes away?

Have you been listed as a beneficiary of a loved one’s estate? The death of a loved one must be really tough and we are sorry for your loss. It is important to understand your role as a beneficiary during these times and how to work through:

  1. Probate court should there not be an estate plan
  2. Liaison parameters with trustees and other beneficiaries
  3. Estate administration
  4. Possible family conflict

What is the role of a trustee in an estate plan upon someone’s death?

The primary role of a trustee is to ensure that the terms of the trust are carried out according to the estate plan. 

  • Have you been appointed a trustee of an estate?
  • Were you aware of it or did you just find out?
  • Are you finding it hard to understand how to navigate matters?
  • Is there conflict with family members and you seem to be caught unsure of what decisions to make?

We have a team of compassionate attorneys who advocate for trustees.

Contact us HERE

What If there is no will?

What if there is no will and you are in dealing with California Probate?

If there is no will, the estate will have to go through the probate process as it would with a will. However, two significant differences apply to the probate administration process when there is no will.

  1. First, the probate court will appoint an administrator as the first step. The court may appoint a family member, but the court can appoint any person other than a family member. The person selected for distributing the estate’s assets may not have been the decedent’s choice.
  2. Second, the distribution of the assets will be determined by what is called the intestate law because the decedent has named no heirs. This means that the assets may be distributed to persons that would not have been chosen to receive them. The heirs are determined by Law of Succession. The court will require proof of the identification of the heirs that would be covered by the law before any distributions making any distribution of assets. The list of heirs covered under the law is extensive, which means that the court will reach to extended family members.

Who would inherit the assets under the intestate laws?

If the decedent was married or had a registered domestic partner, the court will need to understand what assets are community assets, or marital assets, and which assets are held solely by the decedent. If assets are held jointly or with rights of survivorship, then the transfer to the surviving spouse or the registered domestic partner is automatic.

The Law of Succession, which controls asset distribution when there is no will, stipulates that community, or certain marital assets, will go directly to the registered domestic partner or spouse if the decedent did not have children or close relatives. The law prevents the separate assets from being given in total to the registered partner or spouse. If there is not a registered domestic partner or spouse, the law specifies an order of distribution of all separate assets among any children and certain close relatives.

A surviving spouse with children will inherit all of the community assets and 1/2 or 1/3 of the decedent’s separate assets, and the children will inherit 1/2 or 1/3 of the separate assets. The spouse will inherit all of the community property and 1/2 of the separate assets with the remaining 1/2 passing to the decedent’s parents if there are no children.



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  • Working with Noelle on litigation and transactional matters was truly a valuable experience for me. Not only was she a great communicator with clients and personnel, but zealous and passionate about her clients. I would recommend her…

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    Kerjon L.
  • Noelle and her team were professional, courteous and diligent with my case. It was a small matter but they took it as though it was a large one. They reached a settlement quickly and very little effort…

    Doug S.
  • After my mother’s death, The bank locked all her accounts and the insurance company was playing games. Our family lawyer never call me back. I called Noelle for help! My paper work was not in order at…

    Randy B.
  • Noelle is awesome. Handled everything I needed in a timely manner. Very professional!

    Tammy W.
  • I have worked with Noelle on my Estate Planning and was very impressed by the way she handled my business. Noelle was extremely professional and available for all my questions. I would highly recommend anyone looking for…

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    Robert Sousa
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    Sharon McCubbin
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    Greg Bishop
  • I had a great experience with Noelle and Samantha at NM Law. They were fast, clear and got the result we wanted under budget. I am very happy and impressed.

    John Arens
  • NM Law is an exceptional place to work! Our office is located in the City of Tustin, off the 55 Freeway, between the 5 and 405 Freeways. Our main cross streets are Redhill Avenue and Edinger Avenue…

    Samantha Smith
  • The N.W Law team in Tustin Ca was instrumental in achieving a just result in our family trust dispute. We had the privilege of being represented by Samantha Smith and her staff, during one of my saddest…

    Herman baldonado
  • Amazing service. So happy with the whole team!

    Mitchell Hilde
  • So glad to work with this team of professionals

    Noelle Minto
  • As an attorney who has used two other wills & trusts lawyers prior to seeing Noelle, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what it should cost. I recommend Noelle to anyone who…

    Lynne Boisineau
  • Highly recommend NM Law. I recently worked with Noelle and her team on my family trust and the process could not have gone smoother. Very knowledgeable and professional. I have since recommended all of my family members…

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  • A very professional approach and action to fulfill our personal requirements

    Waldo ortega
  • My husband and I decided to update our 12 year old trust. We initally had a call with Noelle, and were instantly very comfortable with her approach. Noelle was great to work with, very patient, was willing…

    Cheri Ondatje
  • Vey helpful with good insight to take the proper steps with difficult situations and have my questions answered. Noelle and her team are professional and courteous and great to work with!

    Corine Cojocaru
  • Samantha and the team are professional compassionate and get the job done. She articulates very well what needs to be done. Her and the firm do Probate and Trust at its finest to protect their clients. She…

    Silvana Sarkis
  • I was referred to NM Law after dealing with a myriad of problems in settling a complicated Trust in Riverside County. At the initial meeting, Noelle Minto and Samantha Smith listened to the mess I was in…

    Aleathea Rayburn
  • Love this firm. I’ve worked on a wide range of legal issues with NM law, and the attorneys here are top notch, reasonably priced, and a pleasure to work with. They truly care about each of their…

  • Ms. Minto, I want to thank you and your staff for the courtesy extended to us during our family’s pending emergency deadline. Mr. O’Grady spoke to my brother and gave us his best recommendation regarding my father’s…

    Abraham Torres

Charities We Support

We dedicate pro bono time, volunteer services, and a percentage of our gross revenue to these organizations. In 2023, we sponsored a refugee family of five to come to the United States and start a new life.

Each year our law firm decides as a group which charities to assist with our time, money, and expertise. Please feel free to click on any of the charities below and make a donation of your own.

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