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Summary

My practice is dedicated 100% to the probate of estates throughout California and I am licensed to appear in all California probate courts. I handle probate matters throughout all of California, both large and small. I have dedicated myself to helping people efficiently and effectively navigate the California probate process. When you reach out to me, I provide you with the legal counsel and friendly personal service you need to help you navigate even the most complex probate issues. From my California office, I work with people across the state and others throughout the country. Many of my clients reside outside California, looking to resolve California probate matters.
These are some of the matters that I handle for probate clients:
1. California probate of a formal will.
2. California probate with no will (California intestate succession).
3. Determining entitlement to California probate distribution of California assets.
4. Assistance with the sale of California real property during the California probate.
5. California probate of personal property left by the person who died. This might include manufactured homes, cars, boats, and motor homes.
6. California ancillary probate. (a person dies out of state owning property in California).
7. California spousal property petitions.
8. Assistance with settlement of creditor claims against a California probate estate.
9. Determining compensation payment for the person in charge of administering the California probate estate.

Practice Area
  • Probate
Fees
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Education
University of San Diego School of Law
LL.M. (1993) | TAXATION
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University of San Diego School of Law Logo
University of Dayton
MBA (1979) | ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS
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University of San Diego School of Law
J.D. (1972)
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Honors: Bancroft Whitney American Jurisprudence Award-Study of Wills and Trusts
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University of Redlands
B.A. (1967) | ACCOUNTING
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San Bernardino Valley College
A.A. (1965) | ACCOUNTING/BUSNESS
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Honors: DEAN'S LIST SECRETARY, HONOR SOCIETY BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
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Awards
AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE AWARD
Bancroft Whitney
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE STUDY OF WILLS AND TRUSTS
Professional Associations
California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section  # 51670
Member
- Current
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State Bar of California  # 51670
Member
- Current
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Certifications
POST GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN THE STUDY OF TAXATION
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF LAW
Websites & Blogs
Website
Bill Sweeney's Website Profile
Website
Sweeney Probate Law Website
Legal Answers
141 Questions Answered

Q. How do I go against a rejection of my creditor’s claim in California probate court?
A: If your claim was rejected by the personal representative, you may bring a civil action on the claim. To preserve you creditor rights, you must file suit within 90 days of the later of the date the notice of rejection is given or the date the claim became due. The procedure is summarized on the DE-174 you received from the personal representative. I recommend you consult with a probate attorney on your rights and the timing of same.
Q. My mom left house equally to me & my sister. My sister died same day as mom. Do i get house or do her kids get half?
A: We do not have enough information to determine who will inherit the house. For example, you mentioned that your mother and sister died on the same day. We would need to know which one survived the other. If survival cannot be determined, the probate code can provide the answer depending on the terms of the will. If your mother survived, the will might provide for what happens if a beneficiary predeceases. If your mother died first, the terms of the will might dictate a period of time that must pass between your mother's death and that of your sister. More often, a properly drafted will provides the remedy depending on who dies first and the length time required for a beneficiary to survive. You should have the will and the facts reviewed by a probate attorney.
Q. Is the surviving spouse liable for the deceased spouse's credit card debt if only in the deceased's name?
A: California is a community-property state. Therefore, property and debts acquired after the date of marriage and before the death of the spouse are community property and usually community debts. Creditors may be able to enforce and collect a community debt against your late husband’s estate or even you. If no probate proceeding was required or opened, which sounds like your case, the debts may be enforced against you. But the credit card company will need to take formal legal action to collect on the debt. If the credit card company refers the account to a collection agency, the agency will make calls to you. Although collection calls may make threats of legal action, the threats are not the same as legal action itself. Ultimately, the creditor will need to bring a lawsuit. In California, the time frame for a creditor to bring a lawsuit to collect on the debt of a decedent is limited to one year from the date of death. So the passage of time here can be your best weapon in the fight against the credit card company’s collection efforts. Depending on the size of the debt and the amount of time left to collect it, the credit card company may decide whether to file suit or fold.
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Contact & Map
Sweeney Probate Law
San Juan Capistrano
32371 Alipaz St
#29
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Telephone: (949) 243-0408
Sweeney Probate Law
Orange
333 City Blvd W
17th Floor
Orange, CA 92868
Telephone: (949) 243-0408
Sweeney Probate Law
Laguna Hills
23046 Avenida De La Carlota
#600
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Telephone: (949) 243-0408
Sweeney Probate Law
Irvine
19800 MacArthur Blvd
#300
Irvine, CA 92612
Telephone: (949) 243-0408
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