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James Edward Berge

James Edward Berge

Berge & Berge LLP
  • Elder Law, Estate Planning
  • California
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media
Practice Areas
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Professional Experience
Estate Planning Attorney
Berge & Berge LLP
- Current
Golden Gate University School of Law
LL.M. | Taxation
Honors: Cum Laude
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Santa Clara University School of Law
J.D. (1986)
Honors: Cum Laude
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Santa Clara University
B.S. (1981) | Accounting
Honors: Magna Cum Laude Alpha Sigma Nu
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Elijah Watt Sells Award
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Top 100 Score in the Nation on May 1981 Uniform CPA Exam
Professional Associations
California State Bar  # 126568
- Current
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Articles & Publications
Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting and Administration
University of California Continuing Education of the Bar
Estate Planning in Santa Clara
California State Bar
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
127 Questions Answered

Q. What do I have to do to get money out of a court blocked account?
A: This self-help guide from Sacramento County should help you, even in Los Angeles County. Good luck!
Q. Personal Representative Dishonesty
A: If the personal representative was the executor of the estate, that person would be acting under court supervision and the court would ensure that you get everything you’re entitled to before authorizing the final distribution of that estate and discharging the executor from any remaining duties. If the PR was the trustee of a trust, he/she also owed you the same fiduciary duties as an executor but without the need for court supervision which is where problems can arise. In either case, you should have received a copy of the Will or the Trust Under which the PR has been acting and that document should define your rights. If you never received a copy of the Will or Trust, then something’s wrong and you should see an attorney to advise you specifically on your rights. If the PR lied to you or failed to properly perform his/her duties, it’s still not too late to enforce your rights but you will need an attorney. By the way, if the PR was merely nominated to serve as the executor under the Will but the PR never sought to validate that Will through probate, you might also have the right to be the executor and to enforce your claims to the estate as the PR of the estate, ut you’ll need an attorney to advise you.
Q. Do I have to allow a fellow heir to live in a house with a mortgage if they refuse to pay the mortgage, taxes or upkeep?
A: If you want to avoid problems in the future, I would suggest that you demand your share of the estate in cash, and the only way you would co-own property with your brother is if you and your brother are able to negotiate a tenancy in common agreement defining the parties’ rights, duties and responsibilities under the agreement before the probate closes. Without a negotiated agreement before the close of probate, you’re setting yourself up for trouble when your brother fails to follow through on his promises.
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Contact & Map
1101 S Winchester Blvd Ste I-208
San Jose, CA 95128
Telephone: (408) 985-9918
Fax: (408) 985-9945
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