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James Edward Berge

James Edward Berge

Berge & Berge LLP
  • Elder Law, Estate Planning
  • California
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Practice Areas
    Elder Law
    Estate Planning
    Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
  • 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, Trust & Probate Law
California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
223 Questions Answered
Q. In California, is a small estate affidavit suffice to open a estate account at Citi Bank?
A: No. The only way to open an estate account is with certified letters testamentary or letters of administration issued by a probate court. If your situation is truly a small estate, then those persons rightfully entitled to the money through the estate should sign the small estate affidavit form claiming the money in their individual capacities, submit the form to the bank, collect the money and close out the account. There should be no need for an estate account.
Q. Once a probate case is underway, is it too late to change to a spousal property petition?
A: No, it’s not too late.
Q. Father died, brother is executor of trust. 75% of all assets, I am living in house since 6/3/21. Caretaker.
A: Sorry to say, but it depends on your particular facts and circumstances. If your brother has already been confirmed as the executor of the estate, he has a duty to marshal the assets of the estate and get them ready for sale or distribution according to your father's Will or by intestacy. That means taking possession of the house and getting it ready for sale or distribution. I'm assuming you don't have a right to stay in the house pursuant to a written agreement with your father or a right created under your father's Will. If your brother has not been confirmed as the executor of the estate, then he has no legal right to evict you. If he has been confirmed as the executor of the estate and you refuse to leave, you may be required to pay rent to the estate for your continued use and occupancy of the property dating back to the date of death of your father or perhaps the date that letters testamentary were issued to your brother. If you refuse to leave the house, your brother would have the right to evict you but only with proper notice and court approval. How much notice is required? That really depends on your particular situation. Eviction normally requires 60 days written notice, but there are other avenues available to your brother if he needs to evict you and each path has its own notice requirements. You really need to talk to your brother and reach an agreement on when you intend to move out.
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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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