Probate Courts During COVID-19 Pandemic

Probate Courts During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mendes Weed, LLP is still working tirelessly to make sure our probate clients continue to be taken care of. 

The status of the probate courts in different counties is changing week-to-week, and sometimes day-to-day.  It would be very difficult to summarize these changes down to the minute, especially while assisting our clients remotely, but we want you to be as fully informed as possible. 

We use One Legal for many of our court filings, and they have published California court summary on their website, which we believe may be very helpful to those with current, pending, or upcoming probate matters. 


If you have any questions about your probate, trust administration, estate planning, conservatorship, or trust/estate litigation matter, we hope you will reach out to us at (925) 390-3222.

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How Social Distancing and COVID-19 Related Employment Changes Impact Your Child Support and Childcare Related Issues

How Social Distancing and COVID-19 Related Employment Changes Impact Your Child Support and Childcare Related Issues

The financial crisis experienced by many families in America is extreme-shut-downs, limited services, and even law firms, are suffering and unable to maintain their business infrastructure and revenue.  Layoffs, if they have not happened yet, are all but promised.  At this time, the shelter-in-place is extended almost weekly, and no one truly knows when, of even if, life will return to what we once knew.

Those with child support or modifiable spousal support obligations are surely concerned about paying bills while also obeying court orders for support payments. Adding fuel to the fire, Contra Costa County, as well as many Bay Area Counties, have moved into hearing only “emergency” requests, and the definition of “emergency” is not exactly clear.

Meanwhile, California has implemented some of the strictest shelter in place regulations in the nation-schools and most daycares are closed, and adequate childcare can be an issue, especially for essential workers.  The luxury of having family at home to assist with childcare, home schooling, etc., is not something everyone enjoys. So what next?

Should you file a Request for Order to Modify Support?

The first stop is to review the local rules for the county your case is in, or in the county which would have jurisdiction over your case.  Most, if not all, counties have implemented emergency COVID-19 local rules.  You may reference COVID-19 resources on our website, www.mwlawca.com, or connect with us on Facebook, to review your county’s local rules.  If support motions are permitted, and mostly they are, you may file for a modification; however, a court date may not be offered until your courthouse reopens for hearings, or until your county has a virtual hearing system in place.

California law permits the Court to have authority (often referred to as jurisdiction) to make support orders retroactively to the date the motion was filed. If you are the parent obligated to pay support (the payor), and you have a substantial change in circumstances (job loss, hour or salary reductions, etc.) you may file a Request for Order requesting a modification of the required support payment, while also asking for the Court to make the new order retroactive to the date the motion was filed.  If you anticipate a substantial change in circumstances, you may draft your Request for Order in advance, so it is prepared and ready for filing if/when your income change occurs.  This will help prevent any delay which can be caused by the drafting time.  Job loss, reduction of hours or salary, would unquestionably be a basis to modify child support, especially if it was not due to any act by the payor.  However, remember, a motion to modify support doesn’t excuse non-payment or otherwise order support while you await new orders.

On balance, if your childcare costs have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Request for Order is appropriate as well. Due to the court closures and the hearings on emergency matters, your case may not be heard quickly, but you will have preserved the retroactivity rights with the timely filing of your Request for Order.  Remember, most orders are written with an equal responsibility to both parents to pay for childcare costs.  Times are uncertain and unclear at this time.  It is critical that you understand your court orders, and you act on them timely and appropriately. If you need further assistance in review, understanding, modifying or enforcing your court order, we can help.  Stay healthy!

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COVID 19 Resources for Bay Area Superior Courts

COVID 19 Resources for Bay Area Superior Courts

These are links will lead to the most current information provided by the Bay Area Superior courts.

Contra Costa County Superior Court

Alameda County Superior Court

Napa County Superior Court

Solano County Superior Court

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Good News for Social Security Recipients!! – CARES Act in Response to COVID-19

Good News for Social Security Recipients!! – CARES Act in Response to COVID-19

Good News for Social Security Recipients!! – CARES Act in Response to COVID-19

Initially, under the CARES Act, social security recipients were going to have to file income tax returns, even if they normally did not have a tax return filing requirement.

However, after much backlash, this is no longer a requirement.  This is great news for recipients of social security benefits who would not normally need to file an annual income tax return.  It is a difficult time for us all, and requires that an individual who would not normally need to file an income tax return, which is an added burden.

Congress has provided the U.S. Treasury a way to rely on Form 1099-SSA instead of a Form 1040 in order to issue stimulus checks.  You can find this updated information on the IRS website here.  The IRS website states,

“Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.”

This is great news for many seniors, many veterans, and many disabled individuals who may have been previously concerned about the added burden of needing to file an income tax return.


If you have any questions about this, other tax law matters, probate, conservatorships, estate planning, divorce, civil litigation, or unlawful detainers, we hope you will contact Mendes Weed, LLP, today.  We are here to help you at this difficult time.  Just call (925) 390-3222.

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BEWARE OF TAX SCAMMERS DURING COVID-19

BEWARE OF TAX SCAMMERS DURING COVID-19

BEWARE OF TAX SCAMMERS DURING COVID-19

The IRS is reminding taxpayers to make sure they follow official IRS guidance and social media, especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRS official guidance and social media will be the best resource for finding out information and avoiding scammers.  Remember, the IRS will not call you and leave threatening voicemails.  Do not give your social security number out over the telephone if someone is calling you.  If you have never even received an IRS notice, you should be especially suspicious of threatening calls from someone claiming to be the IRS.

You can find IRS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.  When attempting to follow or access different IRS social media accounts, make sure you verify it is the correct IRS social media account, and not an imposter account, here first.  You can also sign up for IRS email notifications here.  E-news for tax professionals can be found here.


If you have any questions about possible scams, tax law matters, estate planning, divorce, child custody, probate, civil litigation, unlawful detainers, or business law, we hope you will reach out to Mendes Weed, LLP, at (925) 390-3222.  We are here to help you during this difficult time.

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Who is Getting a Stimulus Check from the Government in Connection with the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Who is Getting a Stimulus Check from the Government in Connection with the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Who is Getting a Stimulus Check from the Government in Connection with the Coronavirus Pandemic?

As part of the almost $2 trillion relief package passed by Congress, many Americans will be getting relief checks of up to $1,200.00 (those who file jointly could receive up to $2,400.00) to help taxpayers recover from any financial setbacks they may have encountered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Here is a link to help taxpayers calculate how much they might expect to receive via check or direct deposit.  

Unfortunately, if you are an undocumented immigrant who files tax returns with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), and not an SSN (Social Security Number), you will not be included in this relief package.  You can read more about that here.  

Not all taxpayers will receive checks.  Individuals with AGI of $75,000.00 or less will be eligible for up to $1,200.00 ($2,400.00 for joint returns), and $500.00 for each qualifying child.  Taxpayers can expect checks to start going out within the next three weeks or so. Make sure to keep an eye out for any IRS notices that may be sent out as well.  

The IRS will use 2019 return information for taxpayers who have already filed 2019.  Otherwise, the IRS will use your 2018 return information.  

If you have any tax questions, please reach out to Mendes Weed, LLP at (925) 390-3222.  We are working remotely during the shelter in place order to assist clients with tax law, estate planning, probate, trust/estate litigation, divorce, child custody and visitation, domestic violence and elder abuse restraining orders, civil litigation, civil restraining orders, and unlawful detainers.  You are not alone during this time; we are happy to help!  

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