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Questions Answered by Richard Sternberg
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: How do I obtain a death certificate…

My fiancée of whom we shared a child together passed away unexpectedly from a stroke. And of course it’s a case of I ntestate succession. Vital statistics customer service told me that since our daughter is a minor and I am not next of kin I can’t obtain a death certificate. Is this true??... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 14, 2022

Interesting issue. His daughter plainly has standing, and you are surely eligible to be her next friend. But, let's start simpler by approaching this through the need you have. If he has an estate, are his parents filing it? You don't need the death certificate if they get it unless... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland, if my neighbor is claims adverse possession on piece of my land. Who pays the taxes?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 13, 2022

You are completely confused about the concept of adverse possession, and your confusion is very likely to deprive you of your property. Get a lawyer!

Adverse possession is a defense. Think: Statute of Limitations. If you've let someone possess your property openly and adversely...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Foreclosure for Virginia on
Q: What legal actions can my aunt, brother, sister and myself take since we were the heirs to my grandfathers estate in Tx.

We were all served paperwork stating that the property would be auctioned off to pay what's owed and we would receive the difference. A couple weeks after the auction date I contacted the law office in charge of the sale to see how much the property sold for. I was told it didnt go to auction... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 8, 2022

Wow. You probably did a very stupid thing by not stepping in. In a foreclosure, the secured and foreclosing party will bid as much but not more than what is called the upset price. That is the amount they are owed after fees and expenses. In a very hot market, especially with all the many varieties... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: When splitting up the money left in an estate, how do I take out judgements against beneficiaries paid by the estate?

I have 2 siblings, both of which had separate judgements paid off by the estate when we sold the family farm. The siblings along with myself were listed as co-owners of the estate when my dad passed, so the judgements had to be paid before any funds from the sale were released. I shouldn't... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 8, 2022

It's a simple accounting matter, but auditors in different counties may insist on different reporting of the distributions to pay off the individual judgments secured by the estate property. Most counties have posted their accounting principles on the probate website of the Commissioner of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Who gets the house if both husband and wife die without a will and it never went to probate in Virginia?

My sister and her husband are owners of a home. Both have died and their son took over the house but never put it through probate. He is now dying and doesn’t have a will. He has diminished mental capacity at this time. Since the house is still in my dead sister and brother-in-law’s names,... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 31, 2022

The correct answer depends on the form of title and the order of the passing of the grantors, so you start with reading the deed and an interview. But, in a Virginia estate, the property passes outside of probate subject to being recaptured for creditors. If the son is disabled and potentially... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My brother died he and a friend bought a house years ago and he willed everything to me how do I get my half of equity

I live in PA and the house is in VA, what would I have to do to get my half of the equity in the property

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 27, 2022

The answer depends on a number of issues, but, at least theoretically, you already own the property subject to the estate’s need to sell it to pay creditors. What you need to do is determine the liquidity of the estate and the complete title to the property, and, if you share title, determine the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My brother dad wants to buy a house for my brother but has a civil judgement against him. Can house be taken

He has already been pre qualified and both will be on the deed but only my dad will be on the mortgage

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 14, 2022

You need to consult counsel before anyone signs an offer on a home. Depending on the circumstances, it might be possible to contribute funds to the purchase, but I don't know what "brother dad" means; I can't determine from your question who is on the deed and who is on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: how can I distribure funds to a interested party, in probate ? who is unable to work. while the estate is still open.

I am the personal representative in the estate in pg county #124481.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jul 20, 2022

It might be wise for you to review the estate with counsel, because you, as personal representative, will be personally liable if you disburse too much or the disbursement violates the rights of some other beneficiary or creditor. But, you have broad discretion to create advances to beneficiaries.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: how to deposit a cashiers check when the payee is deceased

The cashier check is made out to the deceased and drawn on the deceased bank account. The deceased bank account is frozen.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 29, 2022

You will need to make a claim in the deceased's probate estate, assuming there is an estate. If the account has a beneficiary and there is no estate, you may be out of luck. Consult legal counsel if the check is big enough to be worthwhile.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: how do you sue a condominium association in maryland? The president lives out of state.

The condo documents filed in 1982 list a resident agent, but his wife indicates that he has had no contact with the association since 1982 and suffers from dementia.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 23, 2022

You can look up the resident agent at SDAT, since it was likely updated when the entity filed annual reports, or you can serve an officer, or you can serve SDAT if there is no resident agent, or you can move the court to grant substitute service. You start by reading the rules of civil procedure.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My ex put me on his deed in N.C. In 2008. In 2011 did a gift deed my name is still on it unknown to me do I have legal ?

This was all done without my knowledge or even being notified I know as far as nc register of deed has me as a grantee the gift also has my name. I honestly don’t know what to do with this info Any advice

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 21, 2022

Consult NC counsel. You probably have substantial rights.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have squatters living next door for a year. Their waste water is entering my basement. How can I remove them?

The original owner died and the home was vacant. Can I use the nuisance property ordinance to remove them?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 15, 2022

Interesting situation… and that’s not the kind of thing you want to hear from your lawyer. But, there may be an easier approach. Here’s the bad news: their status as squatters probably doesn’t matter unless you can get the cooperation of the title owner through his estate or through... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How to transfer a deed in puerto rico notarized in Pennsylvania
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 12, 2022

You need to consult a Puerto Rican lawyer of title agent. While the notarial seal of another US jurisdiction is likely to be honored, the jurisdiction where the land lies will have transfer rules, filing requirements, and tax protocols to follow.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: My brother died in September in Las Vegas without a will. He has one daughter in California and me, his sister, in MD.

No spouse, no living parents. He owns 1/2 his house which was just sold, some precious metals, and cash. Does his daughter get all of it, or am I entitled to any, and how much?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 7, 2022

The answer will depend on the law where your brother was domiciled when he died. If he was living in Nevada, you need a Nevada lawyer. In all likelihood, by the most common intestate succession framework, his primary heirs are his spouse (whom you don’t mention) and his issue (the daughter).

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Are sellers in MD required to disclose cracks in an in ground pool to potential buyers if the home is sold "as is"?

Several large cracks that are leaking were discovered upon trying to open our pool. The Pool was closed and covered during the inspection when we purchased the home. These cracks are very visible. Current repair estimates are $30k plus labor, pool draining and refilling. We would not have purchased... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 4, 2022

You need to look carefully at the disclosures and the advertising as well as all other correspondence to look for misrepresentations. There are several categories of cases, but you aren't in the easiest of them. It's not going to be an easy latent defect case if the cracks are very... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How to find out if my deceased father left anything for his children
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 26, 2022

Have you asked your siblings or (step-)mother or other relatives if there is a Will or someone is filing probate? Did he have assets, and should you file as Administrator? A consult with a lawyer discussing your situation might be helpful, and, if that lawyer opens the estate, you’ll be repaid... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Rental property in Virginia that needs to be fixed but renter is not ready to pay.

Hi i have a rental property in Virginia. The tenant has moved out after the lease completed. They did not do a wakthru. There is mold and appliances have been abused. the repairs are more than the deposit amount. they are refusing to pay. what are my options.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 23, 2022

You can ask politely and be ignored; or you can document the evidence, send a demand letter, and sue.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about changing bank accounts set up for funds collected from rental of my mother’s home to a trust account?

My mother (and father) are deceased, and my brothers and I rent her home in Virginia, using a property manager there who rents and manages the care of the house on my behalf (I live in Washington state). From the funds I collect monthly from the rental, it all goes into an account(s) from which I... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 17, 2022

Set up a trust. It won’t be hard, but it’s not a DIY project. Get Virginia counsel.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: I would like my son to inherit my mother’s home instead of myself. Can I do this if she is unable to amend trust?

I am trustee and beneficiary of my mother’s revocable trust, also POA. My husband and daughter are listed as beneficiaries if I were to die, but my sons are not.

Mother is in a memory care facility with dementia.

As trustee, if the three of us sign a disclaimer, am I allowed to... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 16, 2022

There are often opportunities for tax savings as well as better planning in this sort of setting, but much depends on what the trust says. I see you are across the border in York, PA. I can refer you to someone, but you need a Pennsylvania admitted trusts and estates lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Maryland on
Q: My uncle is the executor of my parents will she is refusing to give me my trust and won't contact me

She is the executor of the will saying he will donate and not give to me I really need help and I really need help getting my trust cuz my uncle is trying to keep it from me and I don't know what to do

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 8, 2022

There is no reasonable way to evaluate your position without reviewing the trust document to determine the trust instructions and, potentially, formation issues and breaches of fiduciary duties. Schedule a consult with a qualified lawyer.

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