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Questions Answered by Jeffrey Louis Gaffney

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on

Q: My mom is running out of money.She wants to stay at home.

Is there a way she or I can take out a loan on her home so she can stay? So we can pay her home health care workers come and have all her food and bills paid?She owns her home and she had given me her other home that I lived in for 15 years.My son has lived with her for 2 years and has been taking... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Aug 20, 2019

There are different options.

Many people use a reverse mortgage to take money out of the value of their house. It is basically a loan with the house as collateral and you never make payments. You keep living there and in the end, the bank gets their money back, plus a bunch of interest,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Probate for California on

Q: my mom left a will she split up the assets to me and my siblingshowever I wasnt told what my part was. My sis my trust

Sis wants to kick me out of the house i thought was mine given in will

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Aug 2, 2019

First you need to know what exactly the Will and/or the Trust left you.

If you do not have a copy of the Will, then ask the executor (in writing) and if you don't want to wait you can go the Probate court and get a copy (assuming that the Probate process was started).

If there was a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: For a Will in the state of California do I have the option of 2 Witnesses or 1 Notary Public?

I prefer 2 Witnesses and a Notary but we are having a problem getting the 2 Witnesses.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 22, 2019

Here in California we do not notarize the signature. The rule is two witnesses or the entire will in the testator's hand writing.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: California Our mother died and we don't know what claim we have to the house we lived in.

My grandmother had my mother and our family live in her paid off home since I was little. After Grandma died years ago, we continued to live there. My parents never married but my father pays/paid the property taxes every year. My mother suddenly died earlier this month and now an Uncle is trying... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 18, 2019

It all depends on what grandmother's Will and your mother's Will said.

I suspect that neither had a Will. The answer, though it depends on the deed too, is probably that the house passed to your mother and her siblings (the uncle?) in equal shares and now uncle wants his share. That...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for California on

Q: We live in an over 55 community with no HOA. What can we do about one person that's 34 yrs old here? Nuisance

The real estate company knew this! We have been inundated with loud music and pool parties!

And he's a bully to the residents because we're older!Please help!

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 8, 2019

Sadly, the rules that keep people 55 and under are not laws, but just an enforceable agreement among the owners.

Somewhere you have a Homeowners Association (HOA) that has a set of rules and covenants (CCRs).

Did they BUY or RENT? If renting then the HOA can enforce penalties...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: Inheritance Time Frame

My husband has a terminal illness in which he is expected to live 2-3 weeks, I called his only sister to inform the family (his sister and father)about his prognosis, only to be informed that my father in law had passed away in late April. My father in law and my sis in law are located in New... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jun 30, 2019

The answer depends on whether there was a Will or a Trust or not. If there were such documents, then they would control completely what happens to the assets of your late father-in-law.

Many Wills and Trusts require that the heir survive the deceased by a certain amount of time but it...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on

Q: I live in CA and my mother lives in a skilled nursing home in MS. POA is needed to stop sister from taking her funds.

My only sister lives in MS and she is taking money from her while she is in the facility permanently. When my mother admitted herself into the facility she emptied my mother home of everything. And has opened accounts in my mother name.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jun 15, 2019

Elder Abuse is a crime in every state of the Union. If it were here at home we could get a restraining order to keep your sister from taking the money. I am sure you can do the same thing in MS.

Do you mean that YOU want a POA over your mother? Your mother will have to possess the...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: I live in California. I am disabled. If Both parents pass without a will., Will I inherit their homes automatically?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jun 12, 2019

That depends on whether or not you have siblings. It has nothing to do with whether or not you are disabled.

If one spouse dies intestate (without a Will) then all of the community property passes to the surviving spouse. If that surviving spouse then dies intestate, the estate is...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: Can anyone advise me where I may be able to find a living trust,I was told it was lost,never had a chance to view it .

To Whom it may concern, thank you in advance for responding to this message,I need to honestly know,if there is any way,I can track down a living trust, my Dad passed away and because at the time, I was in the US military special ops unit,I was unaware of his passing, once the mission was... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on May 24, 2019

There is no good answer to this one.

Are you sure he had a Trust? Did he have the house titled in the name of a Trust? Or bank accounts?

It is possible that the bank or brokerage house will have a copy if he held an account there in the name of the Trust.

It is remotely...
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2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: My mother passed she has multiple bank accounts but only one is joint account with my father.

Obviously under California law my father is entitled to the funds in the joint bank account because his name is also on it. But if there is no will or the other accounts are not listed in the trust is he also entitled to 100% of the funds in the personal savings and checking accounts?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on May 14, 2019

When someone dies intestate (without a Will), then their property is divided per the statute.

The surviving spouse inherits all community property.

The spouse and children share the separate property of the deceased, with the surviving spouse getting at least one-third no matter how...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on

Q: Can wife qualify for Medicaid if husband's money is all going to residential care facility?

My mother had to put my father in a residential facility due to dementia and not being able to care for him. She is 86 and he is 84. Can she apply for Medicaid? She only gets $700 from Social security and has to pay rent,utilities and prescriptions.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on May 6, 2019

Yes she certainly can.

Among the things to watch for is protecting her assets from "pay back" to Medi-Cal. If either or both spouses go into nursing home care, Medi-Cal will keep track of how much money they are spending and try to recover that money from the estate after they have both...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: Four Morgan Stanley IRA accounts are listed in schedule "A", in a Trust.

Four Morgan Stanley IRA accounts are listed in schedule "A", in a Trust. Those accounts are still at Morgan

Stanley, but I noticed that the account numbers listed today, are different from when the Trust was

established in 2005. Is this a problem? If Morgan Stanley can paper trail... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on May 6, 2019

That depends ...

First of all, you almost never want IRAs or 401Ks in a Trust. Those sorts of retirement plans have named beneficiaries so that the money automatically goes to the beneficiary upon the death of the owner. Having the IRAs in a Trust serves no purpose.

You could...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Health Care Law for California on

Q: Will California deny a long term care application if asset money was properly gifted?

I am my 95 year old aunt's attorney in fact. She is in an assisted living home in Culver City, CA. I need to apply for long term care for her. She has some cash in the bank, but not enough to pay her assisted living bill which is in arrears. California goes back 30 months and says they will deny... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 29, 2019

You CANNOT gift the money away or sell anything below fair market value without causing a penalty period for Medi-Cal to cover her nursing care bill. You can spend it but you cannot give it away.

You are not in any way liable for your aunt's care or her bills.

A nursing home can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: What paper do l file to have my Granny's will put inprobate

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 21, 2019

You need to go your county Probate Court's web site and they will give you very exact instructions.

There are three different levels of Probate process in California. Which level you use depends on what assets your grandmother left behind. If she left no real estate and only moderate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on

Q: I am being subjected to elder abuse by my live-in caregiver.

I am a competent senior. My caregiver is subjecting me to emotional abuse, but I cannot get rid of her. Any recourse?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 14, 2019

If you cannot just fire the caregiver,ort if she won't leave and no one in your family will help you, then you can ask the court for help.

A court can grant a Restraining Order for Elder Abuse. You start by asking for a Temporary Restraining Order at the court house, then, if it is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: Do i need a reason or show probate judge why i need to withdraw funds frm block acct.,how long does this process take?

I am Administrator of estate.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 12, 2019

When you file the petition form to get funds from the blocked account, you have to fill in exactly who will be getting the money and the purpose of the payment.

How long it will take depends on your court and how backed up they are. Expect a few weeks at most.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: Do i need to get a court date just to ask probate court to release partial funds from block acct ?

I am Administrator of this estate and I need some money to pay a contractor. I openned court order blocked account where the funds are deposited. While i wait for other issue to be resolved Is it possible to use that money? How do i ask judge?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 12, 2019

A blocked account is one blocked by a court order. Therefore, you need a court order to unblock the account when you need to use the funds.

What you need to file is an MC 357 (the Petition) and an MC 358 (the Order for the judge to sign).

You will only see the judge for a minute,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on

Q: Is it elder abuse if my former landord refuses to refund my security deposit?

When I asked for refund (after waiting 21 daysl) she told me to 'sue me'

I am a 71 year old man with my lower left leg amputated.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 9, 2019

It certainly can be elder abuse, but you would have to prove bad faith by the landlord. Is it possible that you don't get your deposit back for legitimate reasons? If the landlord is just a crook, then I am afraid you may just have to sue to get it back.

Try calling the Tenants Rights...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: Can you distribute property in an estate without resolving the debt when there's a will

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 9, 2019

Yes you can, but it would be a very bad idea anyway you look at it. The executor would be personally liable for any debts or taxes if he gave away too many assets.

Normally it requires the assent of all the parties involved, so any one person can block it.

A final account and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: My sister just filed our mothers probate paper work to become executor. Shouldn't me and my brother have been informed

And maybe even have to sign something stating that this is what we wanted?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Apr 2, 2019

The Probate process begins with someone filing a Petition with the Probate Court, along with the Will if there is one. A court date is assigned 15 to 30 days out. The petitioner is required to give notice of ths to all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors and persons of interest so that they can... Read more »

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