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Questions Answered by Steven Basche
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Our son is the beneficiary of a GST set up by his grandparents. Can he draw on the trust before we die?

He is 34 y.o and marginally employed (at best) We support him 100% financially and that is putting us in a hard place. The income generated by this trust is not enough to support us as my husband 70 y.o.retired , I am 61 and have a low paying job and we have a 17 y.o. daughter who wants to go to... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Feb 11, 2021

To answer your question, we would need to review the trust agreement itself. It really depends on the language used in the document. My guess is that your son should be able to get money from the trust, but without reviewing the document it's impossible to say.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Can a 401k and HSA distribution be added to a general estate bank account if there are no beneficiaries assigned?

My brother passed away last year and did not have a will. The case is currently in CT probate court. There is a surviving brother and myself, no spouse, parents or children. I am also the administrator for his probate case. Can a 401K and HSA distribution be added to the established estate bank... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Feb 4, 2021

Yes, the proceeds from the 401k and HSA can, and should, be added to the estate checking account. Keep in mind, there will be income taxes due on both distributions. Those assets will then be distributed to your brothers heirs as determined by the CT intestacy statute.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: If a stepdaughter gets poa of her mother to get my dads estate while we are in probate court will she inherit some estat
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jan 7, 2021

The step-daughter will not inherit money for herself, but rather the money will (or should) go to her mother. As the POA, the step-daughter has a duty to use the money for her mother's benefit, but we all know that doesn't always happen.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Q: Is a Living Trust good for me.

I am single, age 70, no children or partner. I have 1 brother and no close relatives but 1 nephew who I do not want to inherit from me. I own a home and property. I wanted to leave my house and property to charity but if I die before my brother I did want him to benefit from proceeds of the... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Dec 29, 2020

A living trust would be a good option. For one thing, a trust is a private document, and is generally harder to challenge than a will. By avoiding probate with a trust, you make it more difficult for your nephew challenge your plan or have money go to him through your brother. Your brother could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Can my sibling make false accusations against me as administrator of my dads estate regarding belongings (assets)?

I was just appointed administrator to my dads estate. I've had to prematurely remove all assets left at my dad's property do to my brother taking the majority of high priced belongings. None of the assets are in my dads name. But I have been verbally threatened by my half brother which... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Dec 14, 2020

As the administrator, your first job is to secure the assets in the estate. This means all assets, including tangible personal property (the stuff in his house, art work, furniture, jewelry, etc) which are owned solely by your father. You should also demand that your brother return any asset he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: So CT probate charges a fee even though there are no assets to go through probate?

All assets were joint or designated via trust. Probate charged base fee plus .5% of taxable estate.

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

Yes, even though the court doesn't do much, when the tax return is filed to clear any possible lien on the property, the court will assess the probate fee.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My dad died in Oct. 2017. My brother filed probate papers in March 2018. My brother died in 2020.

I went and got a copy of my dads probate papers. They said both my brother and my name on papers. The estate said there was $30,990. My brother paid my dads furneral $13,000. He kept the balance for himself. He was suppose to split with me. Like I said he passed away a month ago. I didn't know... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

Yes, you have a claim against your brother's estate. Probate court where you father died should have copies of the various filings in your father's estate. They should show the amount you were entitled to and then you'd have to prove he kept that money and didn't pay it out to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Wrongful Death for Connecticut on
Q: My husband's brother passed away 5 years ago in CT, without a will.

My husband was the executor of the estate, however he was unable to continue, as he became ill. Then, his sister became the executor of estate. Both parents and all siblings were named beneficiaries to the estate. There has been a wrongful death lawsuit going on and is now in the process of... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

First, my heart goes out to you in this difficult time.

Now to answer the question. You and/or your daughter should be entitled to your husband's share of his brother's estate. Your husband was alive at the time of his brother's death, so he (or in this case his estate)...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Connecticut on
Q: Brother placing mother in AL facility beyond her means and plans to draw down limited assets.

My brother just received POA for my 82 year old mother. We have searched for an assisted living facility and found one that will cater to her needs and income (approx $3,000 per month). He unilaterally decided to place her in a more expensive facility ($4,300 per month) and draw down on her assets... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jun 23, 2020

This is an interesting question. A POA authorizes another person to handle financial affairs, as opposed to personal decisions, such as where to live. You could go to court and ask to be appointed the conservator of the person (as opposed to the estate) and then you'd have the power to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My father just passed away and I'm trying to figure out how do I handle his stuff?

EDIT: If the answer doesn't include anything related to the process and just says HIRE A LAWYER, dont bother

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 29, 2020

You need to hire a lawyer where your father died and seek to be appointed the administrator. This will give you the power to act regarding your father's estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My father is dying in South Carolina my sister is power of attorney, doe's she legally have to notify me about will?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 18, 2019

Most states require notice to all heirs (relatives who would inherit property if the decedent died without a will) if there is an application to admit a will to probate. That doesn't happen until after death. But nowadays, a lot of assets pass outside of probate, by joint account or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Must a Mutual Distribution agreement only be the result of a will contest?

Or

Can all the beneficiaries get together and agree on a distribution that is different from the will?

Without a will contest?

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Sep 19, 2018

Yes, the beneficiaries can agree on a distribution different from the will without a will contest.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Questions about wills in CT. Can they be hand written and must they be notarized

Can witness be executor to the will

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Aug 28, 2018

Connecticut allows handwritten (Holographic) wills under certain circumstances. The will must comply with all of the other requirements, including witnesses. A beneficiary cannot be witness to the will, unless they are also an heir (meaning someone who would get a part of the estate if there were... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: My mom passed in January of this year. Prior to her death she added me (her daughter) to her checking/savings account

With survivorship. The account was used to pay bills etc and was not included in the will. In her will she stated her estate to be divided by 8 children. My sibling is accusing me of taking money from bank account and says he won’t give me anything from the estate. Could he do this legally? Could... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Aug 22, 2018

The funds in the joint account became yours upon your mother's death and you are entitled to keep them. That being said, if your name was added as a convenience, and your mother did not explicitly say she wanted you to have the money and not include it as part of the estate, your brother... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: What kinds of things should we be aware of as we set up our estate for a disabled child?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 16, 2018

The answer to that seemingly simple question is rather complex. To start, you should be considering setting up a couple of special needs trusts (SNT's). The first trust would be a 3rd party SNT, which is funded by assets owned by a third party (meaning not your child). The second trust is a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: My brother is not handling our parents' trust responsibly. Can I have him removed?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 9, 2018

If you are a beneficiary of the trust, you have the right to ask the probate court to get involved to look at your complaints about how he is handling things. Whether the court will remove him depends on the nature of the problems and probably on the terms of the trust. You should contact an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: I'm pretty sure my uncle's updated will was signed when he was already diagnosed with dementia. Is this legal?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 3, 2018

This is a hard question. Even a person with dementia may have the mental capacity to sign a will or codicil if he knows what he is signing, knows the natural objects of his bounty (his children, relatives, etc.) and knows the extent of his estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: How do I claim anything when dad left no will? I am closest living relative. No one else cared.
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 3, 2018

You can file to become the administrator of the estate. Connecticut law states that if a person dies without a will, and has no spouse, the assets in the estate go to the children.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: I believe close relatives are taking advantage of my fathers diminished mental capacity as it relates

to his ownership of properties and distribution at death. He does not have a will and his name is not on the deeds anymore (unsure why removed) but the plan was they quit claim it back to him at 50%. He recently changed his mind. Is there anything his child can do legally to get this back as I... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 3, 2018

You can petition the probate court to have a conservator appointed for your father. This will give you the power to take control and manage assets in his name.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Connecticut on
Q: What can I do if the executor of the estate is not abiding by the provisions/directions of a will?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 3, 2018

You can contact the probate court and possibly ask that the executor be removed for failing to act in accordance with the will. My best advice is to start with the probate court. Even a letter to the judge may get the issue front and center.

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