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Questions Answered by Nina Whitehurst
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Separate wills and separate benificiaries?

My husband and I have separate wills. In my will,I provide for my son if my husband does not survive me. In my husband’s will, he provides for his son if I do not survive him. If I should pass first, does everything go to his son after my husband passes and my son does not receive anything?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 17, 2020

Your statement of facts answers your question. You wrote, "In my husband’s will, he provides for his son if I do not survive him." Other than that, there is no way for any attorney in this forum to answer your question without actually reviewing your husband's will.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Do I have the right to a copy of my deceased parents will of whom my brother has failed to give me?

My brother is the appointed executor of the will. He failed to let me see it or even give me a copy. That goes with both of my parents death certificates. I also have questions regarding the estate left behind.

It has been nearly 1 year now and I've asked him for it and no response.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 17, 2020

Probate cases are a matter of public record. Call the probate court and ask them how to go about obtaining a copy of the will that was admitted to probate. You can also obtain copies of inventories and pretty much anything else that is in the file. If you are local, it would be best to go there... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: Ownership of life insurance on another person if the owner dies?

My mother had a whole life insurance policy on my step father and my mother passed away can another person besides the insured change ownership of the policy that is not related to her? Before my mother passed away I was named as her executor.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 17, 2020

The insured cannot change the ownership of the policy; only the owner can do that. But the owner has died, so now this is an asset that needs to be probated. The life insurance policy that your mother owned on the life of another is now an asset of her estate and needs to be distributed according... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Rhode Island on
Q: How do i find out about a power of attorney given by living parents to one child of three? Is it recorded anywhere?

One parent is deceased and the others won't answer questions about the document. How do we find out what it covers as a child of the parents?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 16, 2020

Powers of attorney are sometimes recorded in the local land records, but more often than not they are not. The obvious answer is to ask the living parents and/or the child to whom the power of attorney was given.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Adding beneficiary

Hello,

If i am adding a beneficiary to my trust and wish to assure them I will not remove them as beneficiary ever, is there a legal agreement that can be signed stating they and I must mutually agree before they can be removed?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 16, 2020

It is possible to enter into a contract sometimes know as "agreement to make a will (or trust)." Such agreements are enforceable if the statutory requirements are met. Typically it is done when the promise of an inheritance is made in exchange for goods or services provided during... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: in Tennessee, must the property value be limited to a maximum of $25,000 In order to do a Affidavit of heirship.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 16, 2020

It sounds like you are inquiring about real property owned by the estate of a decedent that died without a will. (If the decedent had a will, an affidavit of heirship is not appropriate.)

If the decedent did not have a will, an affidavit of heirship is one way to administer the real...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning on
Q: A man dies , his living relatives are a half sister, two nephews and three nieces . how would his estate be divided

He had a will which was written on and crossed over on several passages

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 16, 2020

If the will is found by the probate court to be valid, then it will determine who inherits.

If the will is invalidated by the probate court, then the answer depends on which state's law applies. The laws of intestate succession (what happens when one dies without a will) vary by...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Can I give my son a RIGHT TO LIVE in a property after my wife and i pass, just to provide him a place to live?

The property would then be sold if he leaves the property and divided according to the other stipulations of the will.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 15, 2020

Yes, that is entirely possible. The best way to accomplish this is with an attorney-drafted revocable living trust. Doing this with a "life estate" is not recommended for a variety of reasons that an attorney can explain to you during an extended personal consultation. A trust-based... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning on
Q: I had added my deceased mothers name into my mortgage long before she passed but she never made any payment contribution

My siblings want her share of the property though I was the one who made all payments which is unfair

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 15, 2020

It sounds like you may have added your mother to the title to your property as well, and that is why your siblings now believe your mother's share of the property is part of her estate. But that is merely speculation and reading between the lines. You should hire a probate attorney to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate on
Q: Wills and life insurance

Mom and stepdad have 2 kids from previous marriage. Each has a will saying that if one passes, the surviving spouse keeps everything. Stepdad passes in 2018. Mom passes in 2020 and her life insurance lists her deceased husband as beneficiary. Who now has claim to the life insurance?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 15, 2020

It depends on exactly what the life insurance policy says and whether there are any contingent beneficiaries listed. If the policy lists lists the husband as primary but somebody else as secondary (or contingent), then the secondary benefit claims the life insurance. If the policy does not list a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I recorded a TOD deed on my dad's home with the county clerk in Texas a few years ago.

I left out two pages that were blank regarding beneficiary selection that did not apply (option A & B). I did complete section C, but did not mark the box indicating my choice. Based on the above info, is this TOD deed still valid, or will it be deemed invalid at the time of my father's... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 14, 2020

It is invalid because it should have been filled out and signed by your dad.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How to distribute of an estate?

A trust has all cash plus a primary house. Trust calls for equal distribution among 4 co-beneficiaries (same 4 are also co-trustees). House will not be sold. Option 1: Single beneficiary "A" takes house, and only house, no cash, as her sole share. Option 2: All beneficiaries take equal... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 14, 2020

This question is not as simple as you probably think it is. First, a lot does depend on exactly how the trust is worded and whether unequal distributions of individual assets are allowed. Then there are potential reassessment issues as to the house to consider. If financing is used to make it work,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: If my folks pass away is it required for my name to be on the deed to avoid probate? Blairsville GA

My folks said they were advised by an attorney not to put my name on the deed and that Georgia law requires a property to go into probate. Basically, if there is a way to avoid probate in the state of Georgia what is the best way to go about it?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 14, 2020

In most cases the best way is a revocable living trust, but every situation is unique and sometimes an irrevocable trust makes the most sense or some other technique altogether. Many factors need to be taken into consideration. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced estate planning or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My pops is gifting me land in N.C but it needs to be split in half and put in my name. How do I go about doing that?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 12, 2020

A lot split is not a do it yourself project. You will need an attorney and a surveyor. I would also recommend an attorney to do the deed correctly.

However, there are very good reasons for not doing lifetime gifts, and your dad should talk to you and estate planning attorney about that.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Is my heir liable for my credit card debt?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 11, 2020

Heirs are not liable for a decedent’s credit card debt, but the decedent’s estate is liable.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Mom lived in house 50+yrs & paid off original mortgage in her mom's name. She has 3 siblings, who owns it?

Grandmother died in 1970's. There was no probate. Her siblings want to sell the house now to split cash for retirement, but she does not want to leave. Can they force my mom to move and sell? Who owns the house? Unknown if there is a will or who's name is on the title of the house.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 9, 2020

It is not possible to answer your questions without more information. This will probably require some kind of probate procedure to get the title out of your grandmother's name and into the names of her heirs. Who those heirs are depends on facts that have not been stated. Your best bet is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: My husband recently found out he is apossible heir to a distant relative who passed away. How do we find out for sure?

We were told we would receive a letter and through research it is a definate relative. But we want to find out about the case and cant get any information. How does that work when someone dies and has no heirs no spouse no kids etc. We just want to know if we need to prepare for this because this... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 8, 2020

Find a lawyer or paralegal in the vicinity of the decedent to help you search the local probate court records for a probate case filed on behalf of the estate.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Louisiana on
Q: How do I get legal right to care for medically incapacitated relative?

My father, a resident of the Louisiana, had a stroke and is unconscious. I’m am a resident of Oklahoma. We would like someone in the family (me, our parents, or his brother) to have access to his finances to pay bills and maintain his home, etc. We would like to be legally able to make any... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 8, 2020

It is true that you cannot obtain a power of attorney from a person who is incapacitated. You need to petition the court to have someone appointed as the incapacitated person's legal conservator and guardian.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Mississippi on
Q: My mom received a stimulus check for her small business that was in her name and passed away shortly after

The business was hers for over 50 years and in her name. Does her second husband get the money or does it have to be divided with heirs or even returned?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 8, 2020

The stimulus check is now an asset of your mother's probate estate. It does not have to be returned. The answer to the question of who gets that money depends on a lot of factors such as whether or not your mother had a will and, if she did have a will, what she said in it about the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Q: Can I sell a car titled in the name of the a trust if my brother and I (only beneficiaries) are both in agreement to sel

My parents are both deceased. The trustee has done nothing for six months and now refuses to handle the trust. What are my options? My brother lives out of state and thinks that now he can just start sending off to access money from the IRA, investment account, and life insurance that are... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 8, 2020

The starting point is to read the trust document to see how one goes about removing and replacing a non-performing trustee. I recommend that you hire an trust administration attorney or trust litigation attorney to help you with this.

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