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Questions Answered by Nina Whitehurst
1 Answer | 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 »

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Minnesota on
Q: How do I calculate life estate remainder interest value? Please help.

Won't let me edit main question, but please read-on... I purchased my fathers remainder interest last year at a value based on Minnesota's "Life Estate Mortality Table" which seems to be the same for all states. I fixed-up the home and am selling so will need to calculate value... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 8, 2020

Your basis in the remainder interest is what you paid for it plus any other costs of acquisition, such as recording fees and documentary transfer taxes, if any, and title and escrow fees, if any. As far as the sale price goes, it is whatever the market will bear. Consulting actuarial tables is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Want to know how funds will be distributed for my dads estate account

My dad died before my mom and he had land he owned with two siblings. The land just sold and 30,000 is due my dads estate. ( he died with no will, my moms will leaves everything to me ), I have 2 brothers so I was wondering how the 30,000 would be divided

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 6, 2020

It is hard to say how that $30,000 will be divided without knowing what ELSE was included in your dad's estate. In general, because your dad died without a will, his surviving spouse would receive $15,000 plus half of everything else in his estate. His children would receive the amounts not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Missouri on
Q: My brothers lied about my father's assets in probate. They taken everything. Where do I start? His estate half a mil pl

They have financially ruined me. I guess hoping I won't be able to get a lawyer. What do I do? Can I do anything?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 3, 2020

You need to schedule a personal consultation with a probate attorney right away just in case it’s not too late to intervene in the case. If you have sat back and let it happen it might be too late but you won’t know for certain until you have explored all angles with a probate litigation attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arkansas on
Q: How do you find how much is in your estate
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 3, 2020

It depends on whether you are concerned about your taxable estate, your probate estate or your non-probate estate. The answers are all usually quite different. In general, your taxable estate consists of everything you owned at the moment of your death plus things you gave away within three years... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Kentucky on
Q: Step-children after spouses death

My mother’s husband passed without a will. All his assets were bought jointly after the marriage. My Mother’s name is jointly on all the titles. The only thing just in his name was his bank account and one son stole his bank card and emptied it. She had told the step-children she would give... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 2, 2020

They can't take your "Mother's property" but they sure can try, and if you do nothing, they might succeed in hoodwinking the judge. Happens all of the time. You need a lawyer to prevent that from happening.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is it common practice to deny Daughter from being present when preparing legal doc. Will, POA, Health Dir etc for parent

I found it unusual that a family member would be denied to sit in (with their 83 yr old parent) while preparing legal documents. After doing some research, on living trust to protect her assets (Home) from probate she went back to ask that changes be made and was talked out it! This has more... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 2, 2020

The vast majority of attorney meetings with their clients exclude non-clients. This is not at all uncommon.

Some elderly parents do choose to include their adult children in such meetings, and this is perfectly appropriate most of the times when that happens, but it is more the exception...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: my children’s trustee refuses to give me any information regarding my children’s trusts and also has refused to pay any

installments claiming they can only be for educational and medical when it clearly includes maintenance and adequate care she has put in writing that she is aware now if ever the kids need disbursements because of our financial impact with the covid situation but says she isn’t allowed for any... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 1, 2020

There is at least a 50% chance that what the children’s trustee is telling you is correct, but if you want a second opinion, you can take the trust to an attorney to review it. Look for an estate planning attorney or an attorney who does fiduciary litigation.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Do I have to allow a fellow heir to live in a house with a mortgage if they refuse to pay the mortgage, taxes or upkeep?

From California. Mother passed away without a will, and home to be passed to me and my six siblings. I have been paying the mortgage and taxes to keep the house, but my brother refuses to pay anything towards the house. Attempted mediation, but he did not show. Once the house clears probate, do I... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 1, 2020

You are not stuck paying your brother's share, at least not forever. If you can't get your sister to do anything inside the probate case, then after the probate case is concluded and the house is in all of your names, file a "partition" lawsuit against all of the other owners... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Kentucky on
Q: When my uncle passed away, a friend of his applied for administrator. I am his next of kin.

He was divorced, no kids, my grandparents and mother (his only sibling) have all passed. The administrator filed that there was no will at the time of death, and also told me there was not one. He has now filed a handwritten "will" that states my uncle signed all property, homes etc to... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 30, 2020

As a general rule, when there is a conflict between a deed and a will, the terms of the deed prevail. So, for example, if the deed was a joint tenancy deed with right of survivorship, and you are the last surviving owner, then you now own that property in your sole name, and it does not matter what... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arkansas on
Q: I am a beneficiary having issues with personal representative, should I contact his attorney or get a attorney myself?

My brother was a resident and died in Arkansas in 2014, leaving no known will. No wife or children. 3 siblings and one was appointed personal representative.He lives and works in Arkansas and bond was also waived. Have never been provided any documentation of estate, real estate property has been... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 29, 2020

You definitely need your own attorney. The other attorney does NOT represent you.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: How to claim my mothers life insurance the fastest? Been in probate for years I’m only 20 with no family in the US left

My mother and father passed away two days apart my mother first then my father. My mother had a will and setup an irrevocable trust. My mother’s life insurance policy listed my father as primary beneficiary but also listed my grandmother as (contingent beneficiary) she lives in Israel and is not... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 28, 2020

I agree with both of my colleagues and would add that your uncle can resign as trustee and your attorney can petition the court to appoint a replacement trustee.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Small Claims for Ohio on
Q: My mother passed away in Hawaii. Due to the pandemic, I wasn't able to travel there to take care of her personal affects

Since I couldn't go there my "estranged " daughter stepped up and cleared out her condo and sent me pictures of some personal items that she was to send me and I would pay for shipping. After she found out that I was left some money she told me that she wanted half of it and has... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 27, 2020

You should hire a probate attorney to get an executor. The executor can demand the return of all of your mother’s property and the court can hold your daughter in contempt if she fails to do so. There are remedies for this but you need to act fast before everything “disappears”.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kentucky on
Q: I have been willed a small amount of funds from a close friend with no husband nor children.

She made her will and left everything to me. Can sibling come in probate and contest will?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 27, 2020

Anybody can contest a will. That doesn’t mean they will succeed. You should have an attorney help you with this. Sometimes it makes sense to offer them a little something to go away but if you do that you need an attorney to help you draft an ironclad settlement and release.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: My grandparents willed their house to my mom and uncle. My mom quick claimed the house to my uncle, they were going to

Sell it. In the will no one was supposed to live in the house. It was to be sold. Now my uncle has cancer and my cousins are saying that my mom has no rights to the house. What can we do? They are being shady and greedy. I don't care about the money it's my mom's house also. They... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 24, 2020

Your mom has an uphill battle on her hands. After all, it appears for all intents and purposes that she gifted her share of the house to your uncle when she gave him the quitclaim deed. She probably did that without the advice of an attorney, because if it was her expectation that she receive... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: Can you fund a Revocable Trust with only a house listed as an asset? Can you avoid Probate by doing this?

What is the best way to protect bank accounts that is used regularly and you don't want to include it in a Trust?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 23, 2020

Funding a revocable trust with only the house as an asset will avoid probate as to the house. If your goal is to avoid probate altogether, then a non-probate transfer method should be engaged for each and every asset. For bank accounts, another option is to designate death beneficiaries. This is... Read more »

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