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Questions Answered by Ben F Meek III
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: How to proceed with probate of property in Florida?

My fathers mother passed away a few months ago. There are six siblings in all. They do not all agree on how the land with the home is to be divided. The will states that all assets are to be divided equally (only asset is the land and family home). One of the brothers had the land surveyed and... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Oct 24, 2019

The short answer is maybe. There are generally two options when co-owners are partitioning or being subjected to partition of land: (a) in kind (what has been proposed by the surveying sibling); or (b) by sale and dividing the proceeds. If one of the siblings files a suit or demand for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: It has been 2 years since my mother died and I did not object to my brother being administrator. He is living in the

house collecting $1,200 a month from renters in the duplex. What can I do in NYC to get this house sold. The market is good and the house is at $700,000. Two years ago it was appraised for $580,000. Can I resubmit a new appraisal to probate court as an heir

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jun 12, 2019

If you are an heir to your father's estate, you can probably force a sale of the property or for your brother to buy you out. It's a remedy called "partition", which is the right of a co-owner to get the value of his interest and get separated from his co-owners. You can probably force a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: Woman died. Left home to one person until his death then to children after his death. How can children secure interests?

A woman owned a home which was in her name only. In her will, she left the will to her husband for the rest of his life then to their children (she had children from a 1st husband, and he had children from a 1st wife). How can all of the children secure their interests? If the home is put into the... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jun 10, 2019

You need to take a copy of her Will to an experience probate lawyer. If the property was her separate property at the time she married her new spouse, she kept it separate, and she left him a life estate in it by her Will, then he most likely received from her only a life estate in the property... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Q: Does tenancy in common require probate in KS?

My ex husband died in 2016 with no will, leaving a home that I believed to be titled as joint tenancy, but which I've learned is worded as tenancy in common. I've lived in, paid all taxes on, maintained and improved the home by myself for the last 28 years since we divorced, and wish to remain in... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jun 8, 2019

You might start by reviewing your divorce decree. If the property division gave you sole ownership of the house (subject to any mortgages, etc.) but the decree wasn’t recorded in the land records, all you may need to do is record it to be the sole owner (or you may have to sue to quiet title).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Q: I'm a Licensed Realtor & I have been appointed by the court as personal representative of my father's estate. House is

under contract. Am I allowed to receive a commission on the sale since I am the personal rep of the estate?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jun 7, 2019

Probably yes but you should obtain court approval to protect yourself and the estate. You have a fiduciary duty to the heirs/beneficiaries and self-dealing in such a situation should be fully disclosed and approved by the court. Even if the listing agreement predated the probate filing. Your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: How do I file an objection to set aside administration? I question the validity of my dad's will.

He was sequestered from me by my brother, a new will was produced dated 6 days before he died of cancer, specifically excluding me and naming my brother sole beneficiary and I did not receive proper notice of the hearing. My other brother, though estranged, was not listed in the will as a... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Apr 17, 2019

There appears to be a strong possibility of fraud or undue influence in having your father sign the will. You will need a lawyer to contest it in the probate matter. There is also a strong possibility that the estranged son is a pretermitted heir, since your father failed to name him either as a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Missouri on
Q: My mother passed in December of 2018. I am having problems to fill out probate paper. I have no idea how to fill it out.

Its just her car. Someone please help!

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Apr 10, 2019

Most states have "small estate" affidavits or affidavits of heirship that permit heirs to transfer car titles, obtain cash from banks or insurance companies, etc., as long as the heir will swear under oath as to certain facts such as: names and addresses of all of the decedent's heirs, that all... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My husband passed and my name was not on the mortgage loan or deed. Am I responsible for repaying the mortgage?

I was only married for 4 months. I never signed the promissory note and he acquired the home prior to our marriage. Although I am his only heir, I would like to simply walk away from the house. Can I do this without repercussion?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Feb 26, 2019

You are probably not liable for repaying the note and mortgage, since you didn’t sign them, though you might have to pay the loan off if you want to keep the house. Thus you can probably let the house go back to the lender, but you shouldn’t just walk away without facing the issues and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking and Probate for Texas on
Q: USAA HAS LOST ORIGINAL JTWROS SIGNATURE CARDS FOR PARENTS LARGE ACCOUNTS

USAA IS ACTING LIKE "THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK" - THESE ACCOUNTS WERE GIVEN TO ME

VIA TOD BY MY MOTHER WHO SURVIVED MY FATHER BY ONE YEAR.

THERE IS GOING TO BE A PROBATE FIGHT OVER THESE LARGE ACCOUNTS UNLESS WE CAN

PROVE JTWROS (WHICH IS ON THE STATEMENTS SINCE 1990) VIA... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Feb 21, 2019

This is a fact intensive issue that will turn on the evidence you can gather to show that her intent was to name you as TOD beneficiary. Gather every document that has to do with their dealings with USAA, their financial advisor, banks, brokerages, etc., and anyone else in the chain of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If a will has already been probated, how can I find out who the lawyer is to contact him?
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Feb 15, 2019

Find out what county it was probated in and search online for access to court records of that probate court. The attorney's name will show up in the docket sheets and on his or her pleadings in the case. Good luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Oklahoma on
Q: Do we have a case?

My husbands grandmother passed and her property is almost up for taxes. It is his step dad’s mother but he raised him. None of the other family want anything with us (they are druggies and we are law enforcement) and they have no funds to probate and don’t wish to. They want to mooch off of the... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Feb 13, 2019

There isn't enough information to determine whether your husband would end up with the property through probate. It may be simpler to keep an eye on the property and buy it at a tax sale. You might have to outbid someone but would likely get the property for a song either way. Or you may be able... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate on
Q: Mother died, Court judgment was for debt against my mother that is more than her estate is worth. Are we responsible?

I am the executor of the estate, What are my responsibilities. I live in

I am the executor of the estate, what are my responsibilities?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Feb 13, 2019

Your mother's estate is probably answerable for her debts, but her heirs are not personally liable for those debts (unless they obligated themselves by co-signing a contract or note or something similar). The inheritances of your mother's heirs would be reduced by the payments of her debts from... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away 12/29/2016, my sister is the executor of her will. She refuses to finalize the estate.

In the will, my mothers house has all the siblings as heirs. My sister wants it for her daughter. So she refuses to finalize on the estate until they can financially afford it, which leaves the house empty for the last 2 years. What can we do or say to get things finished? According to the will... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 24, 2019

Talk to a lawyer. Forcing the executrix to close the estate and distribute it does not constitute a challenge to the Will but is simply asking that it be enforced, which does not run afowl of the 'no challenge' clause. If you are a beneficiary in the will, you can also petition the court to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Wife is executor and sole beneficiary of her mother. Probate almost completed, deeds being transfered. Only thing NOT

Only thing left is transfer of her mothers 2 bank accounts. Here is problem. My wife is stage 4 lung cancer, very near death and unable to complete the transfer. Can a new executor of her mothers will be appointed (there is noone else in family) or better to wait until my wife passes. Oh, and we... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 16, 2019

Contact her lawyer for the probate matter and tell him or her the problem. They will help you. You may be able to be appointed, if you're qualified. The lawyer can tell you. Don't wait. It won't get easier. Best wishes.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: i am a heir to my aunts trust,i inherited $90K. the lawyer is requesting my ss# number. must i give it 2 him?
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 11, 2019

Ask him the purpose for his needing to know. Most likely it is so the Trust can report the distribution of funds to you on IRS Form 1099. That would be a legit reason for needing to know.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My father and his sister are both on the Deed to the home he lives in. She passed away how can he get deed, no will.

She didn't have a will and he wants it solely in his name, does he need to go through probate court and get a lawyer? Or is this something he can do himself. only surviving daughter isn't wanting the property

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 10, 2019

He may not need to do anything. It depends on how they held title. If the Deed provides that dad and sister owned the property as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", then he became the sole owner by law when she died. There would be nothing to probate and no need to change title. If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Q: If my father has no will and owns 2 homes. One is clear one is not

We live in the paid one and he is in the one with the VA loan. Without a will can we be made to move until probate is done

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 7, 2019

I would need more information before I could answer your question.

The most important question is: How are your father's real properties titled? If he owns one or more of them as a "joint tenant with right of survivorship" and your father dies first, his co-owner will be left as the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Can a conservator in NJ be changed?

My husbands’ parents have a conservator, but he is intimidating them and bullying them. They were tricked into signing affidavits by their daughter, who is only concerned about her inheritance, saying they are incompetent. Not until after the conservator was appointed, did they know what the... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 3, 2019

Conservatorship usually requires the consent of the wards. They need to get an attorney, if they are being abused emotionally or financially or if they gave their consent under duress or false pretenses. If they truly lack capacity, guardianship is probably the more appropriate remedy, since... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate on
Q: can my wife gain ownership of her deceased parents home which is behind in mortgage.

the house is in dire need of major repair. no deed will or trust was left and my wife is the eldest of the immediate children

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 3, 2019

Possibly. It depends on the title: what was the nature of her parents' title? (I'm assuming for this comment that neither of them deeded the property to anyone else and one or both of them owned the property when they died.) . If they were the sole owners as joint tenants with right of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Using CA Small Estate Affidavit to settle father's CA estate. How do we do NY Ancillary Probate for vacation home in NY?

Because there are no letters of administration with the CA Small Estate Affidavit, how do we we file with the NY Surrogate Court?

Also, since none of the executors or beneficiaries are NY State residents can we file it ourselves or are we required to use a lawyer?

Lastly, we have... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 2, 2019

I assume from your questions that there is a valid last will and testament and that your father did not have assets in California that necessitated its being probated. Whether the Will must be probated in NY depends on the nature of your father’s real estate ownership there. For example, if... Read more »

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