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Questions Answered by Ben F Meek III
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... 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... 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... 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...
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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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1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Maine on
Q: Should I contest the amount the state of Maine wants from my deceased aunts estate?

I received a letter in the mail that the state of Maine wants 89,000 from the money left after my aunt passed away.She was in a nursing home but paid a partial amount every month out of her own pocket.The state of Maine covered the rest.The letter states that I can contest this.My question is... Read more »

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

It's not possible to give meaningful guidance with such little information. Are these demands from the state related to Medicaid payments for your aunt's medical care? If not, what is the demand related to? If for medical bills, you would have to compare what your aunt paid, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Oregon on
Q: Is it a criminal offense to not give money that was court ordered to your spouse?

Say a judge in a divorce case states you must sell a property and pay half to your spouse. Instead the husband takes it out of the trust, sells the property and buys another home in another state and hides it under another trust. I have judgements for all this money he owes but dont know how to... Read more »

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

I'm re-categorizing this as Divorce, as it relates to the divorce decree and the separation of property ordered therein.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help with asset tracking issues. The short answer to your question is that it is probably not a criminal matter but is an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My grandfather passed in April and I am the only surviving grandchild. No will has been filed with probate.

My grandfather was survived by a spouse, three children and I am the only surviving grandchild. Although my grandfather and I were close, I am estranged from his new spouse. I am also estranged from my father. I have checked with both Lake County and Porter County Courthouses (both where he lived... Read more »

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

There are several possible explanations for why you haven't been contacted about an inheritance. Here are some examples: Granddad left a Will but made no specific provision for you; Granddad left a will but had no property requiring probate (e.g. he owned all of his real estate as a joint... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: My father was California Resident and died in 2010. He had a Will which poured over into a trust thus avoiding probate.

The trust assets have been distributed except for a small lot of land in Virginia that is titled in his name only and was never moved to the trust. I now have a buyer for this property and I have had 5 different lawyers tell me 5 different things regarding "retitling" and selling this... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Dec 28, 2018

Typically, probate is required to pass title to real estate of a person who died as the sole owner. If the "pour-over" will was probated, in California, a probate in Virginia would be considered ancillary. Either way, the will probated in Virginia would transfer title to the property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My mom recently died. She only owned one car with 135,000 miles on it. So we need to go through probate?
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Dec 28, 2018

Probably not. Most states have "small estate affidavits" (these documents go by many names) that permit the heirs to swear under oath as to the death of their ancestor (with a copy of the death certificate), the identity and location of the heirs, and other information. Banks, title... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arkansas on
Q: My brother passed in February and probate ended in November 2018

Can creditors still submit claims after the end probate date? No will and property owned was less than 40,000.00 probably less than that amount.

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Dec 17, 2018

There is usually a deadline for submitting creditors’ claims before the end of the probate proceeding. The primary exception is that the claim cannot be cut off unless the creditor was given notice and an opportunity to be heard. If the Executor/Administrator mailed notice or gave other... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Father passed with no will! Step mother has shut us out of our fathers home. She left him 2 years ago, do we rights?

My father passed with no will and his estranged wife has been selling his belongings and there hasn’t been probate yet. He had a mortgage on the house and HAD very expensive tools. My siblings as well as myself are not allowed, by her, to enter our fathers home. Do we have any rights to our... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Dec 14, 2018

I agree with Mr. Jaap and would add that the probate process is very complex and there is very little chance that a lay person could navigate it successfully, especially if it is contested. Contact an experienced probate attorney in your father's state. Justia can help you find one, and many... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Mississippi on
Q: If a offender has been in jail waiting to go to a tvc facility on a 3,month sentence are they other options
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Sep 25, 2018

I'm re-classifying this question as criminal law, so perhaps attorneys with expertise in this area may answer your question.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother had a living trust, now a revocable Trust. I am trustee. However, she had a IRA not In trust.

Beneficiaries predeceased her. Co. wants Letter of Testimentary. How do I get that without probate?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Sep 12, 2018

Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration can only be issued by a court. It appears the primary and contingent beneficiaries of your mom's IRA died before the her. If so, the IRA will pay the money to your mother's probate estate, which means you will have to begin probate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: My husband and I purchased a house in 2015. In 2017, we moved to Colorado and leased the house.

My husband passed away in 2018 in Colorado. He had a will that was prepared in Colorado that I have not submitted for probate. Now I’m ready to sell the house in NC. Do I have to probate the will first, or is his will sufficient?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Sep 4, 2018

It depends on how you and your late husband owned the house. If you held title as, for example, "A and B, husband and wife, as joint tenants with right of survivorship and not as tenants in common", you will not have to probate your husband's Will just to sell that property. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: My step dad has a will. My mother has power of attorney and guardianship over estate. My step dads brother refuses to

Will. What legal recourse does she have? My stepfather is very sick and she’s trying to get things in order.

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Aug 7, 2018

She needs to talk to an experienced estate planning or probate lawyer. Your step-father's will is not important until he dies. But if your mother was appointed his attorney-in-fact (agent) in his Durable Power of Attorney, then she has the authority to act on his behalf. If it's not a... Read more »

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