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Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for South Carolina on

Q: Should receiving an inheritance in two large sums from another country constitute a fee of 700 via money order to get th

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 14, 2019

Sounds like a scam to me. Take the proposal to a attorney for review before paying anything.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can my estranged parents steal from money left to me from my grandfather if I'm an adult?

My grandfather left my brother and I legacies so that we can attend/complete college. He also left us some money in his will. He recently died and we are concerned that our parents, who we are not close with, may try to steal that money. Can they legally access this since we are legal adults? Are... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 14, 2019

There is no way to answer your question without seeing the relevant documents. My standard advice is hire a probate attorney to petition the court to appoint you as executor. That will smoke out the will. Or not. Your parents might try to "disappear" the will because that is better for them. In... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Texas on

Q: Who is entitled to life insurance policy if children are only beneficiaries but dad was in community property state?

My dad took out a life insurance policy about 10 years before he married his second wife. He passed away recently. Me and my 2 siblings are the only beneficiaries named on the insurance policy, but the will did state we are supposed to each receive cash gift of $100k and the rest of everything he... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 14, 2019

The beneficiary designation on the policy controls, period. If wife not named she gets nothing and will lose if she sues.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on

Q: Can the executor of the Will continue liquidation of estate assets absent an injunction?

My sister’s boyfriend committed suicide and named her as the executor of his very specific will. She has completed more than half of the administration aspects of the Will after receiving the Letters Testamentary by the court. The Will was prepared by an attorney per TN statue. The Will... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 13, 2019

No, the Executor can continue performing her duties as a Fiduciary. But if a Will Contest is successful, the Executor will have to account for all property and cash. She needs to be careful, but if it is not time critical, she might wait to see if a Contest is actually filed. She has a duty to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for West Virginia on

Q: WV law states that a will must be signed in front of two witnesses. Would the spouse's and notary's count as two?

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2019

No. An interested party cannot be a witness, nor can the notary. Find two individuals who are unrelated, not inheriting under the will, and not also serving as notary.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Two pieces of real estate, PA1 & MI2, in irrevocable trust at PA bank. PA1 distributed to the beneficiary Free of Trust

by court decree in 2000. Beneficiary now listed as owner on county website. Bank, sole trustee, wants to sell MI2. Beneficiary not in favor. Orphans’ Court proceedings where Petition to Authorize Sale of MI2:

a) Describes the decree of 2000 as, "Pursuant to Decree of this Court dated …... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2019

Regarding the property you can PA1, it would be very rare, unusual and unexpected for a court to order it back into trust after it has already been distributed. I would say the risk of that is extremely low.

Regarding MI2, this probably is all taking place within the same original case...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on

Q: How do I protect my interest in a dual inheritance?

When my grandmother passed away, she left the house and land equally to me and my aunt. Instead of selling the house and dividing the proceeds, my aunt has continued to live there since her passing. Currently, my aunt and I are somewhat estranged and I do not know what preparations she has made.... Read more »

Charles Evan Lohr answered on Sep 13, 2019

There are several options you could pursue, but they will all depend on how the property is titled. Please feel free to call me to discuss further.

Evan Lohr

Attorney at Law


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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on

Q: In PA. My wife has an investment account created during the marriage. Can she will it all away or am I entitled to it?

Money was from a malpractice suit that occurred during the marriage. She placed the money in stocks and bonds and she set it up to go to her family upon death. Can a marital asset be willed away from a spouse at death? We used funds from the account for a down payment on a second house and have... Read more »

Karen Ulmer Pendergast answered on Sep 13, 2019

In the event of death, a spouse may will their assets to anyone, however, the spouse has an elective share of 1/3 of the assets. This means that if your spouse leaves you less than 1/3, you can elect against the will to get the 1/3 of the assets.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Nevada on

Q: My mom and deceased stepfather has a living trust in Clark County. How do I remove my stepfather's name from the trust?

My mom wants to do remove his name and do a Deed Upon Death naming me as the grantee of the house they own.

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2019

In most states a deceased trustee is removed from title by recording an Affidavit of Death of Trustee. However, that does not guarantee that your mother has the authority to do what she is proposing. The only way to determine whether she can do that would be to review the trust, and even if the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on

Q: Need advice as administrator to will

My uncle passed with no will. My aunt and my mother are only surviving family . My aunt was the power of attorney before he died. After his death she sold property of the estate and gave other things away without consulting my mom. I became administrator of his estate. There is a house that is... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 13, 2019

Your options as I see them without an interview are:

1) Accept that your aunt is stealing from the estate. As Administrator of the estate who failed to protect the estate, you are likely to be personally liable for her thefts.

2) Resign and report the thefts to the Court. Let is be...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Probate and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on

Q: My father passed away, he wasn't married and didn't leave a will. Are my Aunt's allowed to keep his house keys from us?

My father didn't have a will, and only has 2 children. He wasn't married. My Aunts have taken the keys to his home and wouldn't allow me (his son) inside to search for documents necessary for burial. Is that legal for her do given that I'm the son? I researched intestate succession and believe it's... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 13, 2019

If your father left children, those children, not his siblings, are his heirs. Hire a local probate lawyer to help you file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration. Once you are appointed administrator of your father's estate, it will be your duty to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on

Q: A married person passed away without a will and has surviving adult children. Does the surviving husband inherit all?

The couple bought a house in NJ while married and have adult children on their own before they were married.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq. answered on Sep 12, 2019

The answer really depends on the assets such as if it was only a house, maybe? I suggest setting up a consultation with a lawyer if you need to know your rights.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on

Q: My husband bought our house in his name only. I am not on mortgage or deed am I responsible for it if he dies. Thanks

Live in CT and he had no will at this time.

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 12, 2019

You are not and will not be personally liable on the loan because you did not sign the note. However, if you inherit the house the lender can foreclose if the payments stop rolling in.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: In Oklahoma, if you have a revocable trust, do you have to file the will in District Court?

My father passed away this last August and he and my mother have a revocable trust naming each other as Trustees and everything going to the surving spouse. We want to make sure we are doing everything legally and are wondering if you have to file the will with the District Court if they had a... Read more »

Richard Winblad answered on Sep 12, 2019

Probably not unless the didn’t transfer property into the trust.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: White happens if my wife wills our house to her children from a previous marriage? We both own the house.

Correction: " What happens...."

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 12, 2019

She can only will her 50% community property interest. You have a lifetime right to live in the house. Please note that if she died without a will, her 50% community property interest would be divided among her children and you would have a lifetime right to live in the house. Her children... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: I live in Georgia, but a member of my family died in PA. He had unclaimed monies under $10,000 in the NC Treasury.

I know that I need a small claims affidavit. What does the state of PA require? I seen online an affidavit, via notary stamp only and I could have it filed and stamped by the clerk of courts. Does the notary have to be from PA for form notarization?

Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2019

You need a copy of the death certificate. You need something from a court showing that you reperesent the estate of your family member.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on

Q: In NJ. Father did not name estranged son in will but did not disinherit. Is son entitled to a potion of estate?

The will names 2 of the 3 natural children. A copy of the will was sent to estranged son.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq. answered on Sep 11, 2019

Maybe an attorney would need to read the will to tell you what you're entitled to

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on

Q: My father passed away. He was married for about 6 years ( she was his 4th wife ) also she is 25 years younger than him.

He retired from the state of Ohio. He named me the beneficiary ( his daughter). What are my rights with this. I have a brother I would split it with. Does she get all of it. Do we have any say at all with this. I know he wanted us to have this.He left her a 401K , all for his other assets , 2... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Sep 11, 2019

You will have to consult with a local probate attorney who can review all the facts, gather any information and documents, and then advise you. You might have to file to administer the estate, unless his wife or someone else does. Whether you or anyone but his wife receives anything, will depend... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on

Q: Does the wife, in Tennessee, automatically get her diceased husband's personal property by law if he has no will?

My husband is "too busy right now" to draw up a will. We moved to Tennessee from Florida in Sept 2018 and bought a house with a mortgage. He has two daughters with families in Colorado. I am their step-mother. If he dies, does his personal property automatically go to me, his wife, by Tennessee law?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 11, 2019

A surviving spouse is entitled to certain household goods and the family automobile if the deceased spouses dies without a will. Review Tennessee Code Section 30-2-101. The surviving spouse has other entitlements ( a homestead allowance and a "years support, etc ) but all of these are NOT... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: My brother and I are joint trustees in a living trust containing our mother's assets. What if one of us resigns?

The trust is located in Maryland and our mother is suffering from dementia.

If the trust is re-written with one of us as sole trustee, and the other as the successor trustee in the event the first becomes unable to serve as trustee:

1. Are the contents of the trust or trusteeship... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Sep 11, 2019

Specific questions about specific planning documents usually require sitting down with an attorney to review. That being said, I'll try to address in general terms the questions posted.

With respect to inheritance and other death taxes: these taxes apply in Maryland no matter whether...
Read more »

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