Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: Dad passes in middle of divorce with updated will leaving nothing to her and everything to my sister and I.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Answered on Dec 16, 2017

If your father died without a will and was not yet divorced, his property will pass according to the Texas rules of descent and distribution. Whether the home was separate or community property, his widow has a right to live there for life. Pie charts showing how separate and community property pass are available on the website of the Travis County Probate Court. Hire a local probate lawyer to probate his estate.
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Q: If someone in Jamaica West Indies is named in a will in Florida and dies before the Will is probated what happens?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

The share of the dead Jamaican goes to his or her estate.
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Q: California intestate succession?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

If your mother did not ''transmute" ownership to husband as community property or others jointly and held the inheritance in her name as separate property her separate property is distributed as follows:

The surviving spouse receives all of the separate property if the decedent is not survived by issue, parents, brothers, sisters, or children of a deceased brother or sister.

The surviving spouse receives one-half of the separate property if the decedent had only one child, or...
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Q: My husband died 3 years ago and his father just died last month. Am I entitled to his 1/3 of his father's estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

When someone dies without a will, they are said to die "intestate." When this happens Arizona's laws of intestacy dictate who will inherit that person's estate. Based on the limited information provided here, in the case of your former father-in-law, unless you bear some other relationship to him besides his former daughter-in-law, you would not be entitled to any portion of his estate. You may want to visit briefly with an attorney directly to confirm all of this.
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Q: Is there a reason an investigator is fishing around looking for the heirs of an estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

It makes sense because you would be one of the people who might have information about her nearest relatives
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Q: Stepmother passed away am I entitled to anything from the estate ?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

If she had a will, it goes according to the will.

If not, it goes to her heirs which would not include you unless you were adopted by her.

A long shot is that the father had a written agreement with her that she would leave something to you.
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Q: how can i prove the last will and testament is not true that my estate has been taken from me by my fathers family,

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

Hello, Thank You for your question! Unfortunately, the work you need to do is with the Arizona court where this was handled, not in a Minnesota court. But regardless, to get started, you will need a copy of the Will. Luckily, a Will that went through probate is a matter of public record (I am assuming here that the Will went through Arizona's probate system). Here is how you get a copy:

Step 1:

- IF the Will went through Probate in Arizona, locate the probate court that handled...
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Q: My cousin died intestate. She was a Minnesota resident. She has no living immediate family; parents, sibling deceased;

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

Thank You for your question! Minnesota has set out in Statute the order of preference when determining descendants if a Minnesota resident (or someone who has an interest in real estate in Minnesota) dies without a Will (known as "Intestate"). These rules are called "Intestate Succession." Below, you I have included an exact copy of Minnesota's intestate succession order of preference. As you will see, Minnesota law treats everyone in each succession generation equally - alive OR deceased - IF...
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Q: Does a will need to be written down, or can an audio recording count?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

A will has to be in writing.
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Q: I put a home I inherited in AZ in a trust. How should I insure the home so I don't invalidate the trust?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

I am answering the question under the following assumptions: (1) your house is properly titled to your trust, (2) your trust has been properly prepared to meet your wishes, and (3) you are the current trustee. If so, then insuring the house is fairly straight forward. Just be sure to contact your insurance company directly or through your agent/broker and let them know you own your house in trust. They will most likely add the trust as an additional insured. In other words, this might be less...
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Q: Dad died last week intestate & owns mobile home, has no cash and is over $20k in debt. Do I become personal rep?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

You have some terminology mixed up a little. I suggest that you consult with a Florida probate attorney to discuss the whole process. I suggest that you use the find a lawyer feature to look for an attorney near where your dad resided.
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Q: In a trust, that states "trustee may consider other income but not her capital resources". Is a distribution capital?

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Estate Planning for Texas on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

One would have to examine the trust instrument to make sure but usually "capital" refers to "principal" as opposed to "interest" or "assets" as opposed to

"income." If the beneficiary is receiving a distribution from another trust, that is income.
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Q: My father passed away last year and my sister who was appointed executor of his estate claimed to be an only child!

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

Yes, contact an attorney immediately and file a complaint in the probate court, if the matter is still pending their or in Superior Court if the probate matter is closed for fraud. A great deal of additional information is necessary. However, lawsuits are expensive.
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Q: My grandfather passed away and left a house and land to my grandmother in a will. My grandmother passed away.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Louisiana on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

Both successions have to be opened and can possibly be done at once. All goes to your grandmother by virtue of the will. If she passed with no will, then all goes to her children -- all of them. Best to have all heirs on board to work out partition on splitting of the proceeds to be able to handle efficiently and cost effectively.
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Q: If I am listed in a will for a reward of a certain amount of money. Can they pay out less than what is listed?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Idaho on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

Under certain circumstances, yes.

For example, if there is not enough money to distribute ALL the specific bequests, each would be proportionally reduced. Or if there are 'priority claims' such as probate or funeral costs that exceed the amount that would allow a full payout of beneficiaries, etc.

Seek local legal help to analyze your specific situation as state laws vary about what is considered 'priority' etc.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes...
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Q: Is real property included in estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

It depends on the language of the deed.
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Q: Can a Texas estate executor sell property without the permission of the heirs?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Answered on Dec 12, 2017

Yes, that is what Personal Representatives (executors) do. Sometimes -- depending on the nature of the appointment and limits imposed by the Court -- they need COURT approval to sell, but they don't need PERMISSION from anyone else to act.

If you object, you can probably get the court involved in the decision, but again, as an HEIR you don't get to control things. You COULD make an offer to purchase the property however. You should consult with your own attorney to determine what your...
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Q: When my mother passed, she had some of her accounts TOD. I am executor. How do I handle them?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Dec 11, 2017

Sorry for your loss.

An executor of a Will or PR of an estate has no duties with regard to transfer on death accounts. There are two large exceptions, first if the estate is subject to federal estate tax which is at about $5.5 million; and second if the beneficiary of the TOD account predeceased your mother (in which case the estate may have a claim to the account).

Generally, the person named files a claim or other form with the institution and attaches a copy of the death...
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Q: My dad's wife just passed. Their house was titled to her, and her family claims it's her estate, and they get it now.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Answered on Dec 11, 2017

Your dad has legal options. Too numerous to list here. You need to consult with a probate attorney asap from the area where your dad resides.
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Q: My brother in law drowned while out of state 5yrs ago, his body was never found. How do I have him declared deceased?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 10, 2017

It depends on whether he had a will or not. If he had a will, the situation is governed by Section 6-20 of the Probate Act. If he did not have a will, it is governed by Section 9-6. Go to a lawyer experienced in handling estates about this. The process is somewhat involved and must be done precisely. And now I have a question: Why are you doing this instead of your brother-in-law's blood relative?
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