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Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My mother passed away 8 years ago. No contact with then spouse. How do I get probate admin status for executorship

We have no clue as to where the former spouse is. I'm whom she attempted to leave as executor.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 20, 2022

There are ways to find anyone. You are going to have to find them, or a last known address.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I am a beneficiary and successor co-trustee in a family trust. The other trustees are threatening to exclude me;

We are feeding and my sibs insist they can not give me my inheritance, if they choose not to. Can I prevent this?

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 20, 2022

If the trust names you as a co-trustee and beneficiary, then the other trustees cannot exclude you. Trustees are obligated by law to follow the terms of the trust. If trustees ignore the trust and do whatever they so desire, they can be sued for breach of their duties. Tell your siblings that they... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: My financial advisor (CFP) contacted my brother (no power) to advise him I'd made a change to my POA. Did he break a law

My brother is a friend of the CFP but has no legal authority for my estate - living trust. The CFP is in Georgia. I think he breached client confindentiality at the very least and likely violated a code of ethics. What recourse do I have? Is there a Board where I can lodge a complaint? Thank... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 19, 2022

I see nothing "illegal", but it is weird.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I am the last surviving member of my family, do I need to share my inheritance with my parents grandchildren?
Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Sep 19, 2022

This question is a little confusing so I'll do my best to answer the different ways it could be interpreted.

If you're asking if you have to leave your own personal estate to your parents grandchildren, the answer is no. You can choose to leave your estate to whoever you want, but...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Can a pro se personal representative of a Trust file a lawsuit for damages on behalf of all members of the Trust?
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis
answered on Sep 19, 2022

The person in charge of a Trust is call the Trustee (or Successor Trustee). Yes, the Trustee has authority to file a lawsuit for damages on behalf of the beneficiaries of the Trust. Whether that lawsuit is successful will depend on many factors, of course. When anyone is filing a lawsuit I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: I am in NC and executrix of my father’s will. I inherited a home. Can I sell it while under a standstill order as long

As I don’t dispose of the proceeds?

Ben Corcoran
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Ben Corcoran
answered on Sep 19, 2022

Without seeing the order, I doubt any lawyer would be able to advise you on how to proceed. You are likely going to have to pay someone to review it and give you specific advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Shouldn't my brother be paying me rent since he is continuing to live in the house after my mom's death?

He has been living off her pension for 12 years and took over her finances. We had a will done in 2006 which was 50/50 between my brother and I and in 2020 my brother had my mom do a new will giving him 60 and me 40 making him the executor and hid it from me for two years. He is selling and... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Since your mom owned a home, I am going to assume the total value of all of your mother’s assets exceeds the probate limit. That means your brother or you MUST file a Petition in Probate Court in order to transfer title to the property from your mom to both of you, unless title to the home was in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Q: If you and your spouse plan on leaving your entire estate to your church, must you leave anything for family?

Is there a law in Oklahoma that you must leave any portion of your estate to family members that are not in the state? Can you leave your entire estate to your church? If you must leave something for married children that live in another state, is there a minimum amount that you must leave?

Chantelle Hickman-Ladd
Chantelle Hickman-Ladd
answered on Sep 18, 2022

In the state of Oklahoma, your spouse is the only person who can make a claim if you don't leave them an inheritance. However, it is necessary that you specifically reference and/or disinherit your children if you don't want to leave them anything. It's best to work with an estate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it possible to leave a house in a trust after the owner of the house passes (in California
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Sep 16, 2022

From your questions, I'm assuming the property was properly funded into a valid trust prior to passing away. If so, I highly recommend reading the relevant trust document provisions to see if there is any particular directive regarding the disposition of this asset. Frankly, it's... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it possible to leave a house in a trust after the owner of the house passes (in California
Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Once someone dies, the trust becomes unchangeable (irrevocable) simply because the “owner” of the trust is no longer around to change it as the person sees fit. If the trust in your case has an attachment (usually called Schedule “A”) that lists all the person’s assets and that attachment... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Transfer on death deed. How does that work? Is this better than a will? My moms only asset is her house.
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Sep 16, 2022

What you are referring to is a "Life Estate" deed which can be useful and save money and possibly other debts.

The Life Estate deed is generally used to avoid surrogate or probate court and to avoid the government from attaching the property if your mom has the need for medicaid...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: i have a question, i live in colorado and i was reading that a trust must be registered with the county of residence

this is a revocable trust however it says only irreevocable trusts must be registered with the county

Nicholas M Klimas
Nicholas M Klimas
answered on Sep 15, 2022

Your revocable trust does not need to be recorded or registered anywhere. There used to be a statute, that has since been revoked, that required irrevocable trusts to be recorded. This is no longer a requirement.

Upon a Trustors death, during administration, there may be a need to file the...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I'm trying to get some information on what I need to do to access my father's estate/finances without a written will.
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Sep 15, 2022

You will have to open a probate case in the local circuit court, Call the Clerk's office and ask for assistance.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I'm trying to get some information on what I need to do to access my father's estate/finances without a written will.
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Sep 15, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss of your dad, please accept my condolences for you and your family. You will want and probably need to contact a Florida Probate Attorney, based on the type of assets and their overall value that have to be probated will determine the type of probate, if any, that will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If I was with someone for 13 yrs and he passed away we had animals together do. I HAVE ANY RIGHTS TO THEM.

We had nothing in writing just his verbal wishes

William John Light
William John Light
answered on Sep 14, 2022

If you jointly owned the animals, then you either still jointly own the animals with his Estate; or you continue to own your interest, and his interest passed to you upon his death.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Tax Law and Banking for Illinois on
Q: Is there federal laws for a trust
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 14, 2022

Tax laws and ERISA Qualification laws come to mind. Banking Statutes also cover Trust Regulation. Securities Law may often be indirectly determinative. There are probably many others. Obviously Anti-Trust Statutes. State Laws control most disputes, but Trusts often involve several possible... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: How do I obtain a death certificate…

My fiancée of whom we shared a child together passed away unexpectedly from a stroke. And of course it’s a case of I ntestate succession. Vital statistics customer service told me that since our daughter is a minor and I am not next of kin I can’t obtain a death certificate. Is this true??... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 14, 2022

Interesting issue. His daughter plainly has standing, and you are surely eligible to be her next friend. But, let's start simpler by approaching this through the need you have. If he has an estate, are his parents filing it? You don't need the death certificate if they get it unless... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Illinois on
Q: Is there state and federal laws for a trust/ estate. I have found the state laws but I can't find federal laws on it
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 14, 2022

Oh my, yes, there are a TON of federal statutes that impact trust planning, too many to list. You will find a great deal in the Internal Revenue Code and also Title 42. That is not necessarily a complete list, but it is where a great many exist, and it is a good start.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Alabama on
Q: If the estate of my wife's grandmother who is deceased is in her care does that mean that the property is legally hers?
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 13, 2022

No You may want to check the Probate File at Court. It sounds like the wife is an Administratrix/Executrix.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: Need to cash a check that has my deceased husband and me on it. Bank won’t accept because it is more then$10,000.

The settlement came in my name but went through bankruptcy court to pay both our debts. The rest comes to me. But has both our names on it. Husband had no assets of value. Never opened probate estate I just pay his bills as they came in. Now what do I do

Cristina M. Lipan
Cristina M. Lipan
answered on Sep 12, 2022

It sounds like the check came from the bankruptcy trustee. Contact the trustee and ask to re-issue the check in your name only. Be prepared to submit the certificate of death for the Trustee's due diligence.

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