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Massachusetts Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away last year and my sister who was appointed executor of his estate claimed to be an only child!

Can I do anything about it? I was in his will

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: QUESTION CONCERNING A FAMILY ISSUE, ESTATE, AND INHERITANCE

MY MOTHER OWNS A HOUSE WORTH AROUND $500,000. SHE CURRENTLY HAS A $100,000 MORTGAGE ON THE PROPERTY. THE EXTERIOR OF THE HOUSE HAS RECENTLY BEEN DONE, NEW WINDOWS, ROOF AND SIDING. THE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSE NEEDS A LOT OF WORK. MY BROTHER WANTS TO MOVE IN WITH HIS WIFE. HIS PLAN IS TO GET A... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 27, 2017

The only way your brother can get a new mortgage on the property is if he takes an ownership interest in the property or he enters into a rental agreement with your mother and she gets the mortgage and he can guarantee it. The issue is how the $400K in current equity is split between your brother... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Mother was left our home in grandmothers will, she will only have to split profits of the home if sold with ctd..

Living siblings. Executor asked for rent monthly to pay taxes and such for other apartment. (2 family dwelling). Executor has passed away now another sibling has said they are raising rent to repair home (which we live in) and we were not notified by deceased siblings wife nor given option to pay... Read more »

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Nov 25, 2017

From your description it sounds like the property is co-owned in some way by your mother and her siblings/their heirs. All co-owners of a property are legally responsible for the expenses like property taxes. That is not "paying rent" in a legal sense since it is between co-owners, it is simply the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Probate closed on moms estate over 3 years ago. We pay mortgage under her name. We close on a sale of home this month.

How do we pass the deed to the new owners? Mortage will get paid first. We own the house but couldnt put our names on the deed till we pay mortgage off.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Nov 22, 2017

If the deed is still under her name then only the Personal Representative of her estate can transfer the property. Depending on several factors the Personal Representative may first need to petition the Probate Court to obtain a License to sell the property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello! I didn't explain in detail my last question. My house is set up in a real Estate trust, and their is an executor

In charge of it. The trust states that the executor has the power to sell my home, and the proceeds r to go to me, as the beneficiary. But, as I said, he has not reached out to me & is not fulfilling his duty as executor, or administrator. The bank started the foreclosure process, due to a reverse... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 8, 2017

You can file a Removal Petition and Request to be appointed successor and also file an Equity complaint which would include the Trustee and the Foreclosing bank explaining to the Court that the Trustee should be ordered to pay the mortgage or act to sell so as not to loose the corpus. These are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi! My gramps passed away a year ago, and in his trust, he put me down as the beneficiary for the home I live in. The

Executor refuses to sell the home bc the proceeds will go to me instead of him. Because he hasn't dealt with the bank either, they r trying to foreclose on my home now. Can I petition the court to remove him before it's too late? Or, do I need an attorney to do that? Any advice would b greatly... Read more »

Inna Fershteyn
Inna Fershteyn answered on Nov 8, 2017

Hi, why do you need an executor when you have a trust? Trust governs distribution of the house of house is part of the trust.

You need an attorney to review the trust document. I suggest you get a phone consultation at least. Feel free to call my office.

Sincerely,

Inna...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I know if I need to create trusts or if a will is sufficient for my estate?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 3, 2017

A Will states how your estate is to be disbursed upon your death. Trusts are created for a variety of reasons, to avoid probate and the costs associated with probate, for tax purposes if needed, and finally to make sure the proceeds of your estate are passed over more than a single generation.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Probate and Securities Law for Massachusetts on
Q: All bank accounts have both me and painters SS # on it. How does it get split on ones death with a will?

So all our bank accounts have both my SS # on it and my partners. ON my money and bank account, my name is first with my SS # and then my partners name is on it with partners SS # on it. We each have access to accounts and either one can take money out. They are owned jointly. But we each... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 13, 2017

Generally the survivor becomes the owner of the account and it is not part of the probate estate which is governed by the Will, but you should consider clarifying that this is the case in your Will by so stating that the account is not intended to be divided as part of the estate but is a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Health Care Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am on a quitclaim deed for my mothers house, does this mean I own the house. She is going onto long term care.

I do not want the nursing home going after the house.

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 26, 2017

I assume the title is as joint tenants. Until your mother dies you both own the home. The fact she temporarily is not living there does not mean you own the home. Assuming your title is as joint tenants, when your mother passes you record her death certificate and at that point the sole title to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am thinking about buying a house in Norton, MA with my cousin and his wife. Are there standardized contracts for this?
John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Sep 25, 2017

You need to consult with a real estate attorney to discuss the details of your goals in order to figure out the best way to structure it legally. Do not try to do this yourself using a form contract because there are many different possibilities and you don't want to end up doing it in a way that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Does PR need to seek court's permission to charge rent to tenant residing in decedent's 3 family home?

My mother passed away intestate in Jan 2014. Recently, I was appointed PR of the estate. In addtion to myself, my sister and brother are the only legal heirs. The estate's only asset is the family home which is a multi-family, 3 decker, located in MA. Currently, my sister resides in the 1st floor... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 19, 2017

This presents a complicated issue. I would go to court and ask for permission to charge and collect rent as well as sell the property, not so much as to get permission but to save you from a contest over your actions by your sister in the future. I would contact an attorney immediately for help.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Does my grandfather's will leave everything to me and exclude my cousin?

My grandfather had a wife and 3 children. In his will his wife gets 100% unless she dies. Then it states that child A gets 1/3, child B gets 2/3, and child C is excluded from any inheritance on purpose. Child A is decieced, leaving behind me, his son. Child B is deceased with no children. Child C... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 18, 2017

First of all until your grandfather dies he is able to change his Will if he is competent to do so. The language of the Will would be examined to determine who the devisees are and there are also the heirs who would receive notice so that a contest may occur. Without seeing this instrument it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father was executor of my grandmothers estate. Now my father has passed. Do me and my siblings hav half of my grandm
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 11, 2017

It depends on how your father's estate planning is structured -- it is not 'automatic' ... If your father had a will you will take whatever he provided for there. If not, you will take according to the plan set forth by the state legislature in the state your father resided.

If you aren't...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: What do I have to do to claim an inheritance of land in ponce that's been going on for 34 years that a few people want ?

Everyone has passed away a and now I'm receiving mail saying I'm being sued

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 5, 2017

You need to file a petition to open the estate and claim the property. Check to see if an estate was ever opened before for the owner whose name appears on the deed. First, contact a local title search company like Quirk Title and order a title for the property. Check with the probate court where... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: my grandfather passed with out a will and I am the only heir how do I access his accounts?

there is a life insurance policy that I am the beneficiary to but they will not give me any information about it until I can prove power of attorney.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 30, 2017

Hello, If you were the beneficiary of the life policy or if you were the only survivor as a contingent beneficiary, then you will need his death certificate and death certificates of the other contingent beneficiaries if you are the survivor. Now, that said, sometimes no beneficiary is named and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: if their is 5 heirs to an estate can the oldest sibling just take it upon himself to go through dead person's things the

day he died. I am so upset very disrespectful

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Aug 20, 2017

It is the person appointed Personal Representative's responsibility to do so, or if everything is in a Trust, the Trustee's responsibility. Apart from looking for the Will or a copy of the Will, he should not have done anything by himself.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: i need a power of attorney and I live in Massachusetts. Do I need a lawyer to do this for me or can I do it myself?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Aug 19, 2017

It does not have to be done by an attorney, but I would recommend you have an attorney do it. There are two types of Powers of Attorney, a regular one and a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). Most Estate Planners draft Durable Powers of Attorney. There are variations of DPOAs, immediate authority,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: HI! I have a question about divorce.

So my mom and dad got divorce 2 year ago but they are in appeal trial for divide the estate. My dad got married to another women after the divorce but now my dad passes away so would his new wife going to inherent whatever going to him? or is everything the court diced to go to my dad is going to... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Aug 17, 2017

Is there a will or trust? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: What is the best way to prevent family members I don't want to inherit my assets from contesting my will?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Aug 9, 2017

There are a number of ways to discourage it, but there is no absolute way to stop someone for challenging a Will for undue influence. I would be happy to discuss various strategies you can use depending upon the assets you own and who you are trying to disinherit. However, MA gives spouses a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I find a professional trustee? No one I have asked will agree to be a successor on my trust.

I have a trust of which myself and my sister are trustees. The trust requires 3 trustees. After my Father (the 3rd trustee) died my final successor Trustee was a bank that was bought out by another bank. My sister has been haggling with the subsequent bank for almost a year and they won't give an... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Aug 4, 2017

There are professional attorneys and trustee service companies that offer such services. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards,... Read more »

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