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COVID-19 Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If my father's life insurance is paid to my mother's estate can it be taken by creditors my parents owed money to?

My father had a life insurance policy with prudential that named my mother as primary beneficiary and me and my brother as contingent beneficiaries. My parents passed from covid within 22 hours of each other. My father passed 1st and my mother 2nd surviving him by 22 hours on a ventilator. After... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 25, 2021

You are correct on both accounts. If your mom did not survive your dad by at least 120 hours, then she is deemed to have predeceased him. That would leave his children as the sole heirs of his estate (having died without a will). The insurance proceeds should be paid to you and your other... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Hi...I live in California (LA County). My wife was the sole beneficiary on her older brother's 401k account.

Her brother died of Covid on January 19th. My wife then died of Covid 4 days later. What happens to the 401k account? Her brother had a daughter, but she wasn't listed as a beneficiary. Does the 401k pass to the daughter, or does it go to my wife's estate?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Mar 29, 2021

It should go to your wife's estate.

A Will or a Trust normally has provisions regarding this sort of situation, but unless the 401K administrator had the brother sign something unusual, then the money would still go to the estate of your wife. But check with the administrator.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Can children (and their spouses) serve as witnesses for their parent when signing a Power of Attorney in CT?

Due to a sudden illness, my father was admitted to a skilled nursing facility in late 2020. His Medicare eligibility is now lapsing and I need a Power of Attorney agreement to assist with his Medicaid enrollment, funeral planning, managing of finances, etc. Due to Covid restrictions, his facility... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 26, 2021

Because of COVID, there is an executive order which suspends the witness requirement on all instruments which need to be notarized, except for wills. So, you are in luck. There no witnesses required. That said, it can't hurt to have your sister and her husband sign as witnesses. Or... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In CA. My husband/his ex never filed a QDRO. He died. What do I need to do to get CalPERS to pay me his pension?

He caught Covid in the line of duty. I had POA for CalPERS. I'm his beneficiary. I got the QDRO drafted but it wasn't ready until a month after he died so he couldn't sign it. How do I get an order from court that doesn't require his signature so CalPERS will release the lien on... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Feb 23, 2021

You probably don't have standing to act on his behalf in family court. That being said, there's definitely something that can be done. When someone dies, the successor in interest (probably you) can be joined into the divorce case to sign documents, including a QDRO. That's what... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Nebraska on
Q: I am a resident of Massachusetts - a Nebraska county court judge is trying to force me to appear in person during covid

i am the PR - I do not want to have to come to nebraska during covid - do I need to file for an injunction in Nebraska before filing in federal court in Massachusetts?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 5, 2021

You might move to be removed as Personal Representative. But all assets that have come into your possession would have to be transferred to the new, proposed PR. Federal Court probably has no jurisdiction in this matter, and if a Court wants a hearing, that is the Judge's discretion, not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Q: Do I have any rights to the house of 31 yrs my father in law owns. My husband and him died without a will last year?
James Tack Jr
James Tack Jr answered on Jan 26, 2021

Sorry for your loss. There is not enough information to fully answer your question. The answer depends upon who died when and who were their heirs. Generally, upon the death of your father-in-law, his property would go to his heirs. That would include his spouse, if any, any living children or... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Q: If a person dies intestate, is there a deadline for the filing for probate?

My cousin passed away without a will. He had no children, surviving siblings or parents. My siblings and I are the closest relatives. He had a two week hospital stay prior to his death. So far we have not been able to find out a final bill from the hospital. He had Medicare and VA and we would... Read more »

James Tack Jr
James Tack Jr answered on Jan 22, 2021

I am sorry for your loss. There is no time limit for filing a probate matter in Oklahoma. In order to sell the property or get good title to the real estate, you will have to have an estate proceeding. Unfortuantely, because of the pandemic, we are seeing a lot of people dying without a will and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My father passed recently and I am an adult child born out of wedlock. Am I included in probate?

My Dad isn't named on my birth certificate. My siblings pretend I'm not alive and I would like to be able to have some of his personal things. Can I legally make them include me before they separate his belongings up amongst themselves? I'm not seeking financial gain just pictures,... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 16, 2021

Your father's personal belongings pass to those named in his will. You don't have a claim to them if you're not named in his will. If he doesn't have a will, then it gets complicated as to whether you are entitled to part of his estate and you would need to have a conversation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My Dad died last week & my sis is executor. She is taking valuable items out of the estate for herself.

She is also a beneficiary along with only my brother and I. She has her children whom aren’t beneficiaries going in as well and taking out items. I live out of the country and she wouldn’t listen to me that executors have to act in the best interest of the estate and not personal gain. I... Read more »

C. Lawrence Huddleston III
C. Lawrence Huddleston III answered on Nov 28, 2020

She won't listen, so the only option is for you and your brother to hire an expert probate lawyer, and probably file your own action to be appointed and to remove her. At a minimum, you need to keep good notes of what she is doing and need to meet immediately with your own lawyer. Most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband's dad died & his brother,the executor will not give him a copy of the will or probate info. Now all dads 2mil

His dad,worth about 2 mill plus property etc is suddenly been moved into his brothers name and is there laws against this. If hes executor, isn't it his responsibility to provide probate details? . My husband is a jr & he was in the will for sure. His brother wont give him a copy of the... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 26, 2020

A Will has no legal effect until it is submitted for probate. It then becomes a public document. Check with the local probate court. If the Will has not been submitted for probate, hire a local probate lawyer to review the "deeds" and file an application to determine heirship and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Iowa on
Q: how can I find out if someone had a will

My sons sperm donor passed away 2 months ago and I have been told by several people he left his things to our son. The brother will have nothing to do with my son or I and there are no other children

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 19, 2020

If he had a will it would be probated at the register of wills office in the county where he died. Probating a will is a matter of public record and you can get information by calling them (although the pandemic has made this harder). After you get this information, you may need to retain an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Minnesota on
Q: what kind off effect is covid 19 having on hearings for violation of probation in mn
William Bailey
William Bailey answered on Nov 16, 2020

Some of the hearings are being held remotely via zoom. Otherwise they are proceeding pretty normally in most counties. You should have an attorney assist you with this situation so you don't get revoked.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: How long would the process take of making a complaint for the sale in Lieu of Partition in Prince George's county, MD?

An elderly disabled person is being forced out of his home that he lived in all of his life by the personal representative. The home had been closed with probate many years ago, and it's still closed, but the personal representative has now decided to sell the home after all this time. The... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 16, 2020

Your posting does not provide sufficient information for a reliable response, and I suggest that you review all of the facts with counsel during a consult. If the house is titled to the decedent, and there is an open estate with a qualified PR, there is no need for a complaint for sale in lieu of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My dad died before he signed amended trust, even though confirmed with estate planner, during covid?

My Dad received amended copy of his living trust 3 days before he died and had not signed them. He did contact estate attorney and confirmed draft. I don't believe signing them was exclusive, but I do know that my dad would want his last wishes honored. I know there must be mitigating... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Nov 13, 2020

If he didn’t sign the amendment, it’s ineffective. It doesn’t need to be notarized, but it does need to be signed by the trustmaker. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but to tell you otherwise is just wishful thinking.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Do I have to appear in IL estate court if I get a subpoena during covid while concerned for mine & spouse's health?

I received a supoena for IL estate court for my deceased father's estate & and I am concerned for my health (asthmatic) & my spouse at home with prexisting health issues. If I raise this concern, can I be relieved from attending?

Cheryl Powell
Cheryl Powell answered on Oct 4, 2020

Call the lawyer that subpoenaed you. Or the Circuit Clerk's office in the county where you are supposed to testify. Ask if you can appear by zoom instead. Although you are in Benton, I am not sure in what county you are supposed to testify. We have Zoom court for most civil things in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oklahoma on
Q: Man drafts will in 2017 leaving everything in his estate to his daughters; biological, adopted & step. Marries in 2020.

No new will was drafted, but the husband dies unexpectedly in 2020. What does Oklahoma law say this wife is legally entitled to? Or will she have to sell the home she lives in because it is part of the assets mentioned in the 2017 will?

James Tack Jr
James Tack Jr answered on Oct 3, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. The answer first may depend upon how the title to the house was held. I have assumed that the house was in the name of the husband only. I have also assumed there is no antenuptial agreement, which may also affect the answer. there will need to be an administration of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: My family has been trying to settle an estate in probate (no will) for over 5 years. All debts have been satisfied.

The attorney (friend of one heir) keeps returning to court, has not expeditiously settled this and does not relate information to the heirs. He insists it’s due to IRS tax due but the payment was recently returned from the IRS to the estate administrator. Please advise how we can finish this.... Read more »

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Aug 17, 2020

It is difficult to answer your question. When the administrator was appointed, the court would have ordered the estate as supervised or independent. If supervised, then the administrator is responsible to file an inventory and regular accounts. It does not sound as if that has been done. Anytime... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a housebound bank account holder let me log in on their behalf to initiate transfers?

My father died with a bank account with the name of an ex-fiancee still on it as a joint holder. She hasn't ever used the account as far as I can tell. She (and her current husband) want the money in the account to go to myself and my sister. Unfortunately she doesn't have an online login... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 6, 2020

Assuming your father was a Massachusetts resident for the comments: Are you the Personal Representative of your father's estate? If so, you need to contact the bank involved and provide them with your Letter of Authority and Federal Taxpayer ID for the estate and some form of authorization by... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My mom died without a will Dec 2, 2019. Her only major asset is the house, located in Park Scottsdale.

There is a reverse mortgage and credit debts, as well as this year's property tax, probably totalling a little over $300,000. This area is being re-developed- a teardown was bought across the street and the new build sold for 1,150,000. Our lot is about 1/4 acre, to be sold as is. How do I... Read more »

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Jul 27, 2020

To be a small estate, the estate must have less than $75,000 in personal property (bank accounts, cars, investments, etc.) and less than $100,000 in equity in real estate. The valuation for the property is determined by the county tax assessed value. You can also deduct any mortgages owed on the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can My Mother sue my uncle to pay the bills and debts left since his passing in reference to his business?

Father passed away from Covid in April, he left a handwritten will which stated that my Uncle was the beneficiary of his bank account, and he was to distribute the money equally between My mother , my brother and myself. My father has left a business and since we trusted my uncle would do the right... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jul 24, 2020

This should be posted in the Estates and Trusts section. However, in general, since your father died in NY, NY has jurisdiction. In NY, a handwritten will is not usually legal. You would have to start a proceeding in the Surrogates court where your father resided. As part of that proceeding,... Read more »

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