Your Connection to Elder Law and Care Answers

Get free professional answers to your Wills and Probate questions

Recent Wills and Probate Advice

    Can I submit a power of attorney to probate court to received money in behalf of my brother
    User image
    Ruthann L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The probate court has no jurisdiction over powers of attorney. I recommend you meet with a certified elder law attorney to resolve your concerns.
    User image
    Lisa M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    That is a question for a probate attorney, however, a power of attorney ceases to be valid upon the death of the individual.

       Share: post tweet

    Unfortunately my parents have passed away in the UK and my sibling and I have to sell their house. Any monies I receive will go into my account in the UK. If and when I am ready to transfer money to the US will I be severely taxed?
    User image
    Barbara B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Your question should be asked of an accountant first. Depending on that response you may or may not need to put something in place to receive the funds.

       Share: post tweet

    My 57 year old brother passed away in an assisted living facility on Jan. 1st. They did not contact any family member until 10am Jan 2nd. I called today wanting to know what his cause of death was. They are now telling me they are working on it but they said they will not release any information except to the executer of his will. I said, "Who is that." She said they still do not know any of that information. I said, if he doesn't have one would it not be his mother? ( He was divorced years ago) She said she did not know that information. Well, this facility is horribly run and when my other brother went to pick up some of my deceased brother's things, he was in and out 3 times with absolutely NO SIGN of any workers. I think he died from negligence on their part. How can we find out cause of death without being on a will??
    User image
    Lauren W. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I think they should get in touch with an attorney that handles nursing home neglect litigation.

       Share: post tweet

    my mother passed away in 2015. two of the four named in the will also passed away in 2015. are the two living and named in the will to receive also what the two passed away were name to get?
    User image
    Gabrielle T. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    "It depends" (no one's favorite answer). Usually a Will says what happens if a named heir predeceases the Testator. Often that share is to go to the children of the deceased heir. If no children, the Will will often state that the share "lapses" and the other shares are then proportionally increased. See what the Will says. Also, if the two deceased heirs outlived the Testator by 30 days, that may make a difference in the outcome. You should consult a lawyer who does probate of decedent's estates.

       Share: post tweet

    Our attorney did not explain the conservator's responsibilities thoroughly. What happens if I did not file a final account after my father passed? What are the repercussions? It has been 2 years since his death.
    User image
    Elizabeth L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The Conservator needs to file a final account to close the Conservatorship. The balance left in the Conservatorship account should be transferred to the Personal Representative, and the Personal Representative needs to review the Account and assent or object. The Conservator remains liable until the Account is filed and allowed by the Court.

       Share: post tweet

    My in-laws have decided to name three of their four children to be co-executors of their will. One of the siblings that is co-executor lives outside of the US (Sweden). I have read that having more than one executors can make the process ponderous. Is this true? What is your opinion about having co-executors living out of state or even out of country? I don't want to start a world war, but i would like to prevent serious problems that might occur in the future! thank you!
    User image
    Laurel M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    When my clients ask about naming co-Executors, I always discuss the downside, which is, as you mention, it can be cumbersome. Sometimes, my clients don't want to show favoritism and so insist on naming co-Executors. In that case, I go along, on the grounds that, at the time the estate is probated, the named individuals can then decide how to deal with the situation, whether one will resign in favor of the others, etc. That way all are named, parents showed no favoritism and relied on the named individuals to come up with the best situation when the time comes to actually serve. After all, the situation at the time of the parent's death can be completely different then than now; who knows where we all will be living 10-20 years from now? Another reason to name multiple persons and let them sort it out when the time comes. So, my advice would be to yield on this one and live to fight another day!!
    User image
    Hyman D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    First of all, naming 3 of 4 children has the appearance of omitting one child, which could start WW III. However, an out of country personal representative (formerly called Executors) will require that all must sign all documents and act jointly. That child could decline to serve when the time comes, but if not, there could be delays in getting probate documents, taxes and administrative issues resolved. Although the internet has made some decisions easier, in MA, all documents must be filed as originals, not on line or faxed.....

       Share: post tweet

    My uncle is dying of cancer, and has no wife or children, there are four of us as his nieces and nephews and his sister-in-law who are getting his inheritance. I'm not sure how much we are getting, but he is a millionaire for sure. He called and asked us if we wanted the money he is giving to us in a lump sum, or over time. What is the difference in terms of pros and cons? Are the options? What are there other options? We don't know what to respond with because we don't know anything about wills or getting money like that.
    User image
    Marcia W. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    It's best that you speak with an estate attorney and/or an accountant re: any tax implications before making your decision.

       Share: post tweet

    My dad was named the executor of an estate in a will when this elderly person passed on, the estate is worth $200k and there's another person named in the will that this money is to be split with. The estate is in probate and has been for a few years due to the lack of a good attorney. My dad has since passed on and we realized that the person's will stated that if my dad passes away the estate goes solely to the other person. Since probate was initiated prior to my dad's death will my mom be entitled to my dad's portion of the proceeds?
    User image
    Evan F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The answer is probably yes, because your dad's interest in the estate vested at the moment that the decedent died. However, who your dads interest will pass to depends upon whether he had it will or a trust, and depends on whether he had any children from a prior marriage to your mother.

       Share: post tweet

    my mother owns the house . in her will she has willed it to me and my brother . I have cancer and will pass before she does, when she finally dies will my spouse still get my portion of my mothers house when she finaly dies? are there any options. As will live with my mother in the house and have spent many $1,000.'s on repairs, new systems, etc.
    User image
    Carolyn W. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    This is a complex question that would require a consultation with a lawyer who practices in the state your mother lives in. You might consider calling Legal Information Network for Cancer to see if you qualify for free legal assistance.

       Share: post tweet

    A distant relative of mine recently died without leaving a will. I was contacted by a Finder Service, who had put together a list of heirs. An executor of the estate , one of the family members, was appointed by the executing law firm and this law firm undertook the task of liquidating and distributing the proceeds of the estate. I was informed by the lawyers in charge of liquidating the estate, several times, that the estate would be divided equally among the various heirs. In due course - it took about a year - the estate was divided and I received my share, which was approximately $28,000. At the same time, I received documentation of the liquidated assets, as well as the deducted lawyer's fees, and a further 15% deducted by the finder service, all of which were attested to, in writing, by the executor of the estate. Soon after the money reached my account, the law firm contacted me to say they had made a mistake and that the money should not have been divided equally. They asked me to send them a portion (approximately $2000) of it back. Soon after that, they wrote to say they had made another mistake and increased the amount to $7500. I have received no documentation from the law firm, just these requests to transfer money into their account. It doesn't sound right at all to me. Am I obliged to send them the money?
    User image
    Linda E. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Typically, before a NJ estate is distributed to the heirs-at-law (if there's no Will) or to the beneficiaries under the Will, the Executor/Administrator sends each of them a signed accounting which explains all of the assets, income, expenses and calculations for the estate. The Executor signs it to state that it is accurate. If the heirs are satisfied, they sign a Release and Refunding Bond. If the heirs are not satisfied, they consult counsel and seek their legal remedies against the executor. I recommend you bring the specific facts of your situation to your attorney since it is not clear that you were shown any accounting or that you were asked to sign any release.
    User image
    William I. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There are a few things here that do not make sense. An executor is named only where there is a will, and you indicate there was none. If a person dies without a will, the probate court will appoint an Administrator. When you received the $28000 distribution, did you sign a Release and Refunding Bond? I would need to see all the documents and correspondence in order to advise you properly.
    User image
    Margaret M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I would consult an attorney. It is odd that you have received nothing in writing.
    User image
    Joseph F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It depends on what actually happened. You say that you received written information about the proceeds in the estate and how they were distributed. Did you receive a formal or informal accounting of the administration of the estate? Did you review it? Did you sign any type of receipt and release before you received your money? If so, then you may have to return the money. I think you should contact an estates and trusts attorney in the state in which the probate took place and have him or her look at all of your documentation. I also think you need to see some documentation before you start returning money to the estate.
    User image
    Debra S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You likely signed a receipt and release indicating that if the estate was recalculated and you were overpaid, you would be obligated to return the funds.

       Share: post tweet

    My dad and brother were both murdered. My dads side of family dislikes me bc he legally adopted me an now that he is gone his sister is trying to take me to court bc she wants all his stuff. Can she do this?
    User image
    Paula M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If your Dad left a Will, then his property would be passed on to the people he designated in his Will. You may need to ask the probate court in Rutland to admit the Will for probate, appoint the Executor, and then go through the normal process. If no Will was done by your Dad, and you were legally adopted, then his property should go to you and any other biological or adopted children (if any). Again, the Rutland probate court would be able to process the "intestate" estate to assure that you and any other children take all - your Dad's sister cannot inherit unless a Will leaves her inheritance IF you are legally adopted and/or there are biological children. Hope that helps. You'll find the clerks at the Rutland probate court (across from the public library on Court Street) to be very helpful. Good luck to you. And my sincere condolences on losing your Dad and your brother to violence.

       Share: post tweet

    I am trying to find out if this is ok. My grandmother passed leaving 3 sons and myself ( granddaughter) she legally raised me and I was considered a full heir. She owned a liquor store with a liquor license. One uncle ran this store and wants to sell this license and get the proceeds. Which is ok with me. My concern is I received papers to sign ; one waiver of notice to probate of will and waiver of right to administer which has there 3 names only excluding me? I looked online @ the case there are 2 items one to open the case the other is a will from 1987. Should I sign this? I was given properties in 2007 while she was living and she had cds in my name and hers. I am confused by being excluded since I managed her care and estate. I did not know where this will was. Thanks for your time.
    User image
    Marcia W. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I would suggest you connect with an attorney who specializes in Probate Court/Elder Law. Do not sign anything without legal advice!! You can also contact the Probate Court directly to inquire about the open case. If you were the executor of her estate, how did you not know of the 1987 will? Do you know if she did another one subsequently? You need an attorney to assist you through your concerns.

       Share: post tweet

    My brother recently passed away. He held held a 5% assignment of partnership interest which he inherited from my father 18 yrs ago. The partnership owns a plot of land assessed at @$9,000.00. Is this considered a solely owned asset for probate purposes? Also, regarding probate, my brother had no will and his estate is valued at less than $40,000.00.
    User image
    Matthew S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The answer to the 1st question is yes, this is a solely owned asset for probate purposes. As to the 2nd question, is there an abbreviated or "shortened" probate process for people with less than $40,000 of assets, the answer is yes, there is a simplified process for probating the estate of a decedent who had less than $40,000 in their name at the time of their death.
    User image
    Hyman D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Any asset owned in sole name is to be probated. However, a partnership interest is subject to the terms of the partnership agreement, which sometimes states that the decedent's interest is to be returned to the partnership, and the estate gets only 'cashed out'....Based on the rules of the state in which he died, there may be a short,informal probate process to resolve the ownership of the asset.
    User image
    Joan W. , answers:
    Yes, this asset (his percentage in the partnership) is considered solely owned, even though the underlying asset is owned by several other partners. The asset will have to go through the probate process but you could utilize the "short-form" probate process because the entire value of his probate estate is less then $40,000.00. It would also be wise to check to see if there is a Partnership Agreement.
    User image
    Simon L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The partnership interest would be treated as solely owned, but because it is valued at less than $40,000 and there are no other assets, a shortened probate process can be utilized to transfer the asset.

       Share: post tweet

    There are named beneficiaries on money market and insurance policies. Do those beneficiaries override the statement in the will? How is equal distribution attained when the house named in the will has already been obtained by the heir before death?
    User image
    Marc C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The named beneficiaries on the money market and insurance policies will inherit. The will only controls probate assets and those assets will not pass through probate because they will be distributed as per the beneficiary designations. The executor cannot equalize distributions. The beneficiaries may due so via disclaiming and gifting.

       Share: post tweet

    My son passed in early April. His funds were handled by a third party through the Veterans Administration. I was informed that because there was no will, the matter of his estate would would go to probate court. What should I do at this point, or in probate court to claim my son's estate?
    User image
    Richard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    First, I am sorry for your loss. You will be well-served to speak with an attorney about how to best proceed with probating your son's estate. There are several types of probate in Florida, the category for which your son's estate would be subject to will depend on factors such as the value of the asset(s) that will be probated, how long he has been deceased, and whether or not there are creditors. An attorney who practices in the field of probate administration can advise you on what type of administration will be most appropriate, the costs associated with it, the paperwork required, and other matters of interest to you.

       Share: post tweet

    My sister was make executor of our brother's estate. She has changed the locks on the house. I am also on the will. Of the items inherited to me in this estate, there are only 3 items I care to have. If my sister wants to give some of these items to her daughter, is there a way that I can get these items? Do I have a voice in this situation in terms of exercising an option on these items?
    User image
    Leonard B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    As the executor she has the duty to preserve the estate, thus changing the locks is proper. I suggest that you write a note to your sister asking for the items that you want - please have someone read that letter before you send it - a polite request may get you results. You can always talk with an attorney later about her requirement to file an inventory (what is in the estate) and an accounting (how the money and property in the estate were used)

       Share: post tweet

    Who gets my assets when I die intestate? I have a daughter by another marriage and a new wife with no children by her. I also have a brother.
    User image
    Daniel P. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    See Florida Statute 732.101. From your description, I would say, half to your current wife and half to your daughter. You should see an attorney, especially if your daughter is a minor. If she is a minor, someone will be appointed by the court to manage the funds and she will get her inheritance at age 18. If you have a Will, you can name a trustee and can have the trustee hold the money until she has reached 25 or whatever age you decide.

       Share: post tweet

    My mother is 96 yrs. old. She has 4 living children. She has a will and a living will. None of her children's name is on the deed to her home. Should all childrens name be on the will before she dies? Before a will is probated does all names of heirs have to be on the deed?
    User image
    Howard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It is always adviseable to have a last will and testament in place to provide direction to your heirs as to how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death. Further, you can specify whether any assets should be distributed to charities. As for the deed, your mother can either leave it in her name, and let the provisions of her will dictate how that asset will be dealt with when she dies, or create a payable on death (known as a ladybird deed) deed, whereby the property will go to the children named on the deed. This will avoid probate, and facilitate the sale of the property sooner than if probate is required.
    User image
    Lisa K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Hello, First, the living will has nothing to do with the disposition of property after death. It's a great legal tool to have. but it is strictly for medical end of life issues. As for the heart of your question, whether your mother should put her four children's names in the will only partially protects her children since all property that is in your mother's name alone must be probated. The cost of probate will eat into whatever proceeds may be left to divide between the children. I would recommend adding the children's names to her deed in order to avoid probate by using a particular type of deed known as a Lady Bird deed. Because of her age (96), I would recommend doing this type of deed so that while she is alive, for instance, she can sell the property without the permission of her children and, from my perspective as an elder law attorney, she will not jeopardize her eligibility for Medicaid, should she be otherwise eligible and in need long term care services through this government program. The cost for preparing and recording a deed is far cheaper than modifying the will and stil having the house go through probate. Consider that probate costs are at least 3% of the value of probate assets while a the cost for a deed is under $500. I would imagine that your mother also has a durable power of attorney and a designation of healthcare surrogate to round out her advance directives.

       Share: post tweet

    My husband's name is not on the title to my paid-off house. I don't, however, want to go to Probate. Can I put my house in a trust that will go to my husband?
    User image
    Renee W. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Need more info from clients. I bet if they had an elder law attorney prepare a Lady Bird Deed it would be sufficient. It will definitely avoid probate and yet get her husbands name on the deed. They may call me and I will give them a free consult. Thanks.
    User image
    Sharon B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Your house can be placed in Revocable Living Trust. This Trust can leave the property to your home.

       Share: post tweet

    My dad who was 77 recently passed away..unexpectedly. He and my mom were married 55 years. He admitted to me a few days before death that my mom was not on title to the house. On the deed were only my father's name and my dead grandmother's name. My Mom is now beside herself. What do we do?
    User image
    Margaret H. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Although this may take you a little bit of time to resolve, the issue is one that is frequently seen in probate. A probate needs to be opened in Dad's name. Depending on how he held title with grandmother will determine if a probate needs to opened in Grandmother's name also. Venturing a guess that this property is worth more than $150,000.00, your only option is the Probate procedure. There are many variables to determine who will inherit the property, and I would recommend speaking to a Probate attorney to ascertain Mom's rights in the house.

       Share: post tweet

    Does our objection to a trustee's division of property under a testamentary trust constitute a will contest?
    User image
    Cheryl A A. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    This is a legal question, and you should really consult an elder attorney who deals with wills and trusts for the best guidance.

       Share: post tweet

    My elderly mother has an HDFC Proprietary Lease in an apartment unit. The PL is also co-signed-owned by a younger sibling. I am the eldest child and am in charge of all my mother's affairs. The younger sibling does not work and lives with my mother. Can my mother will the proprietary rights of the apartment to all of her children (4) equally, or does the fact that the younger sibling's part ownership in the unit hinder such action. Is an assignment of rights to claim complete ownership by younger sibling needed in this case?
    User image
    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The answer is it depends, and you may consult the board. If the stock is owned as tenants in common then mother may will her part separately. If it owns joint with right of survivorship, then mother may not will separately even with consent of youngest sibling. By operation of law the youngest sibling will own it all at the second of mother's death and your mother will own nothing to will. You can only will what you own at death if youngest sibling wants to share that would his/ her choice.

       Share: post tweet

    I am interested in changing the executor to my father's will. What is the process for changing the executor? How do I go about that?
    User image
    Edward C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There are two basic ways of changing the executor. First, the testator can execute a codicil which is a document in which he can name the new executor. There are some legal formalities so make sure a lawyer drafts and supervises the execution of the codicil. The second is to do a new will. If the will is an old will, this may be best. Consult an attorney who regularly drafts wills to determine what's best for you.
    User image
    Joan R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Your father during his lifetime may change any of the provisions of his will either by writing a new will or by writing a codicil to the will, which means it is like an addendum changing only the items he wants changed .either document must be executed in the same manner as the original will , I.e.,before 2 witnesses with the will signing declaration and execution formalities adhered to.
    User image
    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Is your father alive and capable of signing a new will? if so, he would have to do that. If he lacks capacity, cannot be done, you cannot change. If he is dead and you are the executor, you can refuse to serve. otherwise nothing can be done. You cannot change.
    User image
    Ely J. R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Only your father is able to change the executor in his will, as the document reflects his testamentary wishes.
    User image
    margaret d. , answers:
    You will have to see a lawyer. Do you have a power of attorney?

       Share: post tweet

    My sons are out of state and I want my oldest son to be my executor. I live in Illinois and he lives in Wisconsin. Can the executor of my estate live in another state from me?
    User image
    Gary W. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes the executor can live anywhere. while there may be some logistical problems from time to time, usually these can be worked out with email, fax, etc.
    User image
    Jennifer L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, you are allowed to nominate an Executor who lives out of state. However, it would likely increase your probate expenses in that your son would be required to be bonded. You may wish to consider an in state Executor or an estate plan, such as a living trust, which may lessen the chances that your estate would be subject to probate proceedings.
    User image
    John K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, your executor can live out of state. Depending on the nature of the assets, there may be restrictions, such as "no assets may be removed from the state without a court order"

       Share: post tweet

    My 97 year old aunt passed. When she died, she left money in a bank account. How can those funds be retrieved, what is the process like?
    User image
    Marcy P. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    The person who has been assigned the role of executer of the estate will be able to do this. You must find the will - and Submit it to Probate court in the district where she lived. On that document you should find the name of the person who your aunt named as executor.

       Share: post tweet

    My grandparents passed away a little over a year ago leaving two homes to my mother and her sister. The homes have been sold but it is held up in probate court. I have multiple student loans that my grandparents co-signed for. Will the money from the sold homes be held until I get a different co-signer or pay off the loans? Thank you
    User image
    Michael S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Assuming the payments are current and there is no clause that requires the debt to be paid at the death of your grandparents then I do not see a need to pay the loan off. That being said there is a requirement to notify creditors and certain rules apply to what a creditor is entitled to. Once you give money to one of the beneficiaries it is difficult to get back and you could be personally responsible for the debt and its terms and conditions

       Share: post tweet

    When my mother died in September of 2010 she had had a will recently made in Long Island, NY. That will was never filed. My brother, also an heir, was made an executor. He never filed the will, though he claimed that both he and the Estate attorney did so.

    Both the attorney and my brother took advantage of me by not giving me information on my mother's house.

    What recourse can I have to being deceived in this way? Are there professional or financial repercussions to the lies of my brother and attorney?
    User image
    Sabrina M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Did you check at the Surrogate's Court to see if the Will was filed? If not, you should write the attorney who prepared the Will and ask where the Will is located. You should talk with an attorney regarding filing an Administration petition (no will) and asking to be awarded Letters of Administration. If you have a copy if the Will, you should talk to an attorney about filing it and asking the Court to accept it for probate as the other will was "lost." In either case, your brother will have to receive notice.
    User image
    Jeffrey G A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The question has several layers. 1. Wills don't always have to be filed--if all property passes by law--In trust for accounts--life insurance that names a beneficiary. Joint accounts are also what we call testamentary substitutes and pass without a will. In some cases real property can also pass without a will. 2. Your brother, unless he has fraudulently deceived you may not have any obligation to to provide the truth. If all your mother's property had named beneficiaries then he might not have to file the will. 3. If there is property that must pass by the will -- then the will would have to be filed. In that case especially if you are named in the will your brother does owe you a duty and must file the will. In addition he could be removed as executor or trustee if he is named in the will to those posts. If there is property that does not name a beneficiary or should be filed. 4. Even thought you are not the client of the attorney who drafted the will to affirmatively tell you the will was probated when it was not would be unethical conduct and you could file a complaint with the Bar Association. If it were part of some nefarious plan to prevent you from getting your inheritance then it could be civil tort or even a criminal act. 5. Finally, you should consult with an attorney asap. You could could file papers in court that would require your brother to produce the will or if he does not have a will to account for any property that belonged to the estate of you late parent. Good luck.
    User image
    Marcy P. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    You need to contact an attorney to help you with this. Also contact the probate court in the town/city your mother resided in.

       Share: post tweet

    An estate to which I am connected has been in Probate for about a year and a half already. There have been 9 offers made on the property in question.

    My question is: How long does it take to obtain a court date after an offer is made on a piece of real estate property? How long should this probate process take?
    User image
    Joseph D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If the sale is with the independent administraton of estates act there will be no court hearing and should go through within 30-45days. If it is done with a court hearing--as an auction, the time is more like 60 days to get a court date and then the regular 30 day escrow etc. Some probates last more than one year, but most can be completed within one year.

       Share: post tweet

    The love of my life just died on April 27th. She had a revocable living Trust and a Pour Over will. I am the trust beneficiary and have already deeded the house and car in my name.

    As the Executor of the Pour-Over Will, I am finding that there is no money to pay off the deceased's Credit Card Debt.

    Am I responsible for credit card debt that is in her name only? What do I tell the banks? Thank you.
    User image
    William B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Under Ohio law a surviving spouse is not liable for a deceased spouse's debts un less they are joint. Probate assets would still be liable. Creditors have 9 months to advise an appointed executor of the debt, but that time may be reduced if the executor gives timely notice of the death to the creditor.

       Share: post tweet

    My husband was left his mother's home in her will. He has stated that if he dies he wants me, his wife, his two step-daughters and his two natural children to be beneficiaries. All parties are in agreement, but how do we make this legal? He doesn't have a will or trust yet.
    User image
    Robert F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Assuming that the gift to the husband in the mother's will was contingent on his survival through distribution he has acquired a property right. Husband could create a will or trust describing this property right and directing its distribution or assigning the property right to a living trust.
    User image
    Linda F. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    If title is already in your husband's name I recommend you go to see an estate planning attorney to put the name of the house in a trust with it passing on to all of you. If mother is still alive the attorney could put language in your new trust about any property left to your husband should be transfered into the trust.

       Share: post tweet

    My father had changed his will to leave all the trust money to her four girls for their retirement. But at the time of the Will change, she was unaware of how my father had altered his Trust. She claims that she did not know what she was signing as my father often had my mother sign documents without telling her what she was signing. While she generally trusted him she said she would never have signed it had she known what was in the Will. Is there anything that she can do to change the will now?
    User image
    Howard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    As long as your mother has what is called "testamentary capacity", the ability to understand who here heirs are and a basic knowledge of what her assets are, she can change or sign a new will at any time. One must be careful in making such a change when a spouse is involved, because if two plans are interraelated, a change to only one of the spouse's documents could have unintended consequences. Also - how assets are titled needs to be looked at, since this can also affect how are assets are to be distributed on death.

       Share: post tweet

    I need to settle my brothers estate. The value of his estate is well under 40 thousand dollars. With a sub $40,000 estate, is probate necessary if he willed everything to me?
    User image
    David T. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Probably not. Depends on the make up of the assets of the estate. If real estate is involved you'll have to have values to be sure but it can be done w/o submitting the matter to Probate. The later is nothing more than proving the Will is a valid document. You should consult w/ an Attorney in your area who is familiar w/ the requirements of the law. Our office can help you or suggest one that can in your area.
    User image
    Theodore N. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Probably not but there are certain steps that need to be taken. Call for to set appointment to discuss and provide guidance. Retainer required.
    User image
    Ronald D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    In Indiana, a Probate Estate of less than $50,000 can be administered without formal administration.

       Share: post tweet

    I am assigned to be the executor for my sister's estate. I have moved from Houston, TX to California in order to serve as conservator to my nephew. My nephew, unfortunately, has been taken advantage of, and abused by his half siblings.

    We are going through a probate process, can I make decisions about my nephew's half-siblings, such as to remove them. Or is this something that I need to wait to do, until the probate process moves along further?
    User image
    Joseph M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You will have to be appointed as the Executor, receiving Letters Testamentary, which gives you the authority over the estate assets. Are the half-siblings beneficiaries of your sister's estate? If so, then you may not be able to evict them. If not, then I believe you have the authority to evict them, but unfortunately, you will have to go through a formal eviction process. Having said this, the situation is likely complicated by the fact that your nephew is probably the beneficiary, and may desire to have his siblings live with him. But, as his Conservator, you will have authority over this also.
    User image
    Leslie B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    When you say probate, are you talking about the conservatorship proceeding or his dad's estate. As Conservator you can certainly get restraining orders and attempt to get money back that may have been stolen. You should discuss this with your attorney.

       Share: post tweet

    My neighbor died intestate. The neighbor left behind a daughter and brother. She signed power of attorney over to him ( she wants him to have everything and take care of everything). The form signed, though, is the the wrong form.
    What are the right forms for the neighbor's son to get in order to become legal rep? Does the neighbor's daughter have to sign a release or something?
    User image
    Richard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The Power of Attorney would have become null and void upon the death of your neighbor and the person named as the agent for her would have no legal authority to carry out any tasks after death. In order to gain the legal authority necessary to transact the business of the deceased, proper paperwork must be filed with the court to request that the son be appointed the personal representative of the estate. Once appointed then he could begin liquidating accounts, selling assets, etc., but also must be sure that all obligations of the estate are also paid. It is important to have then consult an attorney who handles this type of matter (probate attorney) to determine the necessary steps to take.
    User image
    Beverly W. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The question needs a little clarification. Is the "she" here, the daughter of the deceased neighbor? My answer is based upon the fact that "she" is the daughter. The son will have to file a Petition to open a Probate Estate. He can ask that he be appointed Personal Representative of the Estate and assuming that he is otherwise qualified, if the sister either fails to object within a specified period of time or, agrees that he should be appointed and waives her right to be appointed, the court should appoint him Personal Representative. In Florida, he will need to get an attorney to get this process started.

       Share: post tweet

    In my family, the deceased hand-wrote a deathbed will just prior to his death, knowing he was going to die soon thereafter. And while he signed it, the will was unwitnessed. The will was recovered by the police when the body was discovered. In this case, we believe his signature to be genuine. The deceased also had no prior wills.

    In this case, the sole beneficiary named by this will is the deceased's long-time life partner. Is there any New York case law or statute allowing for the admission of the will by the surrogate's court? Or are there any legal articles covering the admissability of this will at the surrogate's discretion?
    User image
    John B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    In my opinion the will described would not be valid in New York.

       Share: post tweet

    My husband recently passed away. He left a pension and a house in his estate. He also left me some credit card bills. Do these assets necessitate this estate going through probate?
    User image
    Linda L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If the deed to the real estate was in his sole name, then you may.
    User image
    Robert S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Pensions are treated differently than other assets. A pension may have a beneficiary for any lump sum payments that may be paid at death. If not, some people choose a pension benefit that includes a survivor benefit to a spouse. You will need to contact the pension administrator to determine if there are any survivor benefits or lump sum payments. If there is a lump sum payment and there is no named beneficiary it will be paid to the estate unless the administrator has different rules. As far as probate, any assets that were in the deceased person's name alone (i.e. not joint) that do not have a beneficiary designation (like a life insurance policy or an IRA may have a death beneficiary named on the policy) will have to go through probate.
    User image
    William B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Probate is the process of transferring title to assets from a decedent to one or more living beneficiaries. As part of that process the decedent's bills must be paid. So in this case if the home is titled solely in your husband's name you will need to go through probate to have the title shifted to you. But before that can happen, his bills must be paid. If the estate lacks cash to pay those bills, it must either sell the home and use the proceeds to pay the bills or you can pay the bills and accept the home from the estate in kind. I suggest you meet with an attorney in your area who handles estate administration and discuss the situation in more detail.

       Share: post tweet

    What legal document do I need in case of death or illness? I presently live in Florida and would like my 2 daughters to be able handle my estate together. Managing the estate will likely require disbursing funds from bank accounts to other family members. One of my daughters lives in California and the other lives in Texas. What happens if they move to another state. What papers do I need drawn up then?
    User image
    Candice B. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    You need a durable power of attorney as well as advanced directives. An Eldercare attorney is the best person to draw up these legal papers. If you need any advice on health care issues or concerns, please contact me.
    User image
    Ellen M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You need a Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Last Will and Testament and possibly a Revocable Trust.

       Share: post tweet

    Will California accept my Mother's Florida will. My 84 year old mother is currently a California resident? Do we need a new will for her?
    User image
    Naomi C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    A will which is validly executed in another state will be honored in California. However, in many other states, probating an estate after someone dies is a simple, straightforward procedure. Unfortunately, in California, probates are time-consuming and expensive. Thus, most Californians with assets elect to set up a living trust (rather than a simple will) which allows them to avoid probate. Also, even if this is not necessary in your mother's case, it is often beneficial to have an attorney review the existing document to ensure that it will work the way it was intended. I hope that helps.
    User image
    Derryl M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, a California resident needs a California will. If there is any real property still owned in Florida, the Florida will will cover that. If there is no real property anywhere but in California, a California will work just fine.
    User image
    Lucille D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Generally, a will which is valid under the laws of the state where the will was executed is valid under California law.

       Share: post tweet

    My mother died without a will in California. She owned no real estate, stocks. Only a checking account of $1000. What do I do now?
    User image
    Philip L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Assuming this is in CA: First, make sure the account was not in joint tenancy, or had a "pay on death" beneficiary. Such accounts would need only the survivor to show up with a death certificate. If it is not, and assuming that a 1k account is the only asset of the estate, then whoever is entitled to the property, 40 days after date of death, can collect the property under a declaration conforming to CA probate code sec. 13100. To determine who is entitled to the property, and who needs to join in this declaration, see CA Probate Code section 6400 to 6414. Or seek the counsel of a probate attorney.
    User image
    Karen B. , answers:
    If she left less than $150,000 in her own name, the beneficiary of the Will can claim it using a Probate Code 13101 Affidavit for Estate of Small Value. Most financial institutions have their own forms that should not cost anything. There is a 40 day waiting period, you have to sign the Affidavit under penalty of perjury and you will need a copy of her death certificate and will.

       Share: post tweet

    We have a will that was drawn up in Indiana and we are now Florida residents. Do we need to have the will redone in Florida for it to be legal?
    User image
    Janet K. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Congratulations on becoming Florida residents! Your Will that was constructed by your attorney in the state of Indiana is a legal document and does not need to be redone. It would be advisable for you to find an attorney in Florida, at your convenience, to review it to make certain that it is current and also advise you about having a Living Will and Advance Directives in place.

       Share: post tweet

    How do i find out what was in my father's will? I just found out my father had a will and that my name might be on it. He died in 1997. My name is andrea. Thanks.
    User image
    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    go to t he Surogate cour tin the county of your father's last legal resiedence and see if anything is onfile, but since youhave heard nothing since 1997,my6 feeling is the informationisnot corect, thatis either he didnothave awillor your name wa snot onit. if nothing is on file in Surogate ciourt, there proablyis no way to find out. of course,a wil would onlybe proabted if he had assets in his ownname at death,

       Share: post tweet

    My sister, who has moderate Alzheimers, still has her name on assets. She is named in a bank account, CD's, an Annuity, and title to her home. She will need to go into a Memory Care Facility for care. My name and two other sisters are also on her Assets. What route should we go regarding her name on these assets. Is there any reason to remove her from being named to these assets?
    User image
    Allen P. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Dear caregiver, The q. is difficult to answer as posed. There are 3 strategies to employ here, depending on facts including:sisters total assets; sisters health prognosis; and age. Please call us.
    User image
    Deborah K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes. This question cannot be answered generally. You need to discuss specifics with an elder law attorney before changing title on any of your sister's assets.

       Share: post tweet

    I have a living will from Ohio. Now, I live in Florida. Is the Ohio living will valid in Florida?
    User image
    Howard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Generally, living wills executed in accordance with the laws of any foreign state are valid in Florida. Having said that, there is a practical reason why you might wish to consider signing Florida advance directives, including a power of attorney, health care surrogate and living will, as these documents created under Florida law are more easily recognizable by health care providers. If the intent of the documents is to have them honored, then this is something you should seriously consider.
    User image
    Lisa K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The simple answer is YES, provided that the Living Will comports with Ohio law. This means that so long as is executed according to the law of the state in which it is executed it is sufficient to be recognized as a validly executed living will. Keep in mind that while a living will is a fairly generic document throughout the country, a medical power of appointment should probably be state specific since it usually involves the intervention of a surrogate decision maker and where the execution of that document is regulated by statute. Here in Florida not only does the principal have to sign, but also the surrogate must indicate in writing that s/he has accepted the responsibility. Additionally there is a requirement for two witnesses to sign the document and that a notary must witness both the principal and the surrogates/ signatures.

       Share: post tweet

    My Father passed away in 2010. The executor of my Father's will has given away stolen cars, personal property, and I do not believe that she is following her duties as executor.
    I want to know how to put his estate and his last will and testament into probate court in Loudon County, Tennessee.
    User image
    Alexander T. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Unlwss the facts are very unusual, i doubt a court outside Loudon Co would permit the probate to be moved. you may have to talk to the current judge about your situation This is not legal advice but is for discussion purpuses only.

       Share: post tweet

    In my will can I split up my house into separate rooms specifying each room and its contents to go to each of my kids? For example, one kid will get the bedroom and contents, and one gets the library, and one gets the living room.
    Is this legal to do?
    User image
    Thomas M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You can leave contents as you described, but you can't divide title to real property by room. You can give each child a lease, though, or hold the house in trust untl they reach a certain age. It sounds like you are trying to complete an online will. This is dangerous. Although it may be "valid in all 50 states", validity doesn't mean the will is going to accomplish what you want. Families end up in court all the time due to non-professional drafting. Consider engaging counsel for this important document.
    User image
    Marie C. , answers:
    Yes, you can divide your personal belongings in the manner suggested but it is not advisable, especially for easily transferrable objects. It is ripe for dispute particularly if there are contentious beneficiaries. There are better ways of achieving your goals. (no attorney client relationship is established by this response)
    User image
    Laurence S. , answers:
    Good question, certainly you can itemize possessions which you wish to leave to each beneficiary and I would discuss this further with your elder law attorney, here in Shelton,Ct. You can also see me here inTrumbull, Ct.

       Share: post tweet

    My husband died Feb 2000. There is unclaimed money held by the Mass. Unclaimed property division He had a Will from back in the 1960s leaving me all assets He signed the house over to me in 1999. The house, therefore is in my name, and I own it outright.
    When my husband died there was nothing to probate. There was no money in the bank. in cars, or any assets in his name He was a disabled veteran on Social Security disability?
    Why does the state refuse to release this money stating they want original Executor or Administrator papers? Where and how do I get this information? Thank You. There is a Old Will it was filed years ago (1960'). I have a copy some where in my house. All old papers have been filed away in boxes.
    User image
    John T G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Unfortunately, you must Petition the Probate Court to become your late husband's Personal Representative. The state may only pay your husband or, if he has passed, his estate. In this case, the only person who could receive that property is your husband's Personal Representative. You should contact an attorney who specializes in probate to minimize costs in administrating this responsibility.
    User image
    AnneMarie R. , answers:
    I am sorry for your the loss of your husband. It must be very difficult to deal with not only the emotions of losing a spouse, but trying to claim a property that is rightfully yours. I would suggest contacting an experienced elder law attorney. The council on aging in Burlington can give you some reputable names. That is their expertise. Sincerely yours,
    User image
    Celeste R. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    You must contact an Elder Law Attorney to guide you thru this process. To find one in your area, look on naela.com and type in your zip code. Good luck!
    User image
    James C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The Commonwealth needs to have a legal representative of the estate of the decedent appointed by the probate court to receive the funds on behalf of the estate. There is a relatively simple form of probate available for "small estates" in Massachusetts.
    User image
    Susan G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The unclaimed property held by the Commonwealth of Mass. in your husband's name alone is a probate asset and that is why MA needs proof from the probate court of your authority to submit the claim. You need to determine the value of the unclaimed property. If the total value of your husband's personal property in his name individually at the time of his death is less than $25,000, then you, as the surviving spouse, can submit a Voluntary Administration Statement, along with a certified death certificate, his Last Will and Testament (if he had a Will), and a check in the amount of $122.50 payable to the county Probate Court (county where your husband resided at the time of his death - Burlington, MA is Middlesex County). Then, the court issues a certified statement and that is the court approved statement which the Abandoned Property Division requires in order to process the claim. I hope this helps.
    User image
    Frederick M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    From what your telling me, it appears as though no formal legal appointment was made as to who is the representative of your husband's estate. As surviving spouse, you're not automatically appointed.

       Share: post tweet

    My mom has Alzheimer and needs to be put in a facility capable of managing her dementia. My mom and Dad, however, have a home which they wish to sell. The state will not help cover my mother's nursing care because she is currently on the deed for the house? What is this about? Can anyone explain this to me?
    User image
    Ronald F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The fact that the applicant owns an interest in the home in this case should not affect her eligibility. The asset is deemed exempted as long as the applicant's spouse resides there. Therefore, you should not have a problem with her eligibility even with your mom's name on the deed. However, you should have a plan for the house because Medicaid can seek reimbursement after they pass away if the house is left in the names of the applicant and/or the applicant's spouse.
    User image
    Gary J. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The home is an exempt asset for Medicaid benefits to cover the cost of nursing home care as long as one of your parents continue to reside there. Your parents could apply for Medicaid now and the home will not be a problem. If your parents still want to sell the home, Medicaid should be applied for first. After that the home could be transfered to your father. This is an exempt transfer for Medicaid purposes. The transfer could be made by your mother if she has capacity to do that. If she does not have sufficient mental capacity to transfer the home, the transfer could be by power of attorney if the POA allows that. If the POA does not permit such a gift, you could petition in court for a guardian to be appointed and ask the court for permission to make the gift. After the home is in your father's name, he could sell the home. Provided that the sale is done after Medicaid eligibility has been establish for your mother, the funds received by your father will not impair your mother's Medicaid benefits.
    User image
    David T. , Financial Planner answers:
    You can do a deed transfer to yourself/siblings without selling the house to get the house out of their name.

       Share: post tweet

    I know my father left behind a will. I haven't seen it though. How can I find it and find out what it says? My father's wife will not do anything about it. How can I move this forward?
    User image
    John K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If your father's widow has the will and is hiding it or refusing to file it she is in violation of the law. It is difficult however to get local authorities to prosecute so your only choice is to open an intestate estate and try to use the civil citation power to bring the widow in to testify under oath that she does not have the will.

       Share: post tweet

    My father added my sister to his checking account and possibly as beneficiary to his IRA. Do I have any rights to these assets after my mother passes away? Is there any possible response to a parent signing over an asset to one child? Do other children have any rights to those assets?
    User image
    Timothy C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    i can not answer questions for people located outside the state of Wisconsin.

       Share: post tweet

    1.To whom or to what does the statement, "Late of , Deceased" refer 2. Is the subscriber the surviving spouse? 3. To what does, "Dates of instruments" refer? 4. Is the "petitioner" the surviving spouse?
    User image
    Mark D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I figured it out. You're filling out an affidavit for filing will not submitted for probate. The subscriber and petitioner are the same person. "Instruments" refers to the date the will or codicil was filed.
    User image
    Mark D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I'm not sure which form you're working on. In an application for probate, "late of" refers to the decedent's legal residence at the time of death (e.g., late of Watertown, Connecticut). "Subscriber" usually means the person filling out the form, but I don't see that word on an application for probate. (on that form, it's the petitioner who fills out the form.) So I'd need to know what form you're filling out.
    User image
    Matthew S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Cannot answer all the questions without specific information regarding this matter. But, will try to answer based on the questions presented... 1) seems to be a safe deposit box form. Late of .... deceased is "Late of (Town of former domicile); 2) Is the subscriber the surviving spouse. Could be, doesn't have to be; 3) Dates of instruments? Need more information 4) Is the petitioner the surviving spouse? Again, doesn't have to be, may not be.

       Share: post tweet

    Does one have to start probate in order to get a Testamentary Letter document ?
    User image
    Robert F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It would be important to know why this person wants Letters Testamentary. Often people believe they need this document when it is really not required, e.g. a small estate. To answer the question the Court is the only government body in California that can issue Letters Testamentary and to obtain such a document a probate must be initiatied.
    User image
    David K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, a Petition for probate must be filed. A hearing on the appoinment will be held and the court then will issue letters to the appropriate person. Fees for this procedure are set by statute and an attorney will seek approval of the fees after the appointment.

       Share: post tweet

    My mother dose not have a will. Do I need to have her power of attorney? I am her oldest daughter, who over sees her ,writes her checks and pays her bill. My Elderly mother has a very small old home that one of her children is living in. My mother want her to and her family to stay there, but if they sell the houe she wants the money to be split amongst her 5 living children. How should this be accomplished? What would you recommend doing?
    User image
    Patrick R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Understandings and 'arrangements' never work. Somebody will become disgruntled. Your mother needs to decide who will own the house at her death. If she dies without a will, all 5 children will own it (assuming she owns 100% now) and any of them can force a sale, turning the home into cash that will be divided 5 ways. She could make a will, leaving the house to all 5, but also provide that one child shall have the right to reside in the home (right of habitation) for his or her lifetime, or a shorter period. Yes you should get a power of attorney assuming your mother is competent to sign one.

       Share: post tweet

    How do I find out the results of my father's probate hearing? His name was Gene Leo Lowden and he died in Riverside County, CA in 2010.
    User image
    J. Terrence M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Go to www.riverside.courts.ca.gov. Look for "Case Information Search" to locate the case. Note, if you have the case number, the search is free. If you do a name search, there is a charge.

       Share: post tweet

    Mom is 87 and I've been advised from friends to add my name to her house deed. She would also like me to do this. I need to know benefits, drawbacks and expenses involved.
    User image
    Josh A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Well, she would lose eligibility for Medicaid because it's a gift. Also, she should have to file a gift tax return. You can't add your name; only she can, because she's the owner. There are better ways to do this. See a lawyer.

       Share: post tweet

    I am the heir of my mother's estate as spelled out in her will. Is Probate still required by law?
    User image
    Nancy B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Probate is required in Pennsylvania if the assets in her estate at thetime of death are $3500 or more. If she had a Will, then the executor namedin the Will should probateher estate at the Register of Wills in the county where she resided at death. If there was no Will, then are a relative should come forward to be appointed as administrator of the estate. It is best to hire an attorney who does estate work to represent the estate.
    User image
    Robert B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Only if you want to inherit what your mother willed to you.
    User image
    Paul R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The general answer would be "yes" but information is needed. Assets listed in solely your mother's name and the passing of which is not governed by a beneficiary designation form will generally require an executor to handle the asset(s) and the executor gets appointed only as part of the probate process. Further, if the filing of a tax return is needed then it too might require an executor to discharge that responsibility.
    User image
    William B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    My non-lawyer response is if there is a will on record, probate can be avoided. However, since i'm not a lawyer I advise that you speak with the County Probate dept.in the County of residence to get a more definitive answer.
    User image
    Robert S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes. A will requires probate to be validated and allow the personal representative (executor) to act.

       Share: post tweet

    Is Kentucky a "probate estate only" state?
    User image
    Jay M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There is not enough information in the question to submit an answer. Does the question pertain to Medicaid Estate Recovery?

       Share: post tweet

    Can all family members view their parent's will?
    User image
    John F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Assuming your parents are deceased, then the answer is "yes." This answer is based primarily upon an Arizona statute, A.R.S. 14-2516, that provides: Custodian of will; duties; liability A. After the death of a testator and on request of an interested person, a person having custody of a will of the testator shall deliver it with reasonable promptness to a person able to secure its probate or, if none is known, to an appropriate court. B. A person who wilfully fails to deliver a will as required by this section is liable to any person aggrieved for any damages caused by this failure. C. A person who wilfully refuses or fails to deliver a will after being ordered by the court in a proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery is subject to penalty for contempt of court. The definitions set forth in A.R.S. 14-1201(28) clearly establish that children are "interested persons." Also, if a probate proceeding was initiated, the children must be notified, and they should be provided a copy of the submitted will, and even if not, they could, at least, obtain a copy of the will from the court. See A.R.S. 14-3306 and 14-3403.

       Share: post tweet

    How can I find out if my deseased father had a will? Are wills filed with the state? Our father passed away a few months ago. Although he had remarried years prior, he told our mother he had a will and everything that he has goes to his children and everything his wife has goes to her children. His wife is telling us nothing and has offered no information. Is there a way to find out if his will was filed with the state, so at least we can let her know that we are aware of a it?
    User image
    Josh A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Persons are encouraged to file wills with the probate court in the county where they live. It's not required. Also, any person who has a will and knows that the person who signed it has died is required to submit it to the probate court. A probate court will say whether a will has been filed with them.

       Share: post tweet

    I paid a utility bill out of my personal checking account. Can I get reimbursed from my grandmother's estate account of which I am the executor
    User image
    Eldridge D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It depends on the facts and circumstances. Please contact me if you would like to retain us to advise you.

       Share: post tweet

    My father passed away without a will, and we have been paying property taxes on his land for seven years now. When does the land come into our possession? There are several siblings but no one wants to pay property taxes.
    User image
    Michael J. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There is no "bright" answer. It depends on the family dynamics. A court proceeding is necessary to transfer the property to you. Contact me and I can better respond with specific details.
    User image
    Kent A. , answers:
    The real estate passes by operation of law to the children. In order to clear title it will be necessary to obtain a Determination of heirs from the District Court. An attorney should be able to prepare a petition and obtain a court order determining heirs in about 3 weeks. The order can then be filed to establish title.

       Share: post tweet

    My my wife recently passed away. We did not have a will. We had about $100,000 of money where I was listed as the beneficiary. The only other part of the estate was the house and it was in her name. It is worth about $400,000. What do I do?
    User image
    Howard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    YOU HAVE A IGHT TO APPLY TO BE THE ADMINISTRATOR OF HER ESTATE. AFTER THAT YOU CAN APPLY FOR YOUR STATORY SHARE OF HER ESTATE. PLEASE CALL ME TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT.
    User image
    Janet K. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    You need to apply to the surrogate's court to be the administrator of your wife's estate. If there are children, you will receive the first $50,000 and a portion of the estate-the remaining estate will be divided evenly among any children you have. This would include the house.

       Share: post tweet

    A trailer is in the name of both a mother and son and both are on the deed. Does this title need to go through probate to put it officially in son's name only? Upon her death, he has moved into the trailer.
    User image
    Elliot L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If vehicle title is joint and survivorship probate is not necessary. If both names are listed but no "survivorship" language then probate is necessary.
    User image
    Jonea S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Depending on how it is titled. If is Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, then no. If not, then yes it must go through probate to take his mother's name off the deed.

       Share: post tweet

    Can accountant fees to settle an estate come from the estate, specifically the checking account of the deceased?
    User image
    William B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    To the best of my knowlege ; the deceased' executor can pay accounting fees associated with estate settlement. I advise checking with an elder care attorney who practtices in the state in question.
    User image
    Ira K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Accountant fees can come from the estate but should not be paid from the decedent's account. If the decedent's account was not joint or POD or ITF it should be transferred to an estate account after an Executor or administrator is appointed and all expenses should be paid out of that account!

       Share: post tweet

    My dad is 80 years old. He is quite forgetful these days. What steps should I be taking in advance of him passing on? What do you suggest I prepare? I have never done anything pertaining to this? I'm afraid that without the proper planning I'll mess everything up. What do you recommend?
    User image
    Gerald C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I suggest the following: While he is still alive, make sure you have a well drafted durable power of attorney in place. Also, make sure you have an Advance Directive that meets HIS wishes. Also, you should begin to assemble all the information you can about his assets, income and debts if he has them Make sure that all funeral arrangements have been completed if it is possible to do that and make sure that his health care provider, if it is a nursing home or ALF, has a copy of that information.

       Share: post tweet

    In Georgia, do all wills have to be probated? Is probate necessary even if only personal property is involved? In the case of this will, all the heirs have signed paperwork stating they did not see it necessary to go to probate court over personal items.
    User image
    Leamon S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There is a law in Georgia which makes it a misdemeanor crime to not present any will to the Probate Court within 6 months of death. This is rarely enforced, unless there is a disgruntled heir. Some personal property requires letters testamentary to transfer, such as cars, bank account and investment accounts.

       Share: post tweet

    My father passed away in May of 2011 & we have been dealing with probate lawyers that are anything but helpful. For starters, there are four children and they allowed my oldest brother to collect his disability check from the courts and not divide it. Also, they left all monies invested in the market until here recently and it lost over $20,000. What are my legal rights against the probate people?
    User image
    Maria M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Your question likely still requires a lawyer's expertise, but I recommend discussing options with an elder law attorney with experience in financial exploitation and elder abuse. They could offer advocacy advice on recouping your losses.

       Share: post tweet

    My mother passed recently passed away. So far I can only find a handwritten signed will. Is this a legal document in the state of New York? Thanks in advance for your response.
    User image
    Deborah P. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    it can be. it depends on what it consists of and whether it is completely handwritten
    User image
    Joan M. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Need to seek legal counsel..only way to get correct info.....
    User image
    Barbara K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    No, handwritten or holographic wills are no accepted in NY. Only those in combat- in the military- under duress would have these accepted. The court will view your mother as having died intestate- without a will and will proceed accordingly.
    User image
    Barbara K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Holographic wills- or handwritten wills are not accepted in NY. Only exception would be for military personnel in combat where there is no choice. The court will regard your mother as having died intestate.
    User image
    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, as long as there were two witnesses.
    User image
    Ronald F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The typical handwritten will or note designating where assets go upon death are usually not sufficient but it does depend on the circumstances of the case. If there is no will or the will is not sufficient, the the state will have the assets go to family members pursuant to the laws of intestacy.
    User image
    Ira K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    A hand written Will is acceptable if it is witnessed by at least 2 witnesses who saw the ill being signed and stated that the maker of the Will was adult and appeared to be competent

       Share: post tweet

    My Mom, on her deathbed, was approached by son to change her will. He then drew something up with out an attorney. My mother was not medically competent at the time. This is documented by the fact that she signed the will with my name on the articles but signed her actual name on afidavit page. Which signature line is more important? My Mother also claimed on will she has only one child, but actually she has two! She left off my name entirely! The will was witnessed and notorized at her facility in Maryland. My brother had had all assets assigned to himself and was also assigned to be the executor of the estate. I have 4 original prior wills of my Mom's. The latest is dated 2008 and was all done by an attorney. This new will is currently in probate with register of wills. I have filed a formal caveat with the register of wills which was accepted. My mother's son is still, however, executor of the estate. But, due to caveat approval, he has to do a formal administration now instead of what he asked to do originally which was and informal small administration. What are the limitations on him, now that he must do a formal adminisration? Can he still leave me out of his decisions? Can he be removed as executor? Also, can he demand money from estate to pay for his representation?
    User image
    Scott S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There is good news and bad news. The good news is that there are numerous rules and laws governing the conduct of a Personal Representative (Executor), many of which can require information hsaring with you as a beneficiary. Filing a caveat was a good start. I do not know when all of this occurred. You should know that there are time limits applicable to court filings and preserving your claims. A lawyer should be consulted. Of course, that is where the bad news comes in. While an experienced lawyer can help you straighten all this out -- including identifying many issues I am sure you have yet to identify -- this is an expensive process because it takes time and knowledge, the stock and trade of a lawyer. In every case like this, the reality is that many people choose not to go forward or to try alternative means of resolution after doing a cost-benefit analysis.

       Share: post tweet

    My aging parents have their own home and a smaller home on their property. They are considering moving into the smaller home and having us take their large home. The goal would be to have us be closer to them so that we can offer them caregiving aid. My Dad has dementia and Mom needs our help. She also has multiple health issues. In order to take their home it would have to be completely remodeled. Their home is currently NOT a nice home at all! It would take all the equity we have in our own home to accomplish this. Is it legal for my parents to give us their home?
    User image
    Tracy P. , Family Counselor Mediator answers:
    This is a legal question that I am not qualified to answer. Need to contact an attorney

       Share: post tweet

    My mothers will was drawn up in Texas. She is currently in hospice in Georgia. Do I have to probate the will in Texas or can it be done in Georgia? This is assuming that the death certificate is from a Georgia county. To be clear, there is no real estate involved or any business ownership. There is just some money and personal effects like furniture, jewelry, etc. Thank you.
    User image
    Lisa M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I would recommend speaking with an estate or elder law attorney for the answers to these questions. If there is no real property, then there is no need for probate. However, the will is probated where it is written, if there is no amendment due to moving to a new state.
    User image
    Stephen D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The Texas will should be valid in Georgia. Under Georgia law, your mother's estate could be probated in Georgia as this was her residence. The proper place would be the county of her residence.
    User image
    James S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The first question is does she have anything that requires probate to change ownership. Is her money in a joint account? Where is the furniture? The other issue is in which state she would be considered a resident. That depends on the facts, such as whether her move to Georgia was intended to be permanent, for example did she move her furniture and personal property to Georgia, did she open bank accounts here, did she change her address and/or bank account for her social security payments, did she register to vote in Georgia. She does not have to do all of these things to be considered a resident just enough to show the intent to permanently change her residence. If she has to probate her estate in Georgia the next question will be which county? It would be the one in which she lived. If she has severed all ties to Texas by moving
    User image
    Ira L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You shouldn't need to probate in Texas if she has become a resident of Georgia.
    User image
    Ruthann L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It will depend on the facts in her situation, and how assets are titled. As there are a number of issues to be addressed when an individual passes away I recommend you meet with an elder law attorney after her passing so that all of your questions can be answered.
    User image
    Robert G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If there is no property in Texas you will be able to probate the Texas will in the county where she resided in Georgia. That would be the county listed on her death certificate.
    User image
    W. Allen S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    A will is probated in the County and State where the decedent is a resident.
    User image
    Victoria C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If there is no real estate, then you can probate in just the state where she is living (not where the will was executed). She may be able to avoid probate all together if her financial accounts have named beneficiaries, joint owners with rights of survivorship, or are in a trust.

       Share: post tweet

    Mom passed in Jan. 2010 without a will (that's what I mean by Intestate). We, her kids, decided on a representative and put her estate in Probate. I currently live in her house. The house, however, is behind on mortgage payment. There is no money from the estate to pay the mortgage. All the assets my mother had were in the house. Where do we stand with house vis a vis the mortgage? Who is responsible? What to do? --Adams county, Colorado.
    User image
    Rose Z. , Family Counselor Mediator answers:
    As everyone else has said, you and your siblings are not responsible for the mortgage. You may list the house for sale with a person who will deal with the mortgage company about the back due mortgage. If they are contemplating a short sale, the mortgage company may ask you to pay rent to prevent an undue enrichment situation. Talk with the person you will have handling the sale and they will be able to negotiate with the mortgage company and be sure that you will not have any surprises later.
    User image
    Anne J. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You and your siblings are not financially responsible for the mortgage. However, you may wish to pay the mortgage to avoid foreclosure proceedings. Upon sale of the property, the surplus can be divided among the heirs after all claims have been paid.
    User image
    Daniel K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    None of the children will be responsible for the mortgage; you will need to list the house for sale-the mortgage will be satisfied upon the sale, with the heirs receiving any surplus.

       Share: post tweet

    Can we have to go to probate even though my dad says that he has a valid will? Thanks. Augie C.
    User image
    Lincoln S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Hi Augie, Yes -- you would have to go to probate (assuming your Dad has assets that require a transfer of ownership and where there is not another means to transfer that ownership). Probate happens with or without a Will. The process is easier, quicker and less expensive with a Will than without. However a Will does not avoid probate.

       Share: post tweet

    My parents are in the late 70s and have yet to choose an executor for their will or a healthcare proxy. They said they don't know how to choose between their three children and don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Any advice?
    User image
    Cheryl A A. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    In regards to the healthcare proxy, it may be helpful to have a discussion to see who is even willing to do this, as any one of the children may be uncomfortable in this role. There should always be a backup proxy in case the primary is not available in an emergency. The bigger key is to have a discussion with all that are involved, about the parents very specific healthcare wishes, while also addressing the advanced directives, so that everyone hears the same wants/desires from the parents at the exact same time.
    User image
    Jordan R. , answers:
    This challenging question is something that might be best settled by considering the issue, together, as a family. All the family, at some point, is going to have to deal with the ramifications of the choice, perhaps, consider negotiating the matter up-front.
    User image
    Paul T. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Pick the oldest child.
    User image
    Patricia B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I recommend that your parents choose the one that is best with finances and a back up one in case the first one cannot do it for some reason unforeseen. Your parents should also have a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy with Advance directives. For these two documents your parents should choose a child that is good in making difficult heath decisions and an alternate for that person as a backup to take over if the named individual cannot act for any unforeseen reason This way parents are utilizing all their children in various roles, so nobody should feel left out. Feel free to contact me if i can be of any help.
    User image
    Susan S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Choosing relatives to handle your affairs is not alwlays easy. For an executor (now called a personal representative), since your parents have three children, it would be wisest to select the child who has the skill to administer their estate. Someone who is willing to take on the responsibility, is comfortable handling business and financial affairs and is fair minded. If your parents really don't want to choose just one child, they could select all three to act jointly. This is not a very good choice because it is cumbersome and time consuming and in some respects might increase legal fees. Documents must be signed and decisions made by three people or a majority. Regarding the health care proxy, under Massachusetts law, only one person is allowed to serve as health care agent at a time. If they want to name a child to act as their health care agent, they may only choose one child. They may choose a second child to act as the alternate health care agent. Often times, not all children want the responsibility of making critical health care decisions for their parents. Perhaps if they asked each child if they want to handle this responsibility, not all of them will want to take this position and a child might eliminate themself. When choosing children to handle these responsibilities, often parents choose different children for different positions. This can help alleviate hurt feelings among the children. Naturally, some children are better suited to some positions than others.
    User image
    Michael C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    When parents cannot decide on an executor then they should look for an executor-now referred to as personal representative, who is independent. This avoids picking the oldest (who may not be the most capable) or offending the other 2 children. Also, having 3 childrend as co-executors is not a good idea as rarely do three children (plus in-laws)ever agree on anything. As for health care agent-they should choose the person with the most (or any) experience in hospitals (nurse, M.D. etc.)

       Share: post tweet

    My mother just passed after a long illness, and though we should ahve done something diff, we have made no plans. Is there anything that we can do now to avoid having to deal with her estates in probate court?
    User image
    Sheri A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I believe it is important that you meet with a Elder Law Attorney in your area. I, of course, recommend my law firm.
    User image
    John L L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It depends. You don't have to go through probate for Virginia real estate - there is a simpler way to handle that. You also don't have to go through probate if the total value of the non-real estate assets is $50,000 or less. Feel free to call.
    User image
    Susan M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I am not sure. I would suggest contacting an elder law or estate attorney in your area, as they are best able to help you with this. Good Luck!
    User image
    Robert B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Depends on how her assets were titled. Feel free to call me

       Share: post tweet

    My aunt who lives near me, has a small condo and isn't so wealthy being a former teacher. Her only child, a son, lives in California. She and I are in Broward and I know she plans to leave me money though I am not sure kind of planning she has done. If the estate being left over is small, is it still worth it to see a lawyer to avoid probate and that whole process?
    User image
    Lynn S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You really cannot answer that question without doing a full analysis of all of your aunt's assets. Estate plans are personalized plans and will vary depending on the assets.
    User image
    Lisa K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It depends. My general rule of thumb is that it is always best to avoid probate by using a combination of (usually) a revocable living trust coupled with a pour over will along with proper retitling of real estate, if any. The cost to avoid probate is usually far less ultimately than the cost to probate. My concern with people like your aunt is that if she may need assisted living or nursing home care at some point, having more than a certain amount of money in her name may disqualify her from accessing public benefits (to offset the cost of her care). Without proper long-term planning, there might not be much money to pass on to her intended beneficiaries. So, estate planning is important. But long-term planning is even more important. You can call my office for a free telephone consultation so that we can more specifically serve you. I make house calls so the fact that I live/work in West Palm Beach and your aunt is in Broward will not be an impediment should you decide to retain my firm.

       Share: post tweet

    How many hours need to be spent with a lawyer figuring out my parents estate?

    They are in their 70s and definitely middle class.

    Is it necessary for to start planning to avoid going to probate (like my father-in-law's estate did!!!) early, or can I wait till they are older?
    User image
    James A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It is never too soon to do estate planning especially if you are trying to preserve assets and to protect them from a potential medicaid lien. Prior to going to see an attorney for these services, make a list of ALL assets and how they are owned. This will eliminate time spent with the Attorney and therefore saving you money.
    User image
    Michele F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There is no better time than the present to start planning. The best time is when the client is in good health and there is no immediate crisis looming. We typically have the client fill out a worksheet in advance, and then when they come in to the office they have a very substantive meeting in which a plan is developed and they get very concrete advice, whether it is planning for disability or for the disposition of their estate at death. Having the basic essential documents of a will, durable power of attorney and health care proxy, and potentially a living trust, in place well in advance will assist their family when the client becomes infirm or dies. Since you mentioned that your family is middle class, you likely don't need significant tax planning, but would be well served with an elder law attorney who is also well versed in tax law to review the tax ramifications of the various plans.
    User image
    Marleen S. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    The earlier one has a plan the better. One never knows what the future holds. A good Elder law Attorney will allow you to update/change your plan over the years if you want. There is no standard time one allows for the meeting. What you need to do is interview a few good attorneys, let them know what you have in mind as a plan, ask for their suggestions, and then let them quote you a price for their services.
    User image
    Russell H. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It is important to do the planning now, because you never can know when your parents may be deceased. Avoidance of probate may not be an element, particularly if they live in a state like Masschusetts which has adopted the Uniform Probate Code, which simplifies the probate process. The time required ranges from an hour (if there are no complications) to a number of hours if it is determined that a trust or trusts are needed, for tax reasons, because there is an incompetent beneficiary, or for some other reason. After an initial discussion with your parents, it would be possible to estimate the time required.

       Share: post tweet

    I want to suggest a method of avoiding going to court with my sisters in the event that my sickly father passes on. Is it possible to create a Payable on Death (P.O.D.) bank account that will be shared equally amongst me and my two sisters?
    User image
    Donna C. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    You should contact an elder law attorney for the answer to this questionable. The big question is: Is your father competent to declare his wishes with his estate? If not, you would need to go to court for the determination of his competence.
    User image
    Peter R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The only real drawback to a Payable On Death bank account is that you cannot name alternate beneficiaries on one account. This can easily be overcome by setting up multiple Payable On Death bank accounts for different loved ones, such as three or four children.
    User image
    Daniel P. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, you can use POD accounts to avoid probate. However, beneficiary designations may not be a good Will or Trust supstitute. Beneficiaries on any asset or account can be problematic if any of the children should predecease the owner. Where normally you would want the share of a predeceased child to go to that child's children, a beneficiary designation may not accomplish that and the account would end up being divided among only the surviving children. You must take care in making sure that the beneficiary designation can be set up to achieve your intended goal.

       Share: post tweet

    Is there any way probate can be avoided? I heard it is a really time-consuming, and at times very costly process...
    User image
    Dan A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The trust is an enormously flexible vehicle for all kinds of legal maneuvers. In the typical “revocable living trust”, the settler (one who makes a trust) appoints himself as trustee until his death, disability, or resignation, and then appoints a successor trustee or trustees to manage trust property and dispose of it by giving the settler the use of the property during his period of disability, and then distributing it to the settlor’s successor beneficiaries. Some non-tax benefits include: 1. avoidance of probate delays and expenses; 2. opportunity for processional asset management; 3. permit distribution over time (probate without a testamentary trust requires immediate distribution to all adults); 4. minimize risk of multiple inheritance taxes by having the real estate and personal property held in one Florida trust; 5. prompt transfer of management of assets at disability; 6. avoidance of publicity; 7. insulation from pleas for money (“Fred, I’d lend you the money, but it’s tied up in trust”); 8. avoidance of mental blocks about signing wills; 9. avoidance of guardianship; 10. reduce the likelihood of will contests; 11. restrict the wasting of assets by spendthrift beneficiaries and their creditors; and 12. avoidance of surviving spouse deviating from predeceased spouse’s estate plant. On occasion, the goal of avoiding probate is accomplished by a method simpler and less expensive than a living trust. After the trust declaration is executed, you still must transfer the assets into the name of the trustee. Again, by transferring the asset during one’s lifetime, to a trustee (even oneself as trustee) one avoid probate of that asset. Many people prepare elaborate living trusts, but improperly fund the trust by failing to put all appropriate assets into the name of the trustee, thereby not implementing what was intended.

       Share: post tweet

    I am in a situation in where there is no valid will, who is usually responsible to handle the probate process in this type of case?
    User image
    Raymond F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    As the others have stated, in the absence of a Will, there is no probate. A person who dies without a Will is said to have died "intestate." In that case, someone has to ask the Surrogate court to appoint an "administrator" to handle the estate. The rules as to who can serve as Administrator vary from state to state. I suggest you contact the Surrogate Court clerk in the county in which the deceased person lived and ask the clerk for some guidance. There is a nice general explanation of the intestacy process. It is NJ specific, but gives a good overview. Hope this helps.
    User image
    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    who ever is the legal next of kin, the person's spouse,if any,if not, a child or children. Any child can handle. If no children, then a parent or sibling.
    User image
    Charles L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Probate is the process by which a Surrogate validates the last will & testament of the decedent. If there is no will, then the process is called an administration proceeding; the closest living relative to the decedent applies to the Surrogate Court to be the administrator of the goods and chattels of the decedent, NY law specifies who is the closest relative

       Share: post tweet

    In the case that the estate of the deceased is insolvent at the time of death, do the beneficiaries pay the remaining balance on the estate out of their own pockets?
    User image
    Ronald S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If there are no assets, the children do not have to "dig into their pockets", we have often written to credit care companies saying there are no assets and no probate, so just stop sending the bills because they won't be paid. Hope this helps you.
    User image
    Dale T. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    no
    User image
    Margot B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    A decedent's estate is what he or she leaves behind. If there are no assets in the estate then there is nothing to pay debts with. Family may want to contribute to funeral expenses but that is not required. "Beneficiaires" do not have any obligation to pay a decedent's debts.
    User image
    John G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Presuming that the deceased only had individually owned assets (or no assets, as the case may be) whose value is less than the decedent's liabilities, then the beneficiaries are not liable. Dependnent upon the state, if there are jointly owned assets, it may be possible for a creditor to recover from the joint survivor(s).
    User image
    Kristine R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    No, creditors just don't get paid if there are not sufficient assets.
    User image
    Ramsey B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    How are you defining estate? Are you referring to a probatable estate or the entire estate? How are you defining insolvent? As you can see there isn't a simple answer to this question. If the decedent died without any assets whatsoever then a creditor won't be able to collect.
    User image
    Celeste R. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I doubt that to be the case; but this question would be best answered by an Elder Law Attorney.
    User image
    John T G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Please provide a few more facts so I can more specifically respond to you under your unique circumstances. Thanks!!
    User image
    Timothy L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    No. An appointed Personal Representative could be held personally responsible, beneficiary or not, if he or she failed to follow appropriate means to have the estate declared insolvent.
    User image
    Timothy L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    No. An appointed Personal Representative could be held personally responsible, beneficiary or not, if he or she failed to follow appropriate means to have the estate declared insolvent.
    User image
    Patricia B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The estate beneficiaries are not responsible for the debts of the deceased, unless a beneficiary charged against the deceased credit card personally and unless the Last Will and Testament provides otherwise.

       Share: post tweet

    I am sure that I have a valid Will, do I still have to go through the probate process?
    User image
    James D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    In order to cover all bases, the Will should be probated upon the passing of your loved one.
    User image
    Ira K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes - probate is the process whereby a Suuogate or court approves the instrucions in the Will and provides official certificates that authorize banks and other financial firm to accept the instructions of the executor, in lieu of the now deceased individual. Probate may not be necessary if all of the assets are hels jointly or subject to a beneficiary designation such as a life policy, 401 or IRA, annuity, etc.
    User image
    Lauren M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    For any assets that were in the name of a decedent, probate will be necessary to transfer them to their lawful heirs or beneficiaries, whether or not there is a valid Will or if the transfers will be guided by the laws of intestacy, which are a state's rules on who gets what when you die without a Will. In New Jersey, probate is not an overly onerous process.
    User image
    William I. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, probate is the process by which your Will is, in essence, put into effect. In some States, this is an involved process, in others the formalities of probate can take but a few minutes.

       Share: post tweet

    Are all the descendants subject to probate or are certain ones excused from it?
    User image
    Joseph C. , Financial Planner answers:
    In Connecticut, the Probate court will notify all descendants of the filing of an Application for Probate. Descendants are considered heirs at law and can dispute the admission of the will to probate and the appointment of an executor. To avoid delay in the probate of your estate, give your attorney the latest addresses of your descendants. Just because a descendant is notified of a right to object to the admission of the Will or appointment of an Executor it does not mean that the descendant must appear in court.

       Share: post tweet

    If a aged parent donates her house to her two children and then the house is sold and the proceeds are used to build an apartment for the parent, what happens if it becomes necessary for the parent to go into a nursing home within 3 to 5 years?
    User image
    Jeffrey A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The transfer of the home to her children, no matter what happens to the house afterward, will probably be deemed a non-exempt transfer (although there are reasons why the transfer might be exempt). But in your question, we must make a distinction between the cost of a nursing home and asking Medicaid to pay for the cost of a nursing home. Nothing will happen if your mother goes into a nursing home within 3 or 5 years, since the nursing home is not concerned with the transfer. However, if your mother is looking for Medicaid (or a similar government benefit in your mother's state) to pay for the nursing home, then plenty will happen if it is within the 3 or 5 year period. If the transfer is deemed a non-exempt transfer (and there are reasons why such a transfer would NOT be deemed a non-exempt transfer), then Medicaid will penalize your mother for having made the transfer. The penalty period is varies from state to state and county to county. For a more detailed discussion, you should speak with a qualified Elder Care attorney.

       Share: post tweet