What if the deed was not signed before the death of the grantor of an irrevocable trust.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My uncle had an irrevocable trust drawn up for my grandmother ( his mother) so he would get the house. Does the deed need to be signed before the death of grantor? Next question if the granddaughter lived with and cared for grandmother for 44 years and the grantor/ grandmother dies and uncle wants to sell the home should the granddaughter get copies of court hearings and from the attorneys as the heirs did?.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Yes, the deed would have needed to have been signed in order to transfer title to the trust. So, here it sits in probate. The ownership of the house will now go according to the direction of the Will, if she executed one, or, if not, under the laws of intestacy. Caring for a relative does not make you next of kin or an heir to the estate.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

How can I obtain guardianship of individual?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My husband and I currently have permanent guardianship of our 17 year old grandson. The issue is when he turns 18 years old we have been informed this expires and we will have to go before the Courts again. He has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and Mood Disorder Unspecified. Also, history of PTSD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He is unable to complete life decisions, is easily persuaded by others into unfavorable decisions (some of the students who realize he is different take advantage of him by taking his treasured items/money and saying they will return them but never do/he responds by protecting the individual who tried to cause him harm.) He is unable to manage money (cannot decipher change and will walk away from the cashier if he presents her with $10.00 bill and the item was say $6.00. He feels he can buy anything no matter what the cost and no matter amount of explaining he doesn’t seem to understand). Our question is how do we pursue this? Is the current guardianship valid until the new order in place or because it states permanent guardianship do we even need to pursue another one?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

A guardianship for a minor ends when the minor turns 18. You will need to petition the court for an adult permanent guardianship.  He will receive a notice about the petition. His doctor will need to certify that a guardianship/conservatorship is needed based on his mental abilities. Your grandson will have the right to object. You should begin this process well before he turns 18. I suggest you retain an attorney to help you.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The family law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

 

Can I make out a check for funeral

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I was P.O.A. for someone who just passed, her wish was to be cremated. Now that I have had the funeral home take care of this, I need to know if I can write a check out to the funeral home. It is my understanding my role as P.O.A. ceased as of her passing. what can I do. there is no executor of her estate

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

As power of attorney, your authority ceased upon her passing. If she owned a joint account, the joint owner can write out the check. If there are no joint owners, the cost of the funeral becomes a debt of the estate. Often times, family members pay for the funeral themselves and then are reimbursed once the executor of the estate is appointed.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

 

Will my ira, 401k and/or annuity which have charitys as beneficiarys protect my 1.4 mill estate from estate tax?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

If the answer is no,would it work to give these to charity be for my demise?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Provided that your charitable deductions after your death bring your estate value below the Massachusetts 1 million dollar threshold, there will be no estate tax due in Massachusetts. A Massachusetts estate tax return will still be required to be filed as your taxable estate started at an amount above a million dollars.
If you would like to avoid your heirs filing an estate tax return, you would have to make withdrawals from these accounts, take the charitable deduction on your 1040. However, there are charitable deduction limitations applied to lifetime gifts, which is generally 50% of your adjusted gross income. You should work with a CPA or tax attorney to determine the best way to spend it down.
Also, please remember that end of life care is very expensive. An assisted living can run close to $10,000 a month. So while $1.4 million sounds like a lot, you can easily spend that down below the million tax threshold to avoid entering a nursing home.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The tax attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for taxation. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

Can my sibling be evicted from my step father’s home after he dies?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My sibling was living with my step dad for 4 months before his sudden death, now my step brother who was named as the executive of the will has told her she has to leave. What rights does she have?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

If she is a beneficiary of the will, she may have a right to continue to live there if the will grants her an ownership interest in the house.  In Massachusetts, the ownership interest would vest immediately upon the step-father’s death, assuming the estate is solvent.   If she is not a beneficiary or if the will states that the property is to be sold, then she is a tenant at will. The Executor is within his rights to have her evicted from the property.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

How does Power of Attorney work when the person it’s transferred to also transfers their own?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My grandmother is in her 80’s and still very active and mentally “with it”. After a recent hospitalization, though, she decided to transfer Power of Attorney to her only child, my father, just to be prudent in case of future situations.
Separately, during the past month, my father has been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer that is terminal. He has signed over his OWN Power of Attorney to his wife, my stepmother. Where does this leave my grandmother’s Power of Attorney? Still with my father? Or transferred to my stepmother along my father’s by default? Thank you. [Read more…]

If a parent was never put on a child’s birth certificate, can that adult child make medical decisions for that parent?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mother’s father abandoned them after she was born. About 5 years ago, he showed back up in her life and she has since grown to have a relationship with him. With that being said, I do not believe he was ever listed on her birth certificate and she was given her mother’s last name when she was born. Now, he has suffered a brain injury and is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for himself. He does have other children, that up until recently, were letting my mother have an input in any decisions being made. They have now changed thier minds and are trying to exclude my mother. They are excluding her now because the other children are after his assets. House, car, etc. Let it be known that one son lives in Texas and the other lives here. My grandmother and my mom’s father have been living together the past few years and his other son lives in his old house. Does my mother have any legal say so? Or could she doe anything to get one?
[Read more…]

Can a person legally take communications/documents from another person’s home without their knowledge/permission?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mother lives in a house that is in a trust and was formerly a trustee of that trust. She kept hard copies of all her communications with other trustees (before and after her time as trustee) and various copies of trust documents in her office. A beneficiary of the trust recently revealed that they went into her office and took all communications/documents and have been keeping them at their house.

I am another beneficiary and I told them they couldn’t just go into someone else’s house and take their private communications without their permission and/or the trustee’s permission. I also asked that they return all the documents (without retaining copies) to the current trustees immediately. They claim they did nothing wrong because the communications/documents relate to the trust, that they have a right to have all these communications/documents, and they did not agree to return the documents.

Are they legally allowed to do this? I am not so concerned with the contents of these communications/documents as I am with this beneficiary feeling they can do/take whatever they want.
[Read more…]

Moving out? Record your home on your smartphone

If you’re getting divorced and you’ll be moving out while your spouse stays in the house, it’s a good idea to use your smartphone to make a video record of the home at the time you left it.

For one thing, you might not be able to take everything that’s important to you with you at the time you move, especially if you’re going to a smaller place. And once you move out, you’ll have little control over the home’s maintenance and upkeep.

As a result, whether accidentally or on purpose, your spouse might throw out, destroy or sell belongings of yours that have significant monetary or sentimental value. Your spouse might also let the house fall into disrepair, or there might be some damage to the home, which could lower its value. [Read more…]

You’re splitting up – who keeps the engagement ring?

So it wasn’t “until death do us part” after all, but there’s still that dazzling engagement ring. He wants it back; she wants to keep it. Who wins?

As with many things in the law, it depends on the facts, and it also depends on the state.

In some states, such as California, accepting an engagement ring is usually viewed as a promise to marry someone. Once a woman has said “I do,” the promise has been fulfilled and it’s hers to keep, even if the couple later get divorced.

[Read more…]

Live-in partner is awarded partial custody of child

A mother’s live-in romantic partner who developed a strong relationship with her child can get partial custody of the child after their breakup, a Pennsylvania court recently decided.

The mother gave birth to the child in 2007 and quickly separated from the child’s father. She then began a relationship with a woman known as C.B.

C.B. became very involved in the child’s life, participating in his medical appointments, helping select his schools, and communicating with his teachers and doc- tors. The child also had a close relationship with C.B.’s extended family, referring to her father as “Pappy” and her siblings as “aunt” and “uncle.” C.B.’s family members babysat the child, and C.B.’s mother was the child’s emergency contact. [Read more…]

‘Buy-sell’ agreements should be reviewed by a family lawyer

It’s very common for small businesses to have “buy-sell” agreements. These say that if one owner leaves, dies, or gets divorced, the other owners can buy out that owner’s interest. The purpose is to make sure that if something happens to one owner, the other owners can continue to operate the  business without having an ex- spouse, child, or stranger as an unwanted partner.

If you have such an agreement or are thinking of signing one, it’s a very good idea to have it reviewed by a family law attorney. This is true if any of the owners might someday get divorced, even if you personally are unlikely to get divorced or aren’t even married.

Here’s why: Buy-sell agreements typically set a price at which the other owners can buy the owner’s shares, or a method for determining the price, such as book value, a multiple of current annual profits, an independent appraiser’s estimate, or a board valuation made in good faith.

[Read more…]

Modern love clouds end of alimony

Many divorce agreements say that a spouse can stop paying alimony if the other spouse remarries or begins living with a romantic partner. That sounds simple – but in today’s world, romantic relationships can be anything but simple. Sometimes, as on Facebook, the best way to describe a new relationship is “it’s complicated” and whether a spouse can stop paying alimony can be complicated, too.

Here are some examples:

* Steven and Lorraine Robitzski divorced in 2004, and Steven was ordered to pay Lorraine $2,500 a month in alimony, unless she cohabited with someone. Lorraine found a new boyfriend, and Steven went to court claiming that they were living together.

According to Steven, Lorraine and her new beau spent about 100 nights a year together, they held themselves out as a couple at family and social activities and on Facebook, and the couple’s children referred to the boyfriend as “Pap Thom.”

[Read more…]

My father died in Florida and had no will but his home was deeded to him only and paid for before he married my stepmother.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Do I have any rights as a son and the stepmother says she has a life estate and she says the property will go to my father’s Aires when she passes but we have never seen any paperwork to say what the situation is..

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

The surviving spouse is granted a life estate in the property in order to protect her rights. A life estate means that she has the right to use and occupy the property during her lifetime. Should she move out, she is entitled to any income generated from the property. At the same time, she has the responsibility to pay for the expenses relating to the house. She must pay the taxes, insurance, maintenance and upkeep. If she wishes to sell the property in the future, she will be entitled to a percentage of the proceeds and the remainder men will split that balance. The percentage is determined according to her age. As she gets older, the value of her ownership interest declines.
At some point a homestead determination will need to be made and a new deed executed with your mother-in-law and you and your siblings, if any.

[Read more…]

February 23, 2017 – Estate & Medicaid Planning Seminar

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Time:  7:20AM – 9:00AM
Location: Chateau Restaurant, 551 John Mahar Highway (Horizon Plaza), Braintree MA

Registration: Pre-register Here

$30.00 for full buffet breakfast & 2 CPE credits for CPA’s

FREE for first-time attendees

Summary:

AT 7:20:  Your tax questions – Alan Gladstone

Stock Market Update

Mark Everett, Managing Director, Diversified Financial Management
Josh Gregory CRPS, Wealth Mgmt Advisor Individual Services TIAA-CREF

NETWORKING:  Per diem announcements, looking for work, office, etc. 

Information contact 

Millie(781) 784-7967  millie@milliecpa.com

or Irene (781) 883-3174 /  irene@milliecpa.com

 

A NH Real Estate Transfer Tax Primer

The following article by Attorney David Beliveau was published by the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Tax Law: Amended Last Year: A NH Real Estate Transfer Tax Primer

By:

The New Hampshire real estate transfer tax (NH RSA 78-B) – a tax on the transfer of New Hampshire real estate – is $0.75 per $100 of the full price of or consideration for the real estate for the purchaser and the seller (meaning half of the total tax is paid by the purchaser and half by the seller).

The tax, collected by the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA), requires filing DRA forms PA-34, Inventory of Property Transfer; CD-57-P, Declaration of Consideration Real Estate Purchaser (Grantee); and CD-57-S, Declaration of Consideration Real Estate Seller (Grantor). The law changed last year in the case of real estate transfers to revocable trusts and LLCs. [Read more…]

Will I be able to contest my only older sister’s will after her death–

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My only sister had me listed on her deed of her home and due to a petty argument she had me removed from her deed and I feel she is being heavily influenced by her friend and she is putting her in her will–I am family verses a friend –is it possible to contest this and win this over?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

There are not enough facts to make an informed decision on whether you have a valid cause of action. While your sister may listen to her friend, it may or may not come to the level of undue influence. Is your sister vulnerable in some way? Has the friend isolated her? Did the friend force your sister to make her a substantial beneficiary of the estate? Is your sister elderly and easily confused. Have long were your sister and her friend close. These are all things that the court will consider. Just because you are her sister does not mean that you will win your argument. I have seen many, many estate plans where family members are not inheriting. Also, you can’t contest her will until after she dies and it will be expensive. The executor will have estate assets to defend a claim, where you will have to pay your attorney with your own money.
If you feel the friend is taking advantage of your sister, now, financially, you can report it to Elder Services, assuming she is elderly. Elder Services will hold an investigation.
er does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

 

I want to be executor

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Hello. My sister is the executor of my moms estate. I live with my mom, take care of my mom, take my mom to dr, make sure shes fed and clothed, etc. My mom is elderly.  My sister does absolutely nothing for our mom– no visits, no contact, no doctor visits — nothing at all.  But she is in charge of the money and bank account my mom received for my dads wrongful death lawsuit. My sister refuses to give us money or even tell us about the account. How can I become executor of this account in order to take care of our mom

[Read more…]

Can I get some sort of custody for my newborn half sister?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My parents seperated when i was 7, im now 20. My dad and his wife are having a baby girl in a few weeks but with mines & dads wifes history… she is not allowing me nor my brother to be apart of our sisters life. both my brother and i want to be apart and active in her life, is there any sort of custody we can get without making the situation worse?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

You have no rights to demand visitation or custody if the child’s parents are living and treat her well. Not allowing you in her life will not be considered abuse by the court system.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The probate litigation attorneys attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

What do I do if the other parent claimed our child on their taxes?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

According to the child support agreement I’m suppose to claim our child for even tax years while she can claim her on odd tax years. So for this year’s tax season(2016 tax season) the mom claimed our child on her taxes, before I can file my taxes. Now, I can’t file my taxes while claiming our child. What do I do to fix this to be able to claim our child for my taxes this year?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

Report your deductions on your own tax return. If she has already claimed the deduction, the IRS will disallow your claim and at that point, you can provide proof that you are the custodial parent. The IRS will then disallow your ex-wife’s deduction and allow yours.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The tax attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for taxation. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

If I was omitted from a will do I have the right to receive a copy of the will? And do I have to sign a paper i won’t contest?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Dad just passed away my aunt who is executor told me I was omitted from will.  I don’t trust. Will I still be entitled to original copy or just get a paper saying I will not contest and if I don’t sign what happens?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

Once the personal representative submits the Will to the Probate Court for probate with the petition, all heirs at law are notified that the will has been submitted, whether they are to receive a bequest or not. The Will is on record at the Court. You can obtain a copy. You will have the opportunity to object to the Will at that time. You are not required to sign away your rights.
If you have been omitted and you feel that you want to object to the will, you should retain an attorney. There are filing requirements that must be met. Also, if your aunt delays in filing the Will, you should retain an attorney to force her to file the Will.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The probate litigation attorneys attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

Package delivery is a headache for landlords, condos

The explosion of online shopping has created a big headache for landlords and condo associations – what should be done about the deluge of packages being delivered to residents?

Staff at large apartment buildings often strain under the effort to accept, sort and deliver hundreds of packages. Smaller landlords and condo associations are striving to figure out the best policy: Should packages be left outside, where they are vulnerable to weather and theft? Is there a better, workable way to get them to tenants and unit owners?

Camden Property Trust, a huge landlord with 59,000 apartment units in 10 states, recently announced that it was banning package deliveries altogether. Camden tenants must now pick up packages at a post office, or else have them shipped to their workplace or to the home of a friend or relative. [Read more…]

If you own real estate, you need a will

Anyone who owns real estate needs to have a will that indicates what should happen to the property if he or she suddenly passes away.

You might assume you know who would inherit the house, but without a written will, the inheritance would be decided by state-law rules that might not be exactly what you’d expect.

Even if the house ultimately goes to the person you want, the lack of a will might mean that ownership of the house remains in legal limbo for an extended period of time. This can create unnecessary complications when it comes to paying property taxes and arranging for continued utilities and insurance coverage. If you have a mortgage, it can create even bigger headaches. [Read more…]

Buyer sues although property was purchased ‘as is’

A buyer who discovered that her new house was contaminated with mold can sue the seller, even though the house was purchased “as is” and the seller specifically said there might be mold in it, according to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Catherine Fricano bought the house from a bank that had acquired it in a foreclosure. The house had sustained serious water damage, and before selling it, the bank twice paid for mold remediation and repair work.

The bank’s contract with Fricano said that the house was being sold “as is,” that it might have had mold in it in the past, that it might currently have mold in it, and that the bank made no guarantees whatsoever about the condition of the building. The bank also said that since it had acquired the home through foreclosure, it had “little or no direct knowledge about the condition of the property.” [Read more…]

Tax break for selling land next to your house

You probably know that if you make a profit when you sell your house, you can usually avoid paying capital gains tax. In most cases, you can avoid the tax on profits of up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for a married couple).

But did you know that if you sell your house in one transaction and a vacant parcel of land next to your house in a separate transaction, you can also get a tax break?

In many cases, you can combine the two sales and treat them as a single sale subject to the $250,000 or $500,000 exclusion.

That’s true if you sell the adjacent parcel within two years before or after you sell your house, and if the parcel was originally part of your residence and wasn’t used for a separate business or rental purpose.

Beware of this ‘trap’ in commercial insurance

Many commercial insurance policies contain what’s called a “protective safeguards endorsement.” This gives the property owner a break on its insurance premiums if the owner protects the property through a fire alarm, automatic sprinkler system, fire safety service contract, or other method of preventing harm.

Sounds like a good idea, right? It can be … but the trick is that these endorsements typically say that the owner must maintain the system in good working order at all times, or notify the insurance company right away if there’s a problem the owner can’t control. Otherwise, the insurance company won’t pay for any losses.

That means the owner must be extremely careful about maintaining its systems. Also, the owner must be extremely careful about not letting a tenant do anything to compromise the systems. If a tenant is allowed to make minor alterations without the owner’s approval, for instance, how will the owner know if the tenant does something that unintentionally affects a sprinkler system?

These endorsements can be a money-saver, but property owners need to think long and hard about the potential negative consequences.

More parents buy condos for their children in college

A growing trend is for parents to buy a condo for their college-age children to live in, instead of a dormitory. This gives the child more luxurious accommodations (and encourages an environment conducive to studying instead of all-night partying), while creating the possibility that the parents can sell the property at a profit in four years.

There are other financial benefits, too. For instance, suppose that instead of paying the college for room and board, you give the money to your child. You can give your child up to $14,000 a year without paying gift tax, and a married couple can give up to $28,000. Your child can then use the money to pay you rent for the condo. Voilà! You’ve created a rental business that provides tax breaks.

As long as you’re charging your child full market rent, you can deduct your mortgage interest payments as a business expense. You can also deduct other operating expenses, such as insurance, utilities, condo fees, cleaning costs, maintenance and repairs. You may also be able to take a deduction for depreciation. [Read more…]

How to understand your APR

Many mortgage shoppers are confused about the difference between a loan’s interest rate and its APR, or annual percentage rate. Understanding APR can be extremely valuable, because it can allow you to compare different loans more effectively and figure out which one is truly best for you.

But you’ll also want to understand the limits of APR, and why a loan with a better APR might not necessarily be a better loan given your specific circumstances.

Interest rates are simple – they’re the cost of borrowing money. All other things being equal, a loan with a 4% interest rate is better than a loan with a 5% interest rate.

But the problem with mortgages is that all other things are seldom equal, because different lenders charge different amounts for closing costs and other expenses. That’s where APR comes in. APR is designed to compare the true cost of a loan when these other expenses are taken into account. [Read more…]

I am a beneficiary of irrevocable trust which last asset is a home that my mother is allowed to live in but not life right.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

She must maintain the home carry liability fire etc. Repair replace and provide all upkeep including taxes to remain there. She HAS NOT DONE THIS. I informed trustee and my sisters tried to get a loan for her unsuccessfully even the trustee tried and was denied. I want to stop the delapitation of my inheritance and have her removed. I am also on SSI and am homeless and have been denied access to the home to live. No one cares. Help.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

The Trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that the terms of the trust are followed. You may be able to file a petition to have the Trustee removed and seek that the terms of the trust be followed. You will need to work with an attorney to accomplish this.
However, without reviewing the trust, I can’t tell you what would happen after the petition is enforced. Is your mother then turned out into the streets? Does the trust spell out that the house is to be sold? What happens to the proceeds of the sale? Can the proceeds be reinvested into a home that your mother can afford? No matter what the outcome it will be difficult for both you and your mother.

[Read more…]

Inquiring to see if my brother and I have a case against my sister.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

30 years ago my sister was given $40,000 by our father. He told me and my brother about it and told us he wanted to leave us something for our future. He said my sister would invest it and not be touched until he dies. This past January he passed and now my sister doesn’t seem to want to, or can’t discuss it she says. What can we do?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

What your father tried to set up for you and your brother is called an oral trust. What you are running into is what a lot of other families experience when mom or dad trusts only one child to save move for all of the children. The trusted child not longer wishes to share. Is there anything besides the fact that dad told you about it to prove that it was his intention that the money be split. That is the only way that a judge would order your sister to distribute money to you and your brother. Do you even have proof that she received $40,000? Did dad file a gift tax return to report the gift? I assume not if he didn’t want to set up a written trust. It will be extremely hard to find bank records that far back if you don’t already have them. Plus, she could easily say that he gave it to her as a gift for herself. Assuming you do find proof, a lawsuit is extremely expensive and she has $40,000 with which to defend herself. You may want to hire an attorney investigate and promote a settlement without going so far as to file a lawsuit. It will still be expensive.

[Read more…]

What happens if no one wants the responsibility of what the will entails?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I have a family member who passed away and has left in the will that all liquid assets remain apart of the estate and has asked that they be used to establish a foundation for children in another country to pay for education. It’s a noble idea, but also it sounds like it’s going to be a big undertaking. If the names executor has too much on their plate to do it and no other family members what the responsibility what happens?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

No one named as executor is required to take on the responsibility. If no one in the family wants to do so, then you can ask the court to appoint a public administrator. Please keep in mind the executor is doing a job and will be paid for his or her time whether it is a family member or the public administrator. Should the estate not have enough money to keep a foundation going, the executor could petition the court to make a straight charitable contribution. Your family member would need to have allocated a lot of money to the private foundation sustainable. If it doesn’t have a few hundred thousand dollars, the legal and accounting fees are going to eat it up after a few years.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

 

Does a notarized document override an original Will

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My father passed away leaving his children as the sole heirs in his will, but I have recently learned that a grandson in the family has greedily manipulated some notarized document claiming ownership of my fathers house and car. My father would have never knowingly signed any document giving him ownership of anything.  Does a notarized document override the original Will?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

The will only governs the assets which go through probate. Re-titling an account so that it is joint will take the account out of probate. Adding a person to a deed will also avoid probate. This does not revoke the will. If your father was tricked into giving his assets away, a judge can issue an order to bring the assets back into the probate estate. You will have to prove that your father was incompetent or truly did not understand what he was signing. You need to consult with a probate attorney as soon as possible.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The probate litigation attorneys attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

How do I legally report income for tax purposes on an investment that is held in the name of a friend?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

If I give my friend money towards an investment in their name (equal to 50% of the total investment of one share of a restaurant), how can we each report this on our individual taxes?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

The income generated will be reported on the owner’s tax return. You will not own any shares. What you are doing is making a loan to a friend who in turn makes an investment. His only obligation to you will be to repay the loan at some point. If your agreement isn’t in writing, you friend can easily claim that you had made a gift to him.  Your agreement should be set out in writing on how and when the money is to be paid back to you and at what interest rate. The agreement should be drafted by an attorney. If you are expecting a big return on your loan to your friend because this restaurant takes off, don’t. Invest in the restaurant under your own name if you want to secure the appreciation.

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My father in law is in a 3 year court battle, he lives in a rv and recently had a stroke can we bring him to our state for care

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

His friend died a few years ago leaving everything to Dan (father in law) after the death unknown nephews came out looking for money and took Dan to court. His case has been continued for years now he was set to go to trial on Monday but had a systematic stroke he can’t use his left side and the Dr said he has a disk puting pressured on nerves in neck. He also is bipolar. He lives in a camper and has nothing. We want to bring him to nv for care we are his only family. How can we make it happen legally

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

Is your father-in-law incompetent? Having physical side effects from a stroke does not mean that he has lost the ability to make decisions for himself. If he is still competent, you have no problems. He can move. He should execute a power of attorney and health care proxy immediately in case he suffers another stroke and does become incompetent. If he refuses to go and is incompetent, you will have to apply for the guardianship/conservatorship where he currently resides, move him, and then reapply in the new state. You will need attorneys in both states.  His court case is a non-issue when it comes down to moving him.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is [Read more…]

What do I do if my ex filed our daughter on his taxes, which violates the court order?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I have sole legal and primary physical custody of my daughter, her dad lives in another state. Our court order says I have the exclusive rights to file her as a dependent on my taxes, and file for her dividend every year. He knew about the court order and still claimed her on his taxes and filed for her PFD. How do I enforce the court order?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

You are no longer linked to your ex-husband’s tax filing because you are no longer signing off of its veracity. If he reported deductions incorrectly, he alone will suffer the repercussions. Report your deductions on your own tax return.  If he has already claimed the deduction, the IRS will disallow your claim and at that point, you can provide proof that you are the custodial parent.  The IRS will then disallow your ex-husband’s deduction and allow yours.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not [Read more…]

Nursing Home Fraud.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The Nursing Home that my Deceased Dad was in after having a sudden stroke is trying to get a judgement against me stating that I was his POA & I should not have accepted yrly checks from him for my two children & myself. I did not sign any papers stating that I would be responsible. Their claims are that even though my dad was in good health taking care of his own home he should have kept his money due to the 5 yr lookback .( Dad started giving my children & I monetary gifts 11 yrs prior to his stroke. Can the Nursing Home get a judgement against me ? If so do they get a monetary settlement or a lien on my home. I am quite concerned & do not fully understand how they can go after me.
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Will I have to pay income tax on my Mothers house that was in a revocable trust?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I am sole heir in my Mothers revocable trust. She died in 2016, I sold her house in 2016. Will I have taxes to pay?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:

Upon your mother’s death, the home receives a step up in basis to fair market value. By placing and selling the home on the market soon after your mother’s death, the basis will be presumed to be the selling price. You should consult with a knowledgeable accountant or CPA to do the tax returns, especially if the house was sold from the trust. Upon your mother’s death, the trust became irrevocable and an EIN should have been assigned to the trust.

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