Is my tax preparer liable for understating my income ?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My tax preparer did not include my wife’s Social Security income on my 2015 Federal and State taxes. Now I received a bill from the IRS, plus interest charges.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

You are still responsible for the tax whether or not he failed to input the data into the return. As a taxpayer, it is your responsibility to review the return before you sign and submit it to the IRS. You are obligated to pay the tax and the interest. Typically, if you use the same accountants or tax attorneys each, they will correct their mistake by paying the interest because they want to keep you as a client.

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.

Tax consequences of foreclosure and capital gains.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mom passed away in September 2014. Her mortgage co filed foreclosure a month later. $74,000 was owed on the original debt, but unpaid taxes and fees made it closer to $104,000. Property sold for a profit in June 2016 and her estate received a check for $10,000.   Mortgage co reported original debt of $74,000 and sale price of $114,00, meaning it looks as though her estate earned $40,000 instead of the $10,000 received.
Do I, as her trustee, have to somehow pay taxes on that $40,000 even though the profit was only $10,000? Her estate was small and does not have that kind of money left to pay.   What can I do, if anything? Thanks.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Capital gains is applied to the difference between the sales price and the basis price of the property. Basis price is the fair market purchase price plus capital gains minus any depreciation. The basis of a property is “stepped-up” to fair market value on the date of the decedent’s death. The debt on the property is not considered when reporting the gain. Typically the sales price of the property is the de facto fair market value if the property is sold within a year from death. Conceivably, the gain could be zero if you placed the property on the market soon after the decedent’s death requesting a reasonable price and it did not sell because the market was so bad. A CPA or a tax attorney will be able to file the 1041 correctly to minimize the gain reported.

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.

How do I decline my inheritance?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I do not want to accept any inheritance that my parents may leave me. Can I just write a letter and have it notarized or is there some type of legal form/letter that I need to fill out?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

To decline a gift or inheritance, you need to execute a disclaimer. In order for the disclaimer not to have any effect on you for estate or gift tax it must be a “qualified disclaimer”.  A Qualified Disclaimer must be done within nine months of date of the gift and you must not have exerted any control over the property. By doing the qualified disclaimer, you will have been deemed to have predeceased the gift and the gift goes to the next person in line to inherit under your parents’ estate plans. By only doing a disclaimer, the government will count the inheritance as going to you and then you made the gift to the next person in line.

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.

Can my sister force my disabled sister out of the family home?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My sister is disabled and living in our mother’s home. My mother now resides in a memory ward of a senior living facility. My other sister wants to kick my disabled sister out, but she’s on disability and can’t afford housing. She claims that they need to sell the house in order to pay the $5000/mo facility cost. Please advise

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Assisted living bills need to be paid or your mother will be evicted. Unlike nursing homes, there is little public assistance to help keep the elder in assisted living. Your sister has no right to continue to live in her mother’s house just because she is disabled.

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

Procedure for transferring property, which is already designated to be gifted to someone in a will?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The person who has the will, is the Mother of 4 children. She is also diagnosed with mild dementia. She has decided to give one piece of her property to one dependent, but it was set to be given to another in her will. The 4 dependents are all in favor of this gift. However, there is a piece of property that the dependent who is going to be gifted this property is due to be given in the will. What we want to do is gift him the new property and sign his future property over to two of the other siblings. Is there any legal means to do so or can her will be changed?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

You need to consult with an elder law attorney. First, at some point in the near future your mother may need to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. Gifting property within the five year look back will cause a disqualification period.
Second, gifting property instead of waiting for an inheritance means that the beneficiary takes the property at the basis that your mother had in the property. By waiting for the inheritance, the gain in the property is eliminated because the heir receives the property with a new basis of the fair market value on the date of your mother’s death.
Third, revising a will if a person has dementia is dangerous. You mother needs to be able to understand what document she is signing and what the ramifications are. As she already has a diagnosis, the new will can be challenged after her death. You will be put in the position of having to prove that your mother had mental capacity on the day she signed.

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

North Carolina trustee for Massachusetts trust

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

A non grantor complex Massachusetts trust has a North Carolina trustee and one beneficiary in Massachusetts. There is no Massachusetts sourced income to the trust such as real estate rental income, only income and gains is from stock and bond portfolio. Should the trustee file a Massachusetts or NC trust tax return along with the federal return? The trust language allows the trustee discretion to allocate income and capital gains back to the corpus if desired or to distribute. However, trustee has been distributing 3 percent per year. Does Massachusetts and NC law allow capital gains to be distributed to the beneficiary?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Massachusetts will look to see if the trust is a “resident trust”. There are two types. A testamentary trust (a trust created through the decedent will is one. The other is an inter vivos trust (a trust created during the grantor’s life). To trigger a resident trust status for an inter vivos trust the following conditions must exist: At least one of the trustees is a Mass resident AND (1) at least one of the grantors was a Mass inhabitant when the trust was created or (2) at least one of the grantors resided in Mass during any part of the year for which the income is computed or (3) at least one of the grantors died a Mass resident.
If your trustee is an individual, it does not seem from your description that a return will be needed. However, if a business which also has locations in Massachusetts is the trustee, Mass will tax the trust. There was a case decided last year against Bank of America on that issue.

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.

‘No vacancy’ is no defense in promotion lawsuit

Can an employer be sued for not promoting someone, even if there’s no vacancy in the job to which she wants to be promoted?

Maybe, according to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Janean Chambers was a blind black woman who worked for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was at a GS-9 pay grade and wanted to be promoted to a GS-11 job. [Read more…]

Yoga teacher could be fired for being ‘too cute’

A Manhattan yoga teacher who claimed her female boss fired her because the boss’s husband thought she was attractive can’t bring a lawsuit for unjust termination, a judge has ruled.

Dilek Edwards worked as a yoga instructor and massage therapist at a chiropractic clinic owned by Stephanie Adams – a former Playboy model – and her husband, Charles Nicolai.

Edwards apparently had given Nicolai some massages, and Nicolai praised her work and told her that his wife might become jealous because she was “too cute.” [Read more…]

New rules for company ‘wellness’ programs

Corporate wellness programs – designed to help workers quit smoking, manage stress, lose weight and address other health issues – are becoming popular with employers. Many businesses see them as a valuable perk as well as a way to reduce absenteeism and health care costs.

However, under federal law, these programs must be voluntary – employees can’t be forced to participate in them. Further, there are limits on how companies can obtain and use medical and genetic information about workers and their families.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new rules that clarify what’s allowed. [Read more…]

Workers’ ‘right to gripe’ gets another boost

The National Labor Relations Board is cracking down on workplace rules that are designed to promote harmony and civility, but that restrict employees from complaining about their working conditions.

All employees (even those who don’t belong to a union) have a right under federal labor law to talk to each other about their pay and conditions and to agitate for improvements. Here are some examples of workplace rules that the NLRB thinks might violate that right: [Read more…]

Should companies buy wage-and-hour insurance?

Wage-and-hour lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act have increased by 30 percent in just the last five years, and with the huge changes that took place on December 1, that number is expected to increase even further.

Some companies are buying specific insurance policies to protect them against these claims.

If a business already has an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy, this might not be necessary because these claims may already be covered. However, many EPLI policies specifically exclude coverage for wage-and-hour violations. Other general liability policies might in theory cover wage-and-hour suits, but these insurers are often very aggressive in contesting their obligation to cover such claims after they arise.

Businesses that are concerned might want to review their policies with an employment attorney.

What the new overtime rules will mean for businesses and employees

Major changes to the federal overtime rules went into effect on December 1, and this could mean big changes in the workplace.

Some 4.2 million employees who aren’t eligible for overtime now will become eligible under the new rules. This could prompt many businesses to reduce overtime hours, hire new workers, raise or lower salaries, convert salaried employees to hourly employees, and adjust bonuses and commissions. It could also mean changes for workers who telecommute or have flexible schedules.

In general, employees must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours in a week, unless the employee is “exempt.” Currently, employees are “exempt” if they earn at least $23,660 per year; are paid on a salary basis; and perform managerial, professional, or administrative tasks. Employees who do not have managerial, professional, or administrative jobs are exempt if they earn more than $100,000. [Read more…]

Drug testing policies may need to be revised

If you have a policy that requires drug testing after a workplace accident or injury, you may need to change it as a result of new rules issued by OSHA.

The new rules generally require that companies have a reporting procedure in place for work-related injuries and illnesses, and prohibit them from discouraging workers from reporting injuries. The catch is that, according to OSHA, a policy that requires drug testing after a workplace accident could discourage workers from reporting accidents in the first place.

To be clear, OSHA is not saying that you can never give a drug test after a mishap. But to justify a test, two things must be true: [Read more…]

What happens to unused ‘flexible spending’ funds?

Many companies have flexible spending accounts that allow employees to pay health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. The biggest drawback to these accounts is that they’re “use it or lose it” – so if employees put money into an FSA and don’t spend all of it on qualified expenses during that calendar year, they forfeit the remainder.

So what happens to the money they forfeit?

The short answer is that the business can simply keep it. However, if a business wants to ease the burden on employees and make the FSA a more attractive benefit, there are several other options allowed under the tax laws: [Read more…]

Many computer ‘hacks’ are actually low-tech thefts

All businesses are scared these days of having their data stolen by highly sophisticated foreign computer experts – and yet a surprisingly large number of “hacks” are actually very low-tech affairs, carried out by people with minimal computer skills. The good news is that some simple measures can reduce the risk.

According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, the vast majority of CEOs view sophisticated intentional hacking as the biggest data security problem they face. The vast majority of IT managers, on the other hand, see the biggest threat as careless employees who haven’t received basic security training about phishing, passwords, cloud access, and the like.

To take one example, you might have heard that a St. Louis Cardinals baseball team employee was recently sentenced to jail for hacking into the computer secrets of a rival team, the Houston Astros. But you might not know exactly how he did it.

[Read more…]

Federal penalties are increasing dramatically

The maximum penalties that can be imposed on businesses by federal agencies are being dramatically increased, as a result of a new law passed by Congress.

OSHA’s civil penalties hadn’t increased since 1990, but that changed on August 1, 2016, when they jumped roughly 80%. The top penalty for a serious OSHA violation went from $7,000 to $12,471, and the top penalty for a willful or repeated violation went from $70,000 to $124,709.

What’s more, if an employer was inspected before August 1, but OSHA didn’t issue a citation until after August 1, OSHA can issue a penalty at the new higher rate. Since OSHA has six months from the date of a violation to issue a citation, it’s expected that a lot of companies that were inspected in the first part of 2016 will see large penalties assessed after August 1. [Read more…]

New law protects trade secrets

President Obama has signed a new federal law that expands the ability of companies to sue when someone steals or misuses a trade secret.

The law also contains new requirements for employment contracts that refer to trade secrets – which means that many such agreements should now be revised.

The “Defend Trade Secrets Act,” or DTSA, will change the legal landscape by making misuse of trade secrets a federal issue, comparable to patent, trademark and copyright infringement.

[Read more…]

What Happen if my Trustee could not perform the duties due to illness, and what happen if she die.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My husband past away on last end of year. he pointed 2 persons for successor trustees. one of them already past away 7 years ago. and the estate attorney filed pleadings to appoint other one to be my trustee. Now, I have a question, my trustee has serious health condition ( heart disease) and she could not perform any duties. (basically I have to do everything for her) so I would like to know if in this situation what should I do? in the future if she die what can I do ? there has no other trustee on my husbands will and I am only beneficiary.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

This is a common situation. Trustees routinely resign, die or become unable to perform the function as Trustee. The Trust will have provisions spelling out how a new Trustee can be appointed. Your attorney can prepare the paperwork for the transition of Trustee.

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

Does a beneficiary of an IRA payable upon death amount satisfies an amount designated to be left from an estate in a will?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In Massachusetts, My dad left his IRA payable upon death to my brother and myself 50/50. His will states $50,000 for each of us. His IRA is not in the will. His cousin gets what’s left over from estate. Does the fact he left us money in his IRA satisfies the will’s listed amount or is that from the sale of his house? The financial advisor says the IRA is a contract and has nothing to do with the will. The cousin disagrees and states as executor that it does satisfies the will so he ends up keeping the house. Who is correct?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

The IRA is not subject to the probate estate. It passes outside of the control of the Will. The personal representative cannot ignore the terms of the will. Occasionally a Will is written where it references non-probate assets and sets out a formula based on what the beneficiaries receive out side of probate. For instance, he could have written, if my son receives $50,000 from my IRA, then he will receive nothing from my probate estate. If your father’s Will simply states, $50,000 to each of my children and the balance to my cousin, then you are to receive $50,000 each. You need to hire an attorney to represent you as beneficiaries if your cousin is refusing to follow the terms of the Will. If the personal representative deeds the house to himself in contradiction to the Will, he could be creating a title problem, which is very costly to fix.

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.

 

Am I still obligated to pay?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mother has had 2 strokes within the past year. The 2nd stroke was severe enough that my mother needed to be placed in a long term/nursing facility. According to the admissions person at the nursing facility, my mother’s 100 days of Medicare ended 9/15/16. Mom was Medicaid eligible as of 7/1/16. The nursing facility sent a bill for the resident responsibility for the entire month of September. Since Medicare coverage was until 9/15/16 and Medicaid took over on 9/16/16, is my mother responsible for the entire resident payment amount for September? She has recently passed away. Am I still responsible for the funds?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

While Medicare covers 100 days, it does not cover the entire bill for the 100 days. After 20 days, the patient is responsible for a 20% co-pay. After 40 days, the patient is responsible for a 40% co-pay, and it continues that way every 20 days. It appears that there is a gap in the coverage for your mother. The start date requested for Medicaid should have been when the first co-pay started. A call to the facility is in order to straighten out exactly for what it is billing, and be sure to point out the Medicaid start date. If you used a company to file for Medicaid, be sure to contact the company as well.

Your mother’s estate is responsible for payment of the bills. You could be responsible if you signed her admission papers individually and not in the capacity of her health care agent or power of attorney.

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

 

Is it necessary to have a will if you have beneficiaries on everything?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Beneficiaries are on everything.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Assets with beneficiary designations typically avoid probate. Occasionally things go awry if a beneficiary predeceases you and alternates are not named. The account could end up going to a person you don’t want, a minor, or the deceased person’s probate estate. Owning property jointly with another is risky because the joint owner has total access to the account. This means that the joint owner’s creditors can reach your assets.

A will is also helpful for other reasons as well. You wishes on your burial can be spelled out in a will. Also, you do own other assets that aren’t in bank accounts. The will spells out who will inherit the tangible personal property. The executor is responsible for filing your last tax return and has the assets to pay it. If you use designations, the people in possession will be responsible for pay the tax. Each one is wholly liable for the tax, so if one beneficiary does not pay his or her share because they have spent the money, the IRS does not have to go after the person who spent the money. The IRS will go after the person with the deepest pockets.

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

How should I disperse savings of a deceased sibling of whom I was the guardian

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My brother passed away recently I was his Guardian he has money in the bank with my name as representative what should I do with the money he told me to split it up amongst the siblings and Dad can I do this legally

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Your representative payee and guardian status ended upon your brother’s death. The bank account will need to be probated. The assets will be distributed according to your brother’s will, if he had one, otherwise it will be governed by the state’s intestacy statute.

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.

If a house is forclosed by the bank during probate is the PR and others named in the Will be liable or responsible for any unpaid

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I am the PR or executor of my mothers will. I entered into probate as there is a house to consider in the mix. I am no longer able to make payments and thought I would have time before forclosure but did not. Will I and my siblings be liable for any part of the unpaid mortgage? will it affect our credit?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Only the estate is responsible for mortgage payments. There will be no effect to the credit scores of the beneficiaries or the personal representative (or executor).
The Personal Representative is responsible for preventing waste of the assets. If there are no other assets to pay the mortgage and PR made reasonable efforts to prevent the home going into foreclosure, then the PR will not be held to have breached his fiduciary duty.
You may wish to consult with a real estate attorney to see if the foreclosure sale can be stopped so that you can sell the home yourself. Typically you will get a much higher value for the home if you sell it yourself and you avoid having to pay for the legal expenses of the bank.

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.

If my son did not leave his parents as beneficiary, could we get his roth ira and ira transferred to our name?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My son who is 35 years old passed away suddenly. He is unmarried and has no issues.He kept us , his parents as his beneficiary for his 401k but did not keep anyone as beneficiary for his ira and roth ira. could we get his iras transferred to our name as we are the beneficiaries as parents or do we have to get a lawyer? Does his iras go into an estate as there is no beneficiary? Is there any loophole to this so that it will not go to his estate, so that we can avoid estate taxes. Can we do this on our own or do we need to hire a lawyer for his iras transferred to our name. we have our on ira and 401 k from work. can we merge his into ours.Also the HOA of his condo is saying we cannot rent it for two years. My son was paying mortgage until he passed away .I WOULD like to keep his condo for sentimental reason but cannot afford to pay mortgage without renting it. BUT the HOA is saying we cannot rent it for two years. It is in philadelphia. Is there any loophole to this law since my son passed away suddenly.
[Read more…]

Can I file an Affidavit of Indigency to waive a probate of will fee?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I had to probate a will using an MPC-170 form (Voluntary Administration Statement) and there was $115.00 fee, which I just couldn’t afford to pay, not without depriving myself of the necessities food, clothing, shelter, or paying related bills. The clerk specifically said that I could not file an Affidavit of Indigency for probating a will and could not waive the fee. I had no choice, I had to pay the fee. Now I have to decide what I’m going to do without this month, which bill I’m not going to pay. Is this right or am I being screwed over here?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

There is no waiving of the probate fee for indigency. The good news is that under a Voluntary Administration, you should be appointed as personal representative within a couple of weeks. You are entitled to reimburse yourself for the expenses.

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.

Can I file a lien on someone who is in the process of selling their home?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My siblings, prior to my mother’s death, got dementia-stricken mother to take everything out of parent’s bank account and give it to them for safe keeping. Father will not sue his children for $87,000….besides, four out of five children have already received and spent their equal portion. I, the youngest and mother’s caregiver who knew that every morning mother had clarity and asked that their money be returned, have not received my equal portion. It is my understanding that they spent $30,000 of mother’s money, on what, I don’t know. But the sibling in control is selling her home and I would like to put a lien on that home so that I can get my portion of parent’s money. Of course, that money really belongs to my father and I want him to get every cent of it. Sibling has bought another home and lives in the new home while the old home is vacant with a “For Sale” sign in front.
[Read more…]

Do I have the right to know my deceased mother’s assets and to see her will? What rights, if any do I have at all?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mother passed away Feb. 14, 2017. My father left approx. $1.5M in their shared bank account. Before my father passed, I was separated from my husband, so he signed over the house and everything in it. I had no assets of my own, as my husband was very close to filing for bankruptcy. My sister took my mother with her to MO. and was supposed to live with her. However, my mother moved into a nursing home, which admittedly, was for the best. Believing my mother was going to live in my sister’s home, I told my sister she could take what she liked. She took 2 moving vans of furniture, jewelry, etc., including some things which belonged to me. Within a week of his passing, my sister became my mother’s Power of Attorney, as well as the joint owner of her bank account.

After her passing, I asked for a copy of my mother’s will. My sister refused a number of times. She also stated that there was very little of my mother’s assets I would be receiving (She will send me a box of things my mother wished me to have. and 1/4 of her IRA – I don’t know its worth). She also asked that I not research my mother’s will, so I don’t know if it has ever been legally filed. Please advise.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

The personal representative of a will has a fiduciary duty to file the will and open a probate. It appears that in this case probate was avoided because your sister became joint owner of the accounts.
You should consult with a Missouri attorney immediately. The actions of your sister can be construed as undue influence. She effective bypassed your mother’s wishes if your mother’s will left you an equal share. The longer you wait, the less likely you will recover your share of the inheritance.

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.

Do I have any rights to a property that I am on the loan and a verbal agreement is made, but I am not on the deed?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I made an agreement with someone that we would both buy a property and have shared interest, but that the other person would be the only one on the deed. I have filed taxes based on that agreement. There was a personal dispute and now the person is claiming full ownership and denying any agreement we had even though it has been established in emails, texts, and through federal tax submissions. Do I have any rights to the property? If not, is it possible to claim fraud in the inducement?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Under the Statute of Frauds, agreements regarding real estate must be in writing and signed by the person who is being charged. Being on the deed is the proof to ownership. It gives notice to third parties that you own the property. Agreeing to co-sign a loan does not give you ownership. Taking a deduction on your taxes does not give you ownership. The e-mail may be enough to establish a claim of ownership if he admitted to the agreement. You will need to consult an attorney to determine if it is enough.
You did not say that you were paying on the loan, only taking deductions. Fraud includes intent and that you have been harmed in a tangible way. You will need to prove a monetary loss.

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 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.

Current tax law requires health insurance

During his first week in office, President Trump signed an executive order asking federal agencies to reduce the economic burden the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts on American citizens.

Unfortunately, this executive order is causing confusion. Many people are left wondering if fines will no longer be imposed or rules no longer need to be followed. Until the agencies impacted by this executive order publish their intent, act as though current laws are still in play. This includes: [Read more…]

More credits require questions

Common errors have helped to make the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) a major source of what the IRS calls “improper payments.” The agency estimates that of the $66 billion in EIC funds paid in 2015, nearly a quarter were collected by filers who didn’t qualify to receive them. To help combat this problem, the IRS now requires additional confirmation of information regarding the EIC and three new credits beginning in 2016.

Now if you claim the EIC, the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), or the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), additional information may be requested of you.

For the CTC and ACTC, you may be asked how long your children lived with you over the past year, or whether they lived with an ex-spouse, relatives, or other guardian.

[Read more…]

2016 proof of health insurance: the Form 1095 wrinkle

Under the current Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans must have health insurance. If you receive your health insurance through the ACA marketplace or from your employer, you will receive a Form 1095. This form is used as documentation that you have adequate insurance and is used for other ACA reporting and potential tax benefits.

What’s happening now

Prior to filing your tax return you should receive your Form 1095 and review it for accuracy. If you receive your health insurance through a state or federal marketplace you will receive Form 1095-A. Otherwise your version of the form will be either Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Unfortunately, some providers of the “B and C” versions of Form 1095 are still having trouble issuing the forms on time. Because of this, the IRS has issued a notice backing off on this “receive the form before you file” requirement. While you will still need to prove you have adequate health insurance, the suppliers of the Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C were given until as late as March 2 to get the form out to you.

[Read more…]

Reminder: Partnership tax returns due one month earlier

Remember, partnership tax returns are now due on March 15. This is a month earlier than last year. The change is important to note, as filing the tax return late could result in unexpected penalties. The new due date now aligns filing Form 1065 with other flow-through entities like S corporation Form 1120S. If you get caught by surprise with this earlier filing date, contact us immediately.

Major tax deadlines for March

March 2

  • Large employers and others must furnish Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C to employees.

March 15

  • 2016 calendar-year S corporation Form 1120S income tax returns are due.
  • 2016 calendar-year partnerships Form 1065 income tax returns are due.

March 31

  • Forms 1095-B and 1095-C due to the IRS, if filing electronically. Employers who have 250 or more employees are required to file electronically.

My father is drafting a will and making me a sole beneficiary, my question is sheltering these assets from my debt and leins

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The inheritance is free and clear and positive in a financial sense. But I have legal medical, and other debts… my question is can they force me to liquidate by leins or the sort and what would be a adaquate
Means to shelter these assets from any interests so I can inherit what will be left to me as owner the inheritance is Real property 2, 3 parcels and vehicles and personal effects and any monies in accounts …
So how to shelter this from my debts…. and assume ownership …. this is my question

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Your father needs to inform his attorney of your financial situation. If you inherit these assets outright, the assets will be seized by your creditors. One option that may work is for your father to set up a discretionary trust for your benefit. This means that the Trustee cannot be forced to make distributions to you or your creditors. His attorney will be able to work through the options with him. Ultimately it is his choice.

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

 

Can my sister legally file for Probate without me waiving my PR rights to her ?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My sister has not provided me with my father’s will, death certificate, his bank statements ( which she still has open after death) and any other legal documents of interest. I am afraid to give up my PR rights at this point in time because I am not sure of her honesty and integrity concerning my father’s estate.

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

The Personal Representative is named in the Will. You do not automatically have a right to be PR if the will has not named you. If it has been months since your father’s death, you should consult an attorney. The PR has a duty to file the will in a timely manner.
Until a PR is appointed, no one has authority over probate assets. It is normal for the bank accounts to still be open. Once a PR is appointed, those accounts will be transferred to estate accounts.

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.