Questions & Answers

Can I get a mortgage if I own property with my two sisters?

My sisters and I own 16 acres in Pennsylvania that was willed to us by our grandfather. I am the majority owner holding 65%. I am currently living in a trailer on the property and pay 100% of the property taxes. The trailer is not in great shape and I am looking to purchase a new double wide. Will I be able to get a mortgage? ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: That is a question that you

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How do I change beneficiary?

My bank account is a living trust. and my only asset. It is under $70,000. I am the trustee. I have a corresponding will. How do I change beneficiaries? ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: You can amend your trust to change the beneficiaries of your trust. The trust only controls assets held by the trust. Normally the corresponding will is a pour over will which means that if there are any assets held outside the trust going

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Can I force my adult son to change is last name?

My son hasn’t talked or bothered with me in many years. I have granddaughter 6 years old who doesn’t even know who I am.  He had another baby I never also met.  He has no respect and is not blood anymore. I like to have him change his last name to his wife’s name. I want nothing to do anymore. I’m very sick and don’t even know my son in over 10 more years. ANSWER BY

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How do I stop credit card companies from seeking payment from my wife after I die?

I am older than my wife and I have substantial credit card debt that I don’t want her to be responsible for after I am gone. ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: Unless your wife agrees to is, she is not responsible for your debts, only your estate is.  So put all of your property in her name and your creditors can’t touch her after your death.  She will need to do her own estate planning so that

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How to ensure family rental stays with the siblings?

My siblings and I were bequeathed a summer cottage in Rhode Island when our father passed away. While we technically own the structure, we rent the property (to use from May to October). As per the campground owner’s stipulation, only one sibling’s name can be on the lease. This makes us nervous, since if that sibling died or divorced, their spouse might feel entitled to a portion of the cottage, not to mention, there is no

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Can one parent legal withhold information regarding assets from the other parent after the death of a child?

I have been divorced from my ex-spouse for over 10 years. Recently, our emancipated child (not married, no children) died in a motor vehicle accident. My understanding is that, in this situation, each parent is entitled to receive 50% of the estate. I’m trying to get my ex-spouse to cooperate in generating an estate inventory. Although there are not a lot of tangible assets (child’s vehicle was totaled in the accident), my ex-spouse has been solely

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In a MA nominee trust, does “a majority of voting interest of the Beneficiaries” equal the beneficiary interest percentage?

Under “Powers of Trustees” in a MA nominee trust agreement is the following: “When, as, if and to the extent specifically directed by a majority of the voting interest of the Beneficiaries, the Trustees shall have the following powers: * to buy, sell, convey, assign, mortgage or otherwise dispose of all or any part of the Trust Estate and as landlord or tenant execute and deliver leases and sublease…” Q: Is “a majority of the voting

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If family trust is in place can a home be sold with out the approval of the designated trustees?

Family trust in place with my husband and brother in law as trustees. Recently made aware brother in law has home for sale( both parents alive live in home and very elderly one disabled and unable To communicate) and planning on using proceeds to buy himself a home and “move parents in with him”. My husband was not told of any of this. Family trust in place since 2013. Quitclaim deed in name of both husband

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If I have a life estate who holds deed and pays bills?

My friend wants to give me a life estate in his home, then he wants to leave home to charity….how will deeds and will be set up and who pays taxes etc?? ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: I think what you are saying is that after your friend dies, he wants you to be able to live in the property for your life and after your death the property should be donated to a charity. Your friend

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