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estate planning

What should I do about a verbal agreement and one witness?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother passed away.  Before she passed, she had a talk with my step-dad and her kids separately. She stated to me and my brother that she and my step-dad had talked about what she wanted to do with her money.  She was leaving her s.s., pension and 401k to her kids.  She also stated that my step-dad agreed to giving us everything and that he stated to her didn’t want any of the

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Does my brother have a right to sell my mother’s house?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother is in a nursing home. Before that I was her caregiver. I am still her power of attorney. I still live in my childhood home and have started a family of my own. My brother just got out of prison and wants the house. He only lived in the house for one year and never paid even one bill. I used my retirement from a previous job to pay off the house

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Do any of you advise against using online template forms to create your own Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Some of my colleagues have used these forms to create their own Will and Power of Attorney–not sure about Health Care Directive. As long as they are notarized, I assume these documents are considered as legal as those created by an Attorney–or am I mistaken? Are there cautionary tales you wish to share? Is there an online resource for these forms that you recommend? What range of costs should I expect if I complete

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Does an executor need to disclose how money is being spent?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother had a stroke, but is very cognitive and alert , she is in rehab. My brother has taken over as executor to pay bills. As one of 8 siblings I have asked several times how the bills are being paid. I have asked for detail info since I knew exactly what was in her accounts. I have been told that I do not need to know, or how the money is being

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How do I remove my mother’s name from the title to my (our) home?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother is 97 years old with dementia such that she needs 24 hour care. She is destitute and on Medicaid and is represented by an elder law lawyer who is her court appointed guardian. I am considering the possibility of selling our townhouse and moving to be near one of my children. I am not in a good financial place myself, another reason to move to somewhere less expensive with one of my

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What is the difference between a durable power of attorney and a power of attorney?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother is 88 years old. She would like help paying bills, being a representative for her with her bank and other creditors. What type of form do I need? ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: A power of attorney is a document which gives an agent the ability to make financial decisions for the principal for a certain transaction or period of time. It will cease to be valid if the principal becomes disabled. For

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Will my father lose his home??

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My father is 80 years old and his wife Gracie is 72. They have been married for 32 years. My father has 3 children with my mom, he and his wife have no children together and she had no other children previously. She owned their home when they got married and they have had several subsequent mortgages; currently they are upside down in mortgage debt. Gracie has bequeathed the home to family members other

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