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mother in law passed away with no will but also no assets

February 3rd, 2009

My mother in law recently passed away without a will. She had no assets except for a car. there are 3 sons but no one is fighting about anything. what do we have to do with her stuff. Read the Answer…

Blind Trust

January 22nd, 2009

My mother and father created a blind trust for my mother's assets which the 4 children are the beneficiaries. My mother then died, our father who is the executor, will not give us a copy of the blind trust created for the children. Do we have a legal right as beneficiaries to a copy of the trust? Read the Answer…

Revocation of gift deed

January 21st, 2009

Years ago, my Dad deeded the piece of property in which he lives on to me and my two brothers leaving himself a lifetime right. Since the brothers swindled Dad out of some money he wanted to will and deed everything to me. He knew I will care for him as he ages. He's 78. Will & deed done brothers won't sign revocation. Deed still filed by lawyer. Read the Answer…

IRA beneficiary

January 21st, 2009

What is the advantage or disadvantage of naming my estate as the beneficiary of my IRA. I am over 72 and taking RMD distributions. I have no spouse or children. The IRA value is about 500k and my other assets are about 500k in investments and 500k in my residence. Read the Answer…

Declaration of trust

December 2nd, 2008

Can I cancel Declaration of Trust to my son? Read the Answer…

Durable Power of Attorney

August 5th, 2008

Are there compelling reasons to have children going to college (age 18 and older) put in place a DPA or medical directive? Read the Answer…

Old ILIT and New ILIT

July 11th, 2008

My clients have two Survivorship policies in an ILIT with approx $360k cash value, we wrote a new Survivorship policy that will be in a new IDGIT. How can we 1035 the value from the old policies into the new ones inside the new intentionally defective grantor irrevocable trust? Read the Answer…

Simple will for elderly parent

June 27th, 2008

My 80 year old mother (a widow) needs to prepare a will. She no longer owns property and is a Calif. resident. Where can I get the forms to assist her? Read the Answer…

Living Trust

October 11th, 2007

For Planning Purposes Our home (approximate value $750,000) is in my wife's name. Should we re-title the home as jointly owned, and do a living trust or both. We have 2 children. All other assets either Have beneficiaries or owned in joint. Read the Answer…

Living Trust and Protecting Assets

August 7th, 2007

How do I set up a revocable trust with my children and still have control over the assets? I own land that is going to be sold and my children are concerned that if they are not on the deed or in a trust that the asset when sold may not come to them if something happens to me before it closes. How do I protect their interest now. Read the Answer…

Trust term

August 3rd, 2007

Does the length of time a trust is to go on have to be written in the trust document itself or can the length of time be put in an amendment to the trust Read the Answer…

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust and SS 4

July 4th, 2007

Re: the SS-4 for an irrevocable life insurance trust my mother started in 1991. She gifted money yearly. My sister and I signed Crummey letters, and then that money purchased life insurance on my mother's life. The Form SS-4 [to obtain a tax identification number] requests information as to the grantor and the grantor's Social Security Number. Is that my mother? The trust is not part of her estate, but won't listing her as grantor confuse the IRS? Help! Read the Answer…

Living trusts conversion

June 29th, 2007

Can an ongoing trust be an amendment to a living trust? Read the Answer…

Tax Basis

June 28th, 2007

I have a quit claim deed dated 5/02 by my 84 year old mother for her State X [no specific state law issues addresed] condominium. She remains on the title and pays real estate taxes. When are there any tax consequences such as gift or estate. What tax forms are required? Upon her death at what value [tax basis] will I inherit the condominium? Her 1968 cost ($19,000), or current market value ($300,000)? How to minimize all taxes? Read the Answer…

Who can create a living trust

June 26th, 2007

Can anyone in the US create a living trust? Is this technique only available for US citizens and US permanent residents? Read the Answer…

Remote beneficiary trustee

June 17th, 2007

Trustee/Beneficiary: I read that even a non beneficiary sibling trustee who is a 4th alternate remote beneficiary may have tax problems. If in the "no takers clause section" of the trust I set up my niece's husband,etc for final beneficiaries, there would be 25 alternates under state law before the non beneficiary trustee became a remote beneficiary. Is that a safe enough distance. Read the Answer…

Accounting

June 10th, 2007

One sibling had deed transferred to her name only from father while mother was still living. Mother's name was not on deed as tenants by entirety, only the sibling's name appeared. Mother died first. Thereafter, father passed away. The property was sold without court approval by the sibling guardian who put her name on the deed. Both parents died without will. Is surety company liable for sister's wrongful act? Read the Answer…

Trust for a minor

June 4th, 2007

Kids Trust Tax Trap: Please give me the IRS Section which does not allow a trustee to have the power to make a discretionary distribution of income or principal to a minor which would be tantamount to a discharge of a legal obligation of the trustee. Read the Answer…

Living trust amendment

May 15th, 2007

I have 3 beneficiaries and two have children. I'm leaving everything equally with a portion of the parents share to go to the respective children. The third beneficiary however is not mentioned by name but referred to the "children herein" I feel she should be mentioned by name. Can I personally amend this trust? Read the Answer…

Trust Validity

May 7th, 2007

What are the main requirements that must be present in order to create a valid trust? Read the Answer…

Planning for a person with Alzheirmer's dementia

May 6th, 2007

My husband is in the middle stage of Alzheimer's disease I believe. He seems to be gradually losing ground. How do we protect our assets in case he needs assisted living or nursing home care? Read the Answer…

Revocable Trust and the gift tax

May 2nd, 2007

Is there a gift tax consequence to a revocable living trust: I believe Treasury reg. 25-2511-2 answers my concern about any gift tax if a revocable trust first becomes a completed gift upon death as gift tax only applies to completed transfers during the life of the donor. Read the Answer…

Irrevocable trust

April 11th, 2007

Irrevocable Trusts and Medical Costs: Are assets protected from long term cost of medical care, and is there a time limit on the assets that are put in the trust that they taken for medical cost? Read the Answer…

A/B Trust

April 10th, 2007

A/B Truts Needed: We presently have basic Wills with our spouses as primary beneficiary and 2 children as secondary beneficiaries. We need to include an A/B Trust provision as the estate tax exclusion is nearing $3 million. Does this require a complete rewrite or replacement of our Wills? What would be a fair price to have this done? Read the Answer…

Simple Will changes

April 7th, 2007

Mom's will might need to change. My name on my mom's will is my maiden name, does she need to change it to my married name? Home address for my brother has changed, does mom need to change her will for that? Final question. My mom wants to change alternate trustees. Can all this be done with a simple addendum to the will by any attorney? Or can i just type something and have it notoraized Read the Answer…

Assets vs estate vs. Probate Estate vs. Taxable Estate

March 26th, 2007

What is the difference between estate and assets? Read the Answer…

Revocable Trust

March 22nd, 2007

When a couple that has a revocable trust, and a spouse dies, does one half of the trust become irrevocable, if so, how long? In the trust it states nothing of this, instead it says that if one of the spouses dies the surviving spouse becomes sole trustee of the trust. Does this mean that the surviving spouse can revoke the trust if he wishes. Read the Answer…

FLP (Family Limited Partnership) Discounts; House

March 12th, 2007

I read your article re: FLP's. First, have the recent cases eliminated the usefulness of FLP's for estate tax purposes. Second, why don't you want to place your personal residence in an FLP? Thank you. Read the Answer…

Durable Power of Attorney

March 1st, 2007

What is the procedure for executing a Durable Power of Attorney in the state of X? Should it be done by a lawyer, or can one do it by oneself? Read the Answer…

Terminally ill; Asset protection

February 17th, 2007

I heard that trusts can be used as a way to protect assets. I have cancer and am concerned about her assets when I die. I have no current debt and holds property jointly with my husband. I also have joint assets with my mother and sister. I would like to maintain control of my assets. Recommendations? Read the Answer…

Power of Attorney duration

February 8th, 2007

I was wondering how long a power of attorney was good for in the state of X? And does the one who it is placed on have the right to reverse it? Read the Answer…

Power of attorney - What Must Agent Disclose?

February 5th, 2007

Is an agent required to provide proof of Power of Attorney to other siblings, to prove what power has been granted? Read the Answer…

2nd marriage and Inheritance

February 4th, 2007

If the client is in a second marriage and just inherited 1 million dollars form her mother which she wants to go to her 2 sons upon her death, would you suggest that she put the inheritance in a revocable living trust now so that t does not become property to equitable distribution or recommend funding a spendthrift trust now for her sons? Read the Answer…

Executor Rights

January 25th, 2007

Does the executor have the right to sell or dispose of property without informing the heirs? Read the Answer…

Codicil

November 29th, 2006

I have recently obtained another asset that I would like to add to my will. Is there a form for this without making out a new will? Read the Answer…

Power of attorney-Duration; Recording

November 5th, 2006

How long does a power of attorney stay in effect? Does it have to be recorded with the county? Read the Answer…

Nonjudicial Modification of Trust laws

October 30th, 2006

In some states new statutes allow easy nonjudicial modification of trusts, if all trustees and beneficiaries agree. Even termination and full distribution are allowed. In a sole beneficiary-trustee trust, with no remainder beneficiaries, isn't this a problem for asset protection and estate taxes due to too much control by beneficiary. Read the Answer…

Beneficiaries of insurance

October 25th, 2006

How do I write a beneficiary: wife 94 per cent, My 3 children 6 percent each, per stripe, my sister 6 per cent, per stripe, and my church 6 per cent. If my wife is deceased, then my 3 chiildren to share 94 per cent equally, per stripe; my sister 6 percent, per stripe and my church 6 per cent Read the Answer…

Trusts & Wills

October 25th, 2006

If I have a irrevocable trust, do I also need a will? Read the Answer…

Blind Trust

October 25th, 2006

Before my mother died, My brother was left a house. It was put into a blind trust where my sister and I are trustees. There is no mention on the deed that the proceeds were to go to my brothers special needs trust but a unrecorded piece of paper when the will was filed shows it. After the will has been probated, who could say I couldn't keep it? Read the Answer…

Child's rights to an estate

September 30th, 2006

I have 2 children from a previous marriage and my husband has 1 child age 3 that he does not see. We are fixing to have a will made. My children are the beneficiaries on everything. We are planning to leave his child something but we are wondering as his only child can she come in there legally and get a part of anything more than we designate? Read the Answer…

Living Wills & Trusts

September 26th, 2006

My husband and I have children from previous marriages. What or how do we prepare a will and living will so that the estate does not go to probate and waste time and our money? Also, how does wills work when one spouse passes away first in this situation? Read the Answer…

Young Couple Will

September 1st, 2006

My husband and I have one child and we need to make up a will. Can we just fill out a simple will form on our own, or should we get an attorney to draw it all up? And how do we choose someone if we need to get an attorney? Do you know a good one in CITY, STATE. Read the Answer…

Trustee responsibilities

August 31st, 2006

What are the responsibilities and duties of a successor trustee of an existing trust? Read the Answer…

Trustees responsibilities?

August 22nd, 2006

What are trustees accounting and reporting responsibilities in State X? Read the Answer…

Alzheimer's/Debilitating Illness

August 7th, 2006

My mother suffers from Alzheimer's with now no chance to qualify for long-term care insurance. My father has initiated a trust to protect their assets so Medicare can provide for long-term care. Do you have specific resources for similar situations: Asset protection via a trust, in the case of a long-term illness? I am grateful for any resources. Read the Answer…

Revoking a Living Trust

August 3rd, 2006

How do I revoke my living trust? Read the Answer…

Does mom need a living trust?

November 26th, 2005

My mother is an elderly widow. Her total assets are approximately $300,000, mostly in bank accounts and CD's. She has a living will. Does she need a trust? Read the Answer…

Trust for a minor

October 20th, 2005

I want to set up a trust upon my death for college funds for familiy members. If at age 24 any monies are left over they will be disbursed to my siblings. Who do I make the beneficiary or 401 K's IRA's and Insurance policies? I know I may not leave these in the names of the children. Read the Answer…

Simple Will

October 4th, 2005

I need to go about writing a will myself. I have a house and a car. plus personal belongings. Read the Answer…

Durable power of attorney

September 24th, 2005

I am looking for a free form so I can fill it out. Do you know where to find them. Do you have any? Read the Answer…

Guardian Sale of Real Estate

September 17th, 2005

I am my mother's guardian. Is there a form to complete when I want to get approval from Probate Court to sell her property. All of the proceeds will go to pay a nursing home. Read the Answer…

Co-Trustees Acting Independently

September 16th, 2005

If a Revocable Trust has 2 co-trustees and it states "either original Co-Trustee may act independently for the Trust without the necessity of consent or joinder by the remaining Co-Trustee," is it necessary to get both Co-Trustees signatures on bank account signature cards? Read the Answer…

Will - Simple or A/B?

September 7th, 2005

Which is more appropriate for me, a simple Will or an A/B Will?. I am 71 male (wife 66), net worth 1.7 million (equally divided; joint, spouse, me), the latter is an IRA. Full lifetime exclusion remains intact. Read the Answer…

Living will forms

August 8th, 2005

How do I obtain a free copy of a living will form from your website? Read the Answer…

Beneficiaries and who gets what and when - 2nd Marriage

May 24th, 2005

I am re-married with an adopted son from my first marriage and adopted son from my present wife. I have two step-daughters. If I die tomorrow, won't all my estate go equally to my wife (50%) and my two sons (50%) regardless of how I would rather have it divided? Could I have 50% go to do to my wife and 25% equally to my sons & step-daughters? Read the Answer…

Small trust termination

May 18th, 2005

How small (market value of the assets) does a trust have to get before it can be terminated? Read the Answer…

Delegation of Successor Trustee's duties

May 10th, 2005

Much is said about the care a successor trustee on a trust must exercise. But, how does the non-lawyer to whom such duties are given protect himself and avoid being caught in a crossfire between unhappy beneficiaries and the successor trustee' who, perhaps, over-delegated and now might blame the 'non-lawyer'? Read the Answer…

Will - Land Bequest

May 5th, 2005

I live in State X A person has a life estate on certain land. Her three children named on the estate papers. Can a will be made to make sure that the land is divided as she requests? Can this be done before her death? There is a lot of confusion about who is to get what at her death. We are talking about 116 acres and a house. What would be the best thing to do before her death Read the Answer…

Living wills and Trusts

March 28th, 2005

Internet information is overwhleming and attorneys are expensive! Where can I get free info (and forms) to make sense of it all? Read the Answer…

Guardianship

March 7th, 2005

How do I become my sisters Guardian. She is mentally challenged and physically challenged. My mother is dying of cancer and other than the will, there is nothing set up for her, and she cannot manage anything. Read the Answer…

Recommended books or primers

December 13th, 2004

I had the pleasure of attending your seminar "Estate Planning Made Even Easier!" I found Mr. Shenkman's material, presentation, and congenial manner to be among the best I've seen - he was so entertaining and the material was so well presented that I actually paid attention, despite having an active internet connection during the seminar! Anywhoo, I am a negligence practitioner with minor estate planning experience. Anyway, briefly, I was able to receive the suggestion of The Complete Book of Trusts as a possible expansion on the materials provided with the course. Kindly advise if that remains the suggested advise, or if there are additional books/texts suggested: Living wills and health care proxies, establishing trusts (living, revocable, etc.) and also the protection of assets beyond a simple house shared with a spouse. Read the Answer…

Protecting Heirs; Executor Fees

November 19th, 2004

1. Clients often want to gift their estate to a child in a will but want it to be protected from the child's spouse in case of divorce. How can this be done or can it be done at all? Does the child lose any protection by spending the money on property or items for the family? 2. Is an executor of a will entitled to any compenation for performace of duties if the will is silent? and finally... 3. Where can I learn more about setting up an llc to protect a landlord who owns a rental property? Thanks for your time and help. Read the Answer…

Sample Revocable living Trust

October 4th, 2004

Is the sample trust document still available and I think it contained about 30+ pages with comments too discuss with your lawyer. I would like to update my personal Rev. Liv. Trust document which I drew up after reading of Cliffords book from nolo press and other trust info.. Can you help ? Thank you. Read the Answer…

Protecting trust assets from a judgment against a beneficiary

July 26th, 2004

If a named beneficiary has a court ordered judgment against him, and money has already been taken from his accounts by means of the judgment, how can the assets involved in a will or trust be protected from judgment action upon the death of a family member making a bequest under a will or a gift through a trust? Read the Answer…

Life Estate

July 16th, 2004

My mother-in-law is currently in the hospital and we (the family) are trying to do some planning in case things take a turn for the worse. We are investigating Power-of-Attorney both for financial matters and healthcare, but have one item that we are not sure of how to approach. My father-in-law passed away 5 years ago, and their daughter lives in the house with the mother now. The deed to the house is in the mothers name. Is there a way to get the house transferred into the daughters name without any financial complications to either the daughter or monther? I have read some information on Life Estates where the property can be transferred to the daughter under the stipulation that the mother (whom is currently the titled owner of the property) can remain there for life. Can I please get information on the best (and cheapest) way to transfer the property? Read the Answer…

Inhertitance

July 14th, 2004

Mother is 89 years old, has Alzheimer's, and is living in a life care facility. She is a ward of the court in State X. There is no will. She remains married to her second husband. He has 1 son, she has 2. If property passes to him upon her death, are her sons denied an inheritance if he so desires upon his death? Read the Answer…

Insurance Trust and Gifts

June 26th, 2004

An irrevocable insurance trust was established with the spouse as a trustee and the spouse and two children as beneficiaries. Money is contributed to pay for premiums and the Crummy rules are used to consider the money as gifts to the two children qualifying as present interest gifts. Can the Crummy or other rules be used to qualify part of the money as a present interest gift to the spouse, without using the $1.5 exclusion amount? The goal is to minimize the gift tax and the use of the exclusion amount. Read the Answer…

Invalidating Amendments to Living Trusts

June 9th, 2004

If an amendment to a living trust formed in State X is made in error (or in a attempt to defraud a beneficiary of the trust) and contravenes the original trust, does State X law provide any way to invalidate the amendment other than by filing a lawsuit? Read the Answer…

Grandchild Trust with/without age Limit

May 14th, 2004

An age limit which end management by the trustee is inserted in the Trust. What if drug abuse is in the way. Would removing the age limit for trustee management be a solution. If this is done and the mother a widow and trustee remarries, what are the fallouts of not having age control? Read the Answer…

Asset protection - how do I deal with risky & safe assets?

May 9th, 2004

My wife and I are planning on setting up a family limited partnership ("FLP") which will be split into safe and not-so-safe assets. We are also having a revocable living trust set up which will own the limited partnership. An irrevocable life insurance trust is being established and a charitable remainder trust. Can you provide any advice and help in understanding the efficiency of our plan and in filing the required forms? Read the Answer…

Wills

May 4th, 2004

My husband and I have never made a will. How do we go about doing that? Our kids are 18 and 16 and we live in State X. Read the Answer…

Revocable Living Trust Update Costs

May 1st, 2004

We would like to update our living trust. In regard to fees, what is the worst case scenario? Read the Answer…

Trust For Minor

April 28th, 2004

How do you set up a trust fund for minor children of a deceased person? Read the Answer…

Beneficiary changes

April 27th, 2004

How do I get information on changing beneficiaries, the lawyer wants to charge a large amount of money for assisting me? Read the Answer…

Guardian and Estate

April 21st, 2004

My 9- year old father has passed. If his Mother (my daughter in law) passes...who becomes legal guardian of him and the monitor of her estate. As for my grandson....what's preferred, "A living trust" or a "Will". What's the downside of either one? Read the Answer…

Annual gifts

April 18th, 2004

I understand that each parent can gift $10,000 to each child without incurring any tax problems. Should the $20,000 total for two parents be given by two different checks or can it be done by one check from one parent? Instead could I simply transfer $20,000 to my brokerage account to my daughter's account? Read the Answer…

Giving grandson $100,000 for a new house

April 7th, 2004

I am trying to help an older friend find out information. He wants to know how he can give his grandson $100,000 to build a house out of his estate. Is this possible? His wife died two years ago. I tried to help him find out information, but keep coming up against walls. Read the Answer…

Revocable trust

March 26th, 2004

If two people have a revocable trust and they are both trustee's can one person break the trust without the other persons signature. Read the Answer…

Will - Husband & Wife

March 18th, 2004

A husband and wife wish to make duplicate/mirror wills and when the first one dies they each wish to leave 1/2 the house to their two children. This is to avoid a nursing home from taking the home if the surviving one is in need of such care. How is this accomplished in the will? Read the Answer…

Life Insurance

March 15th, 2004

Are the proceeds/value of term life insurance includable in the owner's estate for estate tax purposes? If I purchase a $500,000 term life insurance policy, with myself as the owner, with my spouse as the beneficiary, what would be the tax consequences? Read the Answer…

Will or Living Trust - To be or not to Be!

March 12th, 2004

I do not know if I need just a will or a living trust. A am a single woman with 5 grown children. I haven't any debts, own my home and car. Have CD's with each of the children equally as beneficiaries, a life insurance policy with the oldest child as beneficiary so she can pay my burial expenses. She is also on my checking and saving accounts. At my death I wish for my house and car to be sold and the money divided among my children. As for personal property I plan to give to each what they have asked for and the rest sold. Would you recommend a will or living will? Read the Answer…

Real Estate in a Trust

February 25th, 2004

Should I record my trust before I record the quit claim deed placing my house into the trust with me serving as the Trustee and my wife and brother-in-law serving as the Co-Trustees? Read the Answer…

Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)

January 23rd, 2004

I have a Life Insurance Trust where my spouse is the Trustee and a Beneficiary along with 2 Children. Can money be transfered from a joint account to an account in the "name of the trust" to pay the premium? What impact does a transfer from a joint account have on the Trust? Read the Answer…

Revocable living trust-self help

January 9th, 2004

1. Can individuals write up their own revocable living trust, have it notorized, and have it legally acceptable by the law? Rather than pay several thousand dollars for someone else do it? 2. Can you send me a sample? Read the Answer…