Probate Videos

Probate Question & Answers

Deed versus Will

December 10th, 2009

All five children (myself and my siblings) are in our parents will, but only 3 are on the deed to their home. Would the to remaining two siblings who aren't on the deed be entitled to any money from the estate from the sale of our parents house? It is being sold because are parents have recently passed away. Read the Answer…

Last testiment and will

July 21st, 2009

In STATE-NAME how long after a death is the last will and testiment valid for? Read the Answer…

Last will and testament

December 2nd, 2008

Can I just type one out on my computer and print it and sign and it will stand up in court? Read the Answer…

bank account

September 10th, 2008

My sister died. I had power over medical decisions.I never got power of attorney. She had no children. How can I get her money from her bank? Read the Answer…

Inheritance of Parents House

September 10th, 2008

Is the house that we've been living in for 6 years, that will be inherited, considered part of my parents' estate for paying off debts? Read the Answer…

No will but land is left behind

September 10th, 2008

My father passed away and had no will and we just discovered that there a piece of land that he had a title to. How can the title be changed into the three surviving siblings names? There was a probate case set up and then closed for no activity two years ago. Read the Answer…

Mothers personal belongings

August 10th, 2008

My mother passed away July 17, 2008. I am executrix for her estate. I am trying to get her personal belongings (clothes, pictures etc.). My stepfather and his son do not want us in the house. My step brother brought over several bags of clothes but this is only a fraction of her personal belongings. How do I go about getting these things? Read the Answer…

Executor/Administrator/trustee responsibilities

August 6th, 2008

After the persons death, does't the trust/will have to be settled within a certain amount of time? Our father passed away August 18, 2007 and our sisters (trustees of the will) are basically dragging their feet in settleing the estate. Read the Answer…

My grandfathers estate has closed probate can I make a claim still?

July 17th, 2008

I've just discovered my grandfather died in 2006. We weren't close but looking on line I can see that the probate required proof of my mothers death before it could be closed. I assume that means she was named in his will but she preceded him. If she was to inherit would theses assets go to her children? No one contacted us? What should we do? Read the Answer…

Ownership of house.

July 13th, 2008

My stepfather's name is on the deed of the house that he and my mother lived in. My mother recently passed away without a will. They had a daughter together. The daughter claims that she owns everything, even though my mother has four other children by a previous marriage. The house is occupied by my stepsister. who has ownership to the house. Read the Answer…

my uncle and his son both passed

July 7th, 2008

MY UNCLE AND HIS SON PASSED AWAY HAS A LARGE ESTATE... THE PAPER READ FOR HIS ESTATE REVOCABLE TRUST AND HIS NAME.. FOLLOWING WAS HER NAME SAYING.. SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE...DID SHE HAVE TO SIGN ANY FORMS TO BE THAT... AND DOES THAT MEAN SHE GETS EVERYTHING.. EVERYONE ELSE GET NOTHING.. IT WAS ALL SET UP IN A TRUST Read the Answer…

How do you refer to or name a trust?

July 4th, 2008

CAN A TRUST ACCOUNT BE TITLED UNDER DECEASED NAME FBO OF BENEFICIARY WITHOUT TRUSTEES LISTED ON BROKER STATEMENT Read the Answer…

Additional Heirs or Split the Share

July 3rd, 2008

My Great Uncle left his Estate to his nieces and nephews. My father died before my uncle leaving my brother and I to inherit his share. No actual will was written. Originally we were told we would become additional heirs, now they want us to send a check back to the estate? Read the Answer…

Life Estate - Paying Carrying Charges

July 1st, 2008

I INHERITED A CONDOMINIUM FROM MY FATHER WITH A LIFE ESTATE FOR MY SISTER. MY QUESTION IS IF SHE HAS GONE THROUGH HER MONEY AND CANNOT PAY THE ASSOCIATION FEES, TAXES, INSURANCE, ETC. DO I HAVE TO CONTINUE TO PAY THESE BILLS? DOES SHE HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE THERE FREE? DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO NOT PAY? Read the Answer…

Dad's wife will not give what left daughter in will

June 27th, 2008

I have an issue with my Dad's wife not giving me the money he left to me in his will. She says he had no money. It was only $5000.00. He gave her almost 2 million in property before he died. He put everything in her name 3 months before he died. They were only married 1 1/2 years before he was "killed". She was 42 years younger than he was. Read the Answer…

Living Trusts and Will Cover Same Property

August 1st, 2007

If the same property is left in a will and a trust which one does the probate court go by? Read the Answer…

Trusts

July 25th, 2007

Trust Modifications: I assume a settlor or creator of a trust can make changes to a trust document. Is this always true? Or is there such a thing as a irrevocable trust that even the settlor cannot change? Read the Answer…

Division of Estate Assets

July 11th, 2007

I have a sister and our mother passed and we seen a lawyer about her personal belongings we've agreed to divide her personal belongings but i am the only one listed as my moms beneficiary so do i have to split that too? Read the Answer…

Proving assets

July 8th, 2007

Assets but no Estate: How can I protest the fact that my Dad's wife says he had no assets. Nothing was in his name, but he paid for everything and his wife will not pay me what my Dad left me in his will. My Dad had lots of money. Read the Answer…

Single Father, 1 kid, no Will

July 3rd, 2007

Intestacy: My father passed away last month. I'm the only child and he wasn't married and had no will. Am I entitled to everything? I've received his death certificates, so what's next. He has only 1 bank account that I know of, his home and vehicles are paid for and he get's a social security check every month. He died in State A I live in State B. Read the Answer…

No will, no close family

July 1st, 2007

My first cousin passed away. he also has a half surviving aunt on his mothers side. No will. No children. No one else alive except another cousin. He lived in State X. Who shares what? Read the Answer…

Funds held in Estate 3 years

July 1st, 2007

Attorney Holding Estate Funds: My mother passed away leaving substantial assets. Most have been distributed but the home sale proceeds ($600,000) are being held in a low (or no) interest trust account. Her attorney says the money must be held for three years to get the benefit of the discount. Does this sound right? Read the Answer…

New Spouse Has All Assests

June 26th, 2007

My father left me money but he had no assets. The lawyer I consulted said if there are no assets there is no estate and what he left me under the will doesn't mean anything. Further, I know he had more than a million of real estate. He gave all of these assets to his wife before he died. Is there any basis to save my inheritance? Read the Answer…

POD accounts

June 25th, 2007

If a person is named pay on death (POD) beneficiary of an account wants to divide the money in the account between people not named, will there be a gift tax? The person named POD is the Executor. Read the Answer…

Life Time Rights and a Will

June 24th, 2007

Life Time Rights: My mom died recently. Years ago there was some property that was given to my mom, and then with love she gave it to my brother. He gave my mom life time rights on the land. However, my brother died before my mom and left a wife and kids. Does my mom's will override the deed. Read the Answer…

IRA

May 31st, 2007

Probate versus Estate Tax: My wife is sole beneficiary of my IRA. Will the IRA be included in my taxable amount for Estate Taxes or will it go directly to her. Read the Answer…

Mother's will challenge

May 28th, 2007

Video Will: I am the oldest of 3. My mother has willed a house that's worth about 35,000 to me. I have the middle sister fighting me on that will saying its no good. I hired an attorney who wrote up the new will and it was taped and my mother knew what she was doing. Can my sister be right? Read the Answer…

Joint Account only Asset

May 7th, 2007

When a joint bank account with survivorship is the only asset in a deceased's estate - how are the legal fees (if any) and debts (medical, etc.) handled? Read the Answer…

Acquiring my Mothers Property

May 5th, 2007

My Mother died in 1990 leaving property that I have had to pay propety taxes on for 17 years. None of my other 4 siblings help with these taxes. I'm at the age where I am exempt from paying taxes but the house and property is still in her name what can I do. Can I assume this property? Read the Answer…

Executor filing suit

April 26th, 2007

Executor suit: My sister is the executrix of our mother's estate and has filed a lawsuit against a facility where our mother lived. Our mother was locked outside and died of hypothermia. What are her duties as an executrix? Do we relinquish all control by having her be the only one involved? Read the Answer…

Is there a gifting problem to the trustees?

April 1st, 2007

In the case of a credit shelter trust where the 2 children of the surviving spouse are trustees and trustee #1 is a beneficiary under an ascertainable standard and trustee #2 is a beneficiary of discretionary principal (via trustee #1 voting), up to $50,000. per year. Both also have remainder interests. Is there a gifting problem here? Read the Answer…

Heir property

March 31st, 2007

My mom and her sister (my aunt) inherited her parents property, 2 parcels of land, upon their death. My mom is now deceased. Will my 2 siblings and I inherit my mothers 1/2 interest in the parcels of land? How should a sale of the land be handled? Can my aunt sell the land without our consent? Read the Answer…

Living trust post death

March 27th, 2007

My husband's mother just passed away, she had a living trust with his sister named as trustee and him and her as beneficiaries. She is not wanting to disclose all assets i.e. bank account balances, life insurance policy. Is there anything he can do to get bank account balances and to make sure everything is disbursed evenly? Any info will be great! Read the Answer…

Late Father's Paycheck

March 23rd, 2007

How do I go about cashing payroll checks left to me after my father deceased? I am the only living dependent. His assets do not exceed the amount to open an estate. Read the Answer…

Deed to house; Life Estate; Remainderman

March 19th, 2007

My mother has life time rights to a house she deeded to me and my sister. My sister passed away recently. Can the deed be changed by my mother removing my sister name from the deed? My sister did not indicate anything about the house in her will. Read the Answer…

Friend Trustee - Fees

February 27th, 2007

My father left his assets in two trusts -- for the benefit of myself and my sibling. His best friend is the trustee who has delegated all responsibilities to both an investment house and high-end law firm. He takes a .4% fee -- with all fees now totaling 2.25% to 3%. What is legal? What is moral? Read the Answer…

sale of property

February 7th, 2007

What is the process to sale a parecel of land left to an heir or group of heirs? Read the Answer…

My son died no will

February 2nd, 2007

My son is survived by his father & his sisters& brothers who inherits? resided & died in [state name omitted]. Read the Answer…

a/b trust

October 28th, 2006

Who allocates assets in an a/b/ trust? Attorney or CPA? What is the procedure? Read the Answer…

Living Trust

October 25th, 2006

My neice has been unresponsive in returing a W9 to receive her share of my father's Living Trust. We believe the reason is because she is on Welfare or State Disability. We are not sure which. She is living in Mexico and has a mailing address in the US. Been waiting 3 months with no response. How long do we wait? What happens next? Read the Answer…

Loan from By Pass Trust

October 16th, 2006

A Spouse died and left $600k in a credit shelter trust. The trust was funded with stocks and bonds. The trustee loaned the investments to the surviving spouse to use as collateral for funding of a business loan. The surviving spouse is paying the trust the prevailing rate of interest on the funds loaned. On death it will be repaid. Read the Answer…

Rev Living Trust Forms

October 11th, 2006

Where can I obtain a subject form, that I can print here online? Read the Answer…

Trust vs non-trust property

October 9th, 2006

How are non-trust assets handled at death when most are within the trust? Read the Answer…

Will & Living Trust & Individual Trust.

October 3rd, 2006

My father died. He had a will & living trust which I thought said all goes to mother then me, as beneficiary. Then an individual trust pops up mentioning her as trustee and only saying "he has 1 daughter". That's it. Nothing else about me. Does this mean I am not a beneficiary anymore? What does Will & Living Trust distribute? Read the Answer…

House sold prior to death

August 31st, 2006

MY MOM SOLD HER HOUSE,BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY, DO I HAVE TO PROBATE HER ESTATE. Read the Answer…

Forms For Wills

August 3rd, 2006

DO YOU HAVE FORMS I CAN JUST PRINT OUT TO DO MY OWN WILL WITHOUT HAVING TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. THE ATTORNEY THAT DID MY MOTHER -IN -LAWS WILL HAS CHARGED US OVER 22,500.00 PLUS 27,278.00 FOR INHERITANCE TAX AND SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF DOLLAR FOR EXTRA LEGAL FEES THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE ESTATE. SHE DIED IN 2004 AND WE SPENT $xx Read the Answer…

Probate Case Study

December 14th, 2005

Does this estate need to go through probate and should I retain an attorney? My mother passed away 2 weeks ago. There's no spouse and I'm the surviving child. She has a will and left everything to me. The estate amounts to maybe around $150,000, which includes savings and checking accts and a couple stock funds and CD's. I'm named jointly with her on two accts, but only my mother's name is on the rest. There's no house or other real estate and no car. She received VA benefits and SS checks. Her dividends and monthly checks were small enough so that she didn't owe any income tax. She has no creditors, except final hospital expenses, which should be covered by Medicare and supplemental insurances. Read the Answer…

Living Trust - Successor Trustee Responsibilities

December 3rd, 2005

What are the responsibilities of the Successor Trustee in a Living Trust? 1. Do they have to show an accounting of everything listed in the Trust and the pour-over will? Do they have to show all decedent's bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks, etc. to the beneficiaries of the Living Trust? 2. Are they responsible for pulling in all the accounts of the decedent whether originally listed in trust or not? 3. How do the beneficiaries of the Trust get an accounting of the Living Trust if the Successor Trustee refuses to provide any information about the Trust? 4. What recourse do beneficiaries have if they feel the Successor Trustee is being less than forthcoming about all the decedent's assets? Read the Answer…

Small Estate Probate

October 20th, 2005

I have an estate of modest size, is there a less involved and less expensive way to obtain these funds without a formal probate? Read the Answer…

Mother's Will

October 16th, 2005

How can I find out if my mother's will has been put into probate? My sister and I do not communicate and she is the executor. My mother passed away on March 12, 2005. My mother lived in State A with my sister and I live in State B. Read the Answer…

How do you handle probate of a small estate?

October 15th, 2005

My mother recently passed away. She has left no will or any power of attorney. She has no real property, only personal belongings which her children have already shared with each other. She has several bank accounts for under $60,000. She has six children, all living, who have agreed to split the money equally. They have elected me, her eldest daughter, to handle these matters. What about probate, taxes, debts, and other legal matters? I don't know where to start. Read the Answer…

Petition for Letters of Administration (Intestate)

September 19th, 2005

Could you please tell me to what this statement refers? "That said deceased at the time of xxx death, was xxx seized of real estate consisting of xxx. The market value of which is ..." I would like to know what the word "seized" means in reference to this statement. Read the Answer…

Death of family member

September 13th, 2005

I live in ABC State. My mother passed away recently and my sister has power of attorney. She went to close my mother's bank account and they advised her that she needs letters of testamentary or administraction. My mother did not leave a will. Do the letters still apply? All she owned was a 1996 Caravan and that has already been transferred. She has nothing to constitute an estate. She has one outstanding debt of about $1,300.00 that advises that she needs to provide estate papers so that they can make their claim. What do we do in regard to this matter? Read the Answer…

Petition to Administer Estate with Claim

September 11th, 2005

I have an Asbestos related law suit. I have Letters of Administration naming me as "special administrator not authorized to take possession of money". I have petitioned the court to be named to administer the estate. I filled out Letters of Probate to Administer Estate. Read the Answer…

Will before marriage?

August 7th, 2005

Daughter executor does not want my new wife to have anything. What can be done? Read the Answer…

How long is a will valid after death.

July 25th, 2005

In the state of X [no state specific advice] how long is a will valid. Example, husband dies leaves a will saying everything to wife,simple estate(home). Did not go through probate , 25 years later wife dies. Does the wife own the home 100% ? per the old will. Deed never changed in 25 years. Read the Answer…

Bankruptcy & Inheritance

July 17th, 2005

I recently filed for bankruptcy and the plan was approved last month. A relative died this week and left me money in the will. Do I have to turn the money over to creditors? Read the Answer…

Will - Bequest of House

May 28th, 2005

I'd like to know what steps I need to take to change ownership on my grandfahters home. He passed away leaving me his home. I have a copy of his will. His 5 children (all deceased) and their children, other than me, have been ommitted from his will intentionally. My mom, one of his daughters and myself are executors of his will. She is no longer living. I was not going to do anything about this and just continue to allow the house to be used for free renting to my two sisters, brother, and their children based on the assumption that they would keep the home in good condition. The home is in badly need of many repairs and I'm not sure if they are even paying the taxes. This has forced me to take appropriate action which they do not care as long as they can continue to live there for free! If I can avoid the huge costs involved in probate that would be great. No one will contest. Read the Answer…

Transferring title to decedent's oil interests

May 20th, 2005

My deceased father (State X resident) continues to have oil royalty checks sent to him. My mother needs to transfer title to her but the Co. (in State Y) says they need "Right of Ownership" confirmation "from a judge". What does this mean? Is there an easier way? The amount is very small and the cost of transfer may be too high. Read the Answer…

Capital Gains Tax-House

May 6th, 2005

My mother had a life estate and put her house in my name. I lived with her. She died in September 2002 the house is sold March 2005. The lawyer wants a high appraisal on property to estimate capital gains to pay after the sale of the house. The the appraiser said it should be price should be low. Read the Answer…

What happens to litigation claims on death?

April 28th, 2005

I have a family member with a personal injury action resulting from a car accident. He recently died from his injuries and did not have a will. What does a family do? What happens to the claim? Who can pursue it, if anyone? Read the Answer…

Removal of public administrator

April 26th, 2005

My mother in law is the legal guardian of her mentally handicapped daughter. The father has died intestate and has left the daughter a funeral home. The estate is cuurently being handled by a public administrator but my mother in law would like the current administrator removed to be replaced by herself. Read the Answer…

Bequest of Cash: Real or Personal Property; Holographic Will

April 22nd, 2005

My uncle passed away and left his home to my family, as well as all his personal property. He had hand written an addendum, had it witnessed and filed with his attorney stating that all his personal property was to be divided amongst his 15 nieces and nephews. Is money and bank accounts considered personal property? Read the Answer…

How does a trustee carry out the trustors wishes after death. How much time? Whom to notify?

April 17th, 2005

What are the Trustee's Obligations and Responsibilities? Answer: First let's define some terms to make it easier for other visitors. A trustee is a person who works in a fiduciary capacity (a position of trust or confidence) to manage a trust (a legal contract set up by the person forming the trust). The trustee's job for most trusts includes investing trust assets, making sure the distribution provisions (where the money goes), of the trust is followed, tax returns are filed, etc. Read the Answer…

Probate: Will and POD Account

February 8th, 2005

My father died on 12/13/04. His will states that after his debts are paid the balance of the accounts should be split among his three children. One of the accounts is titled POD. Does the POD status override the will? Should that PODaccount balance be transferred to the beneficiary and then divide the remaining money? Read the Answer…

Tax allocation clause in will

February 4th, 2005

I don't understand the reason for the complexity of the tax allocation clause in the sample will on the web site. Most tax allocation clauses I have seen seem quite short. Why not say for purposes of tax allocation simply that all taxes shall be paid as the executor deems appropriate? Read the Answer…

Reimbursement Amount for Probate Court Investigation

February 3rd, 2005

I filed a petition of guardianship of my daughter and her estate. They are asking me to pay for reimbursement of any investigation conducted by the Probate court investigator, annually. It says that I have the right to file an objection in writing. Does the objection have to be done on a specific form or can it simply be in letter form? Read the Answer…

Surviving Spouse and Probate

December 8th, 2004

Husband's and Wife's assets include a joint bank account, and a jointly owned confomimum. The spouse who died had credit card debt solely in her name Is the surviving spouse liable on this debt? If the surviving spouse had no will does her estate have to go through probate? Does this create any problems concerning the credit card debt? Read the Answer…

How does my cousin go about getting a copy of his mother's Will?

November 22nd, 2004

My cousin's mother passed away leaving two adult sons and an adult daughter who is institutionalized. One brother will not give a copy of the will to the other brother. The brother without a copy of the will believes he is named guardian of the institutionalized sister, and wishes to see a copy of the will. The matter has caused great strain on the family. Is there any way to find out a copy of the will and the responsibilities of serving as guardian. Read the Answer…

How do you find a good estate attorney?

November 4th, 2004

How do I find a competent estate planning attorney in my specific area? How should they be billing for the settlement and administration of my mother's estate? Read the Answer…

Executor Release Form from Legal Claims

November 4th, 2004

Is there a General Release Form from Legal Claims by beneficiaries for an Executor of a Will? If so, is the form specific for each State? Where can I obtain form? Read the Answer…

Wills-are children provided for?

September 24th, 2004

If a will states husband gets all tangible personal property of domestic or personal use, insurance policies, and also the residuary property. Is there any way to determine if the minor children have been taken care of via a trust ? This husband is not the father of the minor children. Read the Answer…

Trust and Will Challenge

August 15th, 2004

I am contesting a Trust and Will that was executed in the decedent's state of residency (XXX) and the Trustee lives in another state (YYY), do I have to mount the contest in the Trustees state? Read the Answer…

Environmental Concerns

August 4th, 2004

My father passed away in 1998. He had a salvage yard with a pretty large garage on site. The property was appraised for just over $200k, with the transferable salvage license included. The license are "Grandaddy Rights" meaning that the environmental concerns that someone today would have to go through a lot more preventitive actions to open a salvage yard. When my dad owned and operated the business, things were not as strict and thus, the soil there is contaminated pretty badly. Now that the estate is finally being executed, I have told that the cost to sell the property would outweigh what it is worth because of the clean-up procedures. I know that the city is trying to get the property because of upcoming plans for a road go through the property. So here are my questions: 1) If the property were sold to someone with the "grandaddy rights" would a bank finance it with these environmental concerns? 2) If it were to have concrete over the contaminated soil, would it still be "contaminated"? 3) Should I hold onto the property and lease or sell, or denounce my inheritence which I desparately do not want to do as it means a lot to me and my family? 4) The only reason these issues ever became a problem was when the city decided that they wanted a part of the land for a road, so now I feel as though they are trying to get me to accept their "lowball" offer on a section of land. Is there a "watchdog" group or someone in a position in which I could notify of their "bullying" tatics? Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully respond to this, If it makes it any easier, the property is located in West Virginia, which makes things difficult as I live in Ohio. Again, Thank You Read the Answer…

Minor Child Guardianship

July 9th, 2004

Minor Child Guardianship Read the Answer…

Probate - Disclaimer

June 27th, 2004

What is a disclaimer? Read the Answer…

Tangible personal property-Estate Tax

June 3rd, 2004

Are goods purchased jointly by spouses for the household (e.g. furniture, art, etc.) considered to be part of the deceased spouse's tangible personal property and part of his gross estate? If so, is the deceased spouse's portion considered to be half for the purpose of estimating the gross estate? Read the Answer…

Temporary guardianship

May 12th, 2004

I am looking for a free temporary guardianship form can you help me? Read the Answer…

Attorney Problems

April 14th, 2004

How can I appeal my probate attorneys handling of my inherited estate? [This question was initially posed as "Shart Attack" but we toned it down a bit]. Read the Answer…

Husband and Wife will distributions differ

April 13th, 2004

My wife and I have separate wills. We have one living son. In the event of both my wife and myself dying the son gets the estate. If he is not living, she has stated that her siblings divide the estate. My will states that my siblings divide the estate. What will be the resolution in this case? We all live in State X. Read the Answer…

No Will, Who Inherits?

March 1st, 2004

What is the legal protocol of blood relatives when there is no will? My aunt died she had no children and her husband is deceased. She is survived by her brother and sister but they are incompetent. Does my aunt's money go to her sister's and brother's children? Read the Answer…

Loan

February 23rd, 2004

My mother passed away on 9-14-04. She left paperwork on a loan she made to my neice wich included original money order with the word loan written under my neice's name. The loan was for 2,000.00 in a savings acct. in which my niece would deposit and my mother would withdraw. This had been going on for 3 years. Read the Answer…

Probate procedure

February 5th, 2004

How long does the administrator have to settle affairs after a will is submitted to a probate? Read the Answer…

Parent dies without Will

January 10th, 2004

My parents recently passed away without a will. I was living with them before their deaths,and am still there now. My sibling wants to put their house in her name, and leave me without a home. She believes that because it was said that the property would be hers if my parents passed away; she has all rights to it. I too was told that it was mine when they passed. Since there is no will; and neither of us wants to loose the property. I need to know what rights, if any, I have to prevent her from making me leave and prevent the state from taking it as well. Read the Answer…