John L Roberts’s Answers

John L Roberts

Springfield Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 10
  1. Help filling out guardianship petition.

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    3. J. Leonard Sweeney III
    4. Alan James Brinkmeier
    4 lawyer answers

    The Probate Court has published a guide for Guardianship, and I have written an article that discusses some of the responsibilities and duties of guardians. The links are posted below. The value of a consultation with an elder law attorney would be well worth considering. Ask whether there are attorneys in your area who offer Limited Assistance representation. This form of service provides you with some guidance from an attorney, at a lower fixed cost. John L. Roberts, Elder Law,...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  2. Does my will have to be notarized?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Brian E Barreira
    2. John L Roberts
    3. Michael D. Gorman
    4. E. Alexandra Golden
    5 lawyer answers

    I sometimes wonder if some questions are planted here by users who aren't really serious about what they are asking. Using a form document drafted from the internet is not recommended. The previous answers give excellent reasons not to do it yourself. The technical answer to your question is "no" you don't need a notary. A Massachusetts law that takes effect next year describes what's needed for a valid will. (MPC 5-502). But if you only have 2 witnesses, your witnesses would have to...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  3. My father died and left me the house. My name is on the deed. What taxes would I have to pay upon selling the house?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    3. Arthur Harold Geffen
    4. Steven J. Fromm
    4 lawyer answers

    You should talk to an attorney in Maryland. Your statements that 1) your name is on the deed to the house, and 2) that the house was bequeathed to you, need to be sorted out. Did your father convey the property to you and your siblings, and retain a life estate in the property? There is a debate over how life estate transfers will be treated by the IRS. Many tax attorneys believed that people who inherited by way of a life estate would have to pay a capital gains tax. But one prominent...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Estate tax/capital gains 2010: If I inherit a house in 2010, will I have to pay capital gains tax when it is sold?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Brian E Barreira
    2. John L Roberts
    3. Smilie Gregg Rogers
    3 lawyer answers

    Whether you get a step up in basis depends on some additional facts not mentioned in your question, and how your tax accountant interprets the current confusion over the federal estate tax laws. Did the deceased remainderman live in the house? Under the new tax laws that took effect January 1, 2010, an the administrator of an estate will also be able to use the Principal Residence Exclusion, to shelter any gain on the sale of a decedent's home. This will open up new opportunities for...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. If a life tenant in MA can no longer live in the property and is in nursing care, who is responsible for the upkeep of the house

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Judith A. McDougall-Flynn
    2. E. Alexandra Golden
    3. John L Roberts
    3 lawyer answers

    If the bottom line of your question is preservation and protection of the property for the remainder person, an elder law attorney could help you find some approaches to securing the property and protecting its value. Has the life tenant who resides in the nursing home designated a person to manage their assets? You need to find out who has legal authority to manage the nursing home resident’s financial affairs. A person with Power of Attorney or Conservatorship has the duty and authority...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. Which type of Guardianship ?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    3. Glenn A Jarrett
    4 lawyer answers

    As attorney Golden explained, the answer to your question depends on the needs of the person whom you will be serving. A Guardian looks out for the best interests of the incapacitated person. If the person needs assistance with only specific decisions, you would want to protect their autonomy and liberty, and ask to have limited guardianship. [Remember the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Who's financially responsible for someone under guardianship?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    2 lawyer answers

    Following up on Attorney Golden's excellent advice, I agree you would be well served by consulting with a family law attorney, and with an elder law attorney who can help you and your ex-spouse coordinate benefits for your disabled child. You did not mention whether your child has been disabled since childhood, and this is one of the important factors that an attorney would need to know in determining the resources that are available. You can get information on SSI benefits amounts,...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. Can the judge appoint

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. John L Roberts
    2. Glenn A Jarrett
    2 lawyer answers

    The Massachusetts Probate Courts have published a short outline of Guardianship and Conservatorship. http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/upc/mpc190-general-information.pdf Your question describes a contested Guardianship. Referring to the Guardianship proceedings as paper work is probably an over simplification of your situation. You will have to establish good cause to remove someone who has been appointed Guardian. If the current Guardian will...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. In guardianship, what is the purpose of "bonding", and is necessary to post bond to be a guardian for an adult child?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    2 lawyer answers

    You can learn more about the bond requirement for Guardians by reading Article 5 of the new Massachusetts Probate Code, which took effect in July, 2009. A comment written by the lawyers who drafted the new Code explains how the requirement of a bond for guardians was added as additional security where a guardian may be receiving periodic income, entitlements, etc. for a ward, which after time may accumulate and warrant protection. John L. Roberts, Probate, Disability and Elder Law Attorney...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Relative set up a bank account held in trust for me. As her POA can I get access to those funds before her death?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Kara O'Donnell
    2. John L Roberts
    2 lawyer answers

    Is this a bank account that is simply held In Trust For (ITF) you at the bank? Or is there a stand – alone trust document that designates you, or someone else, as the Trustee? A definite answer to your question about gaining access to your relative’s bank account depends on what is written in the Power of Attorney document, and/or the Trust document (if there actually is a separate document). If the money belongs to your relative and it is in a bank account, the POA document should give...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful