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John L Roberts

John Roberts’s Answers

65 total


  • My husband inherited an ira from his dad and never claimed it. Hubby died and now money in estate ira -is subject to creditors?

    Hubbys father died oct 2010 and then husband died June 2011. We never got the money officially. Hubby had 16K in credit card debt i didnt know about at all. I do not plan on paying it. Father's estate planner moved the money to my hubbys estat...

    John’s Answer

    The income tax issues involving the IRA are interesting, but the threshold question is whether those credit card companies will follow the rules that protect estate beneficiaries. Often, they don't file the necessary papers in the proper courts, within the required time frame. For links to the current laws, and new laws that take effect April 1, 2012, click here:

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_personal_rep.html

    A visit with a Massachusetts Probate attorney will help you protect your interests.

    John L. Roberts
    Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • Am i entitled to any of my dads income when he is in a nursing home ?

    i took care of my mom who had alzheimers, she passed away, and i cared for my dad, as it was hard for him to get around, he had many health problems. needless to say, i was out of the workforce for a long time. I'm back now but could only find a m...

    John’s Answer

    Your question is important to many people who are currently providing care for parents and grandparents. A valid Caregiver Contract can provide a way for family members to be paid for the work they are currently doing for elders in their family. Unfortunately, Medicaid does not honor retroactive payments for work done in the past.

    You can help friends and family members by sharing your experience, and explaining to them how they can provide care in the future, and get paid for it, if they have a Caregiver Contract with the person they are working for.

    You can read more about Caregiver Contracts at

    :http://masshealthhelp.com/html/caregiver-contracts.html

    Also, Medicaid has a program called Caregiver Homes, that pays children to take care of parents and other family members at home. And family members can also be reimbursed with money from the VA's Aid & Attendance pension program if a war time veteran or spouse needs care at home.

    The best way to find out about all the options in each specific case is to visit with an Elder Law Attorney.

    -John L. Roberts
    Certified Elder Law Attorney. VA Accredited Attorney
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • My husband and I have been living with my mother for four years since my father died. She has had Alzheimers for two years

    If she has to go into a home, will she have to sell the house to pay for care? That would leave us homeless, as we have no assets of our ownn

    John’s Answer

    Massachusetts does consider the transfer of an elder's home to be a "permissible transfer" when the elder has received necessary care from a child for a two year period. Here is the regulation:

    130 CMR 520.019(D)(6)(d): the nursing-facility resident’s child (other than the child described in 130 CMR 520.019(D)(6)(b)) who was living in the nursing-facility resident’s home for at least two years immediately before the date of the nursing-facility resident’s admission to the institution, and who, as determined by the MassHealth agency, provided care to the nursing-facility resident that permitted him or her to live at home rather than in a nursing facility

    You can read this caregiver child exception at:

    http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/masshealth/regs-member/regs-memb-520.pdf

    -John L. Roberts
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • Do i have to report a cash gift from a trust my aunt left me to SSDI

    i am on SSDI my aunt left me a cash gift will this affect my SSDI. I did deposit the money in my savings account. the amount is 30,000.

    John’s Answer

    Your aunt’s gift has no effect on your SSDI benefits. SSDI is an abbreviation for Social Security Disability Insurance. Your eligibility for SSDI is based on your work record. You had enough quarters of coverage at the onset of the disability to qualify you for the benefits. Your eligibility is not means tested. It doesn’t matter how much income you have, or how much your assets are worth.

    SSDI benefits are like Social Security Retirement benefits. You get the same amount, no matter how rich you are. For example, Jack Welch has monthly income of $1.4 million. He still gets his $1,500 monthly Social Security check. You can see his income statement at:
    http://disabilitydecision.com/html/retirement.html

    SSI disability, on the other hand, is different. SSI is an abbreviation for Supplemental Security Insurance. If you were receiving SSI, your aunt’s gift would disqualify you. You can read about the difference between SSI and SSDI at:

    http://disabilitydecision.com/html/benefits.html

    John L. Roberts
    Longmeadow, Massachiusetts

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  • My father died last month and I am one of two executors of his trust. I have yet to hear from the his lawyer.

    I notified his lawyer of his death and have heard nothing since then. What should I be doing?

    John’s Answer

    An Executor is the person responsible for managing an estate.

    A Trustee is the person who is responsible for managing the assets in a Trust.

    Your question raises many more questions that a Massachusetts attorney who works with Probate and Trust law could answer.

    The first step is to obtain and read the Trust document, and your father's Will.

    You can read more about settling an estate at

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/settlement_estates.html

    Links to Probate Court information are posted at:

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_massachusetts_connecticut.html

    John L. Roberts, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • I have guardianship of my wife. what do i have to do to get approval of admission to a NURSING HOME. can i do some or all the

    the work nessasary?? how long is this form good for ??

    John’s Answer

    The Probate Court has posted a form for expansion of powers of a Guardian or Conservator at:

    http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/upc/mpc201-petition-to-expand-modify-limit.pdf

    The form includes a check box for admission to a nursing facility.

    There is an article on Guardianship, with links to other resources and forms at:

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_guardianship.html

    Consulting with an elder law attorney can provide you with much more than the basic information needed to file the petition. There are many resources available to help you and your wife during this time of transition.

    John L. Roberts - Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Serving Hampden County and the Springfield area
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • Is it true that you CAN NOT be working when you apply for disability due to medical issues.?

    I am a 47 year old women with cronic pain due to Ankalosing Spondalitist/Lupus. I had a denial for disability about 6 years ago. Now my condition has worsen and I have had to slow down my hours at work. I also need to have a knee surgery and ano...

    John’s Answer

    If you are working, and your earnings averaged more than $940 a month last year, that is considered Substantial Gainful Activity, and Social Security probably won't considered you to be disabled. Social Security Regulations explain "substantial gainful activity" and whether your work activity is not gainful activity, or is done under special conditions or is an unsuccessful work attempt. The "Substantial Gainful Activity" Monthly Earnings Amount for 2010 is $1,000.

    You can read more about SGA and unsuccessful work attempt, and get links to the social security regulations, in an article posted at:

    http://disabilitydecision.com/html/disability-claims-process.html

    Many disabled people who are approaching retirement age start thinking about retiring early. Read the article entitled: If You Thinking of Early Retirement Because of A Disability:
    STOP! Ask how Social Security Disability Will Pay You Benefits That Are Higher Than Early Retirement Payments.

    http://disabilitydecision.com/html/retirement.html

    Consult with a disability lawyer as soon as possible. There are several nationally known Social Security attorneys in the Milwaukee area. Visit nosscr.org to locate them.

    John L. Roberts, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow - Springfield, Massachusetts

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  • Probate of estate

    what form is used to object to a person that was named in will as executor?? also the person that died was an ex and i am still owed judgement from divorce what can i do?? it also states that i file written affidavit.. what is that and is there a ...

    John’s Answer

    On what grounds would you object to the appointment of the person named in the will to serve as executor? You would have to list reasons for objections in the written affidavit. An article discussing common objections is posted at:

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_will_contest.html

    Do you have standing to object to the will and the appointment of the executor? You could save yourself time and money by consulting an exeperienced probate attorney in your area.

    John L. Roberts - Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • What are the laws on executor of will being changed days prior to someone's death that is not fully coherent?

    My aunt died and her son had her will changed days prior to her death; he is now trying to evict everyone in the home but the house is in his deceased fathers' name etal...will a judge actually evict all from home rather than see if there can be s...

    John’s Answer

    Your question indicates a concern over changes in your aunt's estate plan and appointment of an executor, close in time to your aunt's passing. The legal grounds for contesting a will are summarized in an article posted here:

    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_will_contest.html

    Your question did not give details about ownership of the real estate. By consulting with a probate attorney, you can learn who has an interest in title to the real estate.

    John L. Roberts - Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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  • Aunt died without a Will. Does the Administrator of the Estate have to keep heirs informed?

    The court appointed my Aunts brother as Administrator. He has a lawyer who does not give any information to the 4 heirs, however when the lawyer does answer questions they are always different stories. No paperwork is being sent to heirs on prop...

    John’s Answer

    The Administrator cannot convey title to your deceased aunt's real estate without getting authority from the probate court. The probate procedures do require that an administrator give notice to the heirs, so that they can review the proposed sale and object if necessary.

    An article on basic probate procedures is at:
    http://estateplansplus.com/html/probate_executor.html

    Without these extra probate proceedings, title to the real estate could not be conveyed unless all of the heirs signed a deed conveying the property.

    The Administrator also has a duty to inventory and account for estate assets. Guidelines are at:
    http://estateplansplus.com/pdf/mpc904-simplified-accounting-guidelines-for-estate-conservator.pdf

    If there was no will, the heirs are the people who have a right to object to the Administrator's accounts. If the Administrator is not providing copies of the probate filings, you can go to the registry of probate, and review the file. If the estate isn't being handled properly, you can petition to have a new Administrator appointed.

    However, a first step would be to hire a probate attorney in your area to review the situation, and contact the attorney who has opened the estate. After explaining the proper procedures to the attorney handling the estate, an experienced attorney may be able to clear up misunderstandings and resolve problems so that your interests are protected, without the need for additional and costly proceedings.

    John L. Roberts, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Disability Law
    Longmeadow, Massachusetts

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