John L Roberts’s Answers

John L Roberts

Springfield Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 10
  1. CD with my father as trustee and me as beneficiary count as his asset or mine?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. E. Alexandra Golden
    2. John L Roberts
    3. Parker Lee Clifton
    3 lawyer answers

    Getting back to Massachusetts law ---- As Attorney Golden first explained, the revocable trust arrangement your father has with the bank would be counted as your father's asset by Medicaid (unless you actually contributed some of the cash to the CD, and you can show proof that you contributed that amount). The Medicaid rules in Massachusetts do have some exceptions for other circumstances, such as when two or more people jointly own an account at a stock brokerage. With that arrangement,...

  2. Is $40,000 a reasonable charge for the executor of a $2,000,000 estate?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel
    2. Brian E Barreira
    3. John L Roberts
    3 lawyer answers

    To follow up on Attorney Barreira's excellent comparative example of reasonable vs. unreasonable attorney fees for probate of an estate, you could check the article that has additional case examples. The article was written by an attorney at the state agency that regulates attorneys. It is posted at: http://www.mass.gov/obcbbo/fee_ethics.htm The article explains how attorney fees should be figured to include the time and labor required, the fee customarily charged, the nature and length...

  3. How can i get a guardianship dropped

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. John L Roberts
    2. E. Alexandra Golden
    3. Michael L Rich
    3 lawyer answers

    Your question does not clearly indicate the parties to the Guardianship proceedings that you are concerned about. For a discussion of Guardianship, links to the new Massachusetts Probate Code rules for Guardianship, and Probate Court guidance materials, go to: http://www.estateplansplus.com/html/probate_guardianship.html If you are questioning whether guardianship proceedings can be transferred to another state, the answer depends on the state of residence of the person who needs...

  4. Mom died with no Will.

    Answered about 4 years ago.

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

    Following up on the first two answers, you can get information on the Probate procedures for small estates at: http://www.estateplansplus.com/html/probate_small_estates.html Massachusetts law also provides a way for bank accounts of the amount you mentioned, and small accounts in credit unions, to be distributed without any need for probate. Stocks valued under $750 that were owned by the decedent may also be distributed, without need for probate. Links to those laws are included...

  5. Retained Life Estate

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. John L Roberts
    2. Stephen Samuel Messutta
    3 lawyer answers

    Transferring ownership of property can expose the property to the liens and creditors of all the Remainder Persons. Example: Mom and Dad decided to transfer ownership of their home to their daughter and son-in-law, while retaining a Life Estate for themselves. Unfortunately, Son-in-law had financial problems and he filed Bankruptcy. Mom & Dad's house became an asset in Son-in-Law's Bankruptcy case. Disadvantage of Life Estates #2: Transferring an ownership interest may disqualify you from...

  6. How do I find out if there is/is not an executor of my father's estate?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Maria L. Rockwell
    2. Edward H Adamsky
    3. John L Roberts
    4. Daniel Kenneth Printz
    4 lawyer answers

    Did your father have a will? That is the question that determines whether an executor can be appointed. If there was no will, your father's estate would be handled by an "administrator" who petitions the Probate Court for authority to manage assets. The Massachusetts Law that explains who can serve as administrator is at: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/193-1.htm You can find links to the other estate settlement laws that are in effect until July, 2011 at: http://www.lawlib....

  7. If i sighn paperwork fro a healthcare facility as a guardian of n incapacitated relative,am i financially obligated?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Sam Schoenfeld
    2. John L Roberts
    2 lawyer answers

    A Guardian looks out for the best interests of the incapacitated person. The Probate Court has published a guide, which includes a discussion of limited Guardianship. A link to the Probate Court Guide is posted below. As Guardian, you would be responsible to prepare a plan for care of your relative and submit it to the Court for review. As Guardian, you are not responsible to pay the expenses of the person you are looking out for. Your contribution is your time and concern for your...

  8. Deceased Parents Property

    Answered over 4 years ago.

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

    Did either of your parents have a Will? Did the second-to-die parent have a Will? Does the Will document name an executor? Was the property owned jointly? The answer to these and other questions will determine who is responsible to inventory the assets, and manage the estate. If there is no Will document (intestate), an Administrator would be appointed. The Massachusetts Law that explains who can serve as Administrator is at: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/193-1.htm You can find...

  9. Re: Use of a trust to qualify for SSDI?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

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

    As Attorney Golden explained, there is no asset or income test for SSDI. Like Social Security retirement benefits, SSDI is something you earned on your work record. Even millionaires qualify for the payments. You can read examples by clicking the first link below. There are some people who are eligible for concurrent benefits: both SSDI and SSI, because their primary insurance amount for SSDI is less than the monthly SSI benefit amount. These people could benefit from Supplemental Needs...

  10. In the state of MA, how long does it take to finalize and close an estate? can i find out if its been filed to close?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Andrew Daniel Myers
    2. E. Alexandra Golden
    3. John L Roberts
    4 lawyer answers

    You didn't specifically explain your interest in the estate, but the tone of your question does indicate that you are concerned about how the executor has managed the assets and expenses of your mother's estate. Massachusetts law sets timelines for payment of debts, and the executor is responsible to tell the beneficiaries of the estate about all of the estate assets. If the executor won't provide you with a copy, you can find an Inventory of estate assets in the probate court file. It was...