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Denise Leydon Harvey
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Denise Harvey’s Answers

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  • If my father's first will ,was made. How can someone get power of attorney and change it?

    The original will was written after the first stroke. He still had cognitive thought. I was taking care of him and bringing him to Spalding rehabilitation in Medford like 3 /4 time a week. The witnesses were myself, sister who was given power of...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Golden. You need to take your facts and whatever documentation you have to an attorney. It's not clear from your question whether your father is still alive or whether the Will you are questioning is the Will you witnessed or another one. Generally you should not witness a Will in which you are named as a beneficiary. Was an attorney involved in the creation of this Will? If so, you may want to address your questions to her or him. Also - the rest of the question presupposes that we have a lot more information than you have provided, and doesn't raise a question. No one can address that without additional information. Good luck -

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  • If someone has legal guardianship over me can I move out when I'm 18?

    My aunt has legal guardianship over me and I'm not sure what the rules are when I turn 18. I'd like to move out as soon as I turn 18 and I don't want to get in trouble for leaving if it's against the law. Thank you.

    Denise’s Answer

    If your aunt's guardianship is based only on your minority (being under 18) and not some other reason, then it will no longer apply once you turn 18. Rather than just bolting on your birthday, though, I suggest you speak with her about your wishes and work with her to formulate a plan that is reasonable and safe for you, Good luck -

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  • How to remove a relative from my fathers power of attorney?

    My father was found legally incompetent when us children were minors. His sister is his power of attorney. We are all adults now and want to care for him. My father has a substantial amount of money is his account. I believe my aunt is not doing e...

    Denise’s Answer

    A person can change his power of attorney nomination, but only if he has the capacity to do so. If you believe that your aunt isn't acting in your father's best interests and your father's POA names a successor to your aunt, you could ask her to step down so the successor can serve in her stead. Otherwise, since your father is not competent, you would have to petition the court to have a conservator appointed to manage his finances rather than your aunt. I have attached a link to an informative page on this subject:
    http://www.mncourts.gov/Help-Topics/Guardianship-and-Conservatorship.aspx

    Because the courts want to honor the incapacitated person's wishes, judges prefer to keep the person he nominated in place. You would have to show the court that she is not acting in his best interest and should be replaced. Based on your statements, I'm not sure you can do that. The fact that she sold his house "without him knowing" doesn't mean that she isn't doing her job. You should instead consider talking with her about your concerns and see if she would be willing to be more transparent about how she is handling your father's care and his funds.

    Good luck -

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  • As durable power of attorney for an elderly friend, can I draw up papers naming someone to take over responsibility if needed?

    I am durable power of attorney for health/financial, for a good friend who lives in an assisted living facility. She has mild-to-moderate dementia. The POA we currently have was drawn up and notarized prior to her cognitive decline. Although I am ...

    Denise’s Answer

    Review the document to see if she gave you authority to name your own successor (I have never seen such a clause), or if she named a successor to serve if you cannot (this type of clause of very common). If she did not name her own successor or provide you with the authority to name your own and she is no longer able to make the determination herself, then if you become unable to serve, some interested party would have to file a petition with the court to be named as her conservator / guardian in your stead. That person could then step in and do what you are doing for her, with court oversight.

    Please double check the document or have an attorney in your area review it to see if there is already a successor named as that is a very common situation. Good luck -

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  • An aquaintance just lost his dad who was killed in an accident. His dad was 65 years old , a disabled veteran, on SSI and SSDI.

    the young man is 26 and lived with his dad. His dad was separated from a woman who was a Russian Immigrant , he had married her, she has a green card. I'm not sure how long they were married am pretty sure it was less than 2 years. Does the son ha...

    Denise’s Answer

    I'm sorry for your friend's loss. If his father was on SSI and SSDI it is possible he may not have had an estate to probate. If he did have assets in his own name, then they would pass according to his Will.

    If he had no Will, then any assets would pass according to the intestacy statute. Because his father was still married (I think - your question does not indicate that he divorced) but his wife was not your friend's mother, then she would receive the first $100,000 plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate. FYI - she may also be entitled to up to $10,000 worth of her her husband's personal property, such as household furniture, automobiles, appliances, and personal effects. She may also be entitled to a family allowance, although unless she has minor children with the decedent, it sounds like her separation for two years may preclude her receiving that.

    Because his father passed as a result of an accident, it may be worth your friend's time to speak with a personal injury attorney to see if he may be able to assert a claim for wrongful death. Any monies received in such a claim would be paid to the estate (and again, the wife would be able to share in the estate. He may also be able to assert his own claim of loss of consortium as a result of his father's death.

    He should speak with an attorney in his area about these issues.

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  • What are my chances of gaining guardianship?

    My father-in-law is currently in rehab after suffering a collapsed lung from heavy smoking. My husband and I want him closer to us so we can care for him. He is illiterate and is very confused about most things. He does not know the month, day, or...

    Denise’s Answer

    I'm not sure who told you he was competent to make his own decisions. That is usually up to a judge. In Kentucky, as I understand it, you can request ("Petition") that a guardianship be put in place. Once you file the Petition, your father-in-law would be evaluated by a panel of medical care providers who would make a recommendation as to his competence. Finally, there would be a hearing before a judge, who will make the final determination. Below this paragraph are some sites to review. I strongly suggest you speak with an attorney in your area who does this type of work to get a feel for what is required and perhaps to do it for you. Good luck -
    http://kyjustice.org/node/568
    http://chfs.ky.gov/dail/guardianship.htm
    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/chapter.aspx?id=39181

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  • Can my sister object, fight and/or prevent me from becoming a Co or secondary guardian for my handicapped TBI brother?

    My brother was hit by a car when he was a child and severely brain injured. He has been in several hospitals and programs. He has now been in a program in Massachusetts near Boston for over 20 years now. A while back while my parents were still al...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Golden. If the current guardian doesn't want to serve as co-guardian with you she can "object, fight and / or prevent" you from being appointed. Is there another sibling that could serve that your sister would agree to? Why is she opposed to you being co-guardian? Do you have any reason to believe that she is misusing her authority as guardian or rep payee? If you have concerns, you should speak with an attorney. Good luck -

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  • Does it cost a lot for a lawyer to put a life insurance policy for my kids into a trust?

    going through divorce. I want to put my life insurance into a trust for my kids? my husband is careless with money. He loves to spend lavishly and cashing in on a life insurance policy designed to support the kids would be like winning the lot...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with these answers but want to point out that you do not have to name your husband as trustee -

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  • My mother died in 2005. At the time of her death, she was single. She purchased a single family house in 1980.

    The deed to my mother's house lists her three children as tenants in common. That was her intention. All of the children are adults. When my mother died, me and my sister were living in different cities. Only my brother lived in my mother's hous...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Golden. You can force the sale by a Petition to Partition. Please speak with an attorney who can help you with this. Because it is such a costly procedure, the attorney will likely start by reminding your brother that you are co-owners with him and as such have rights. He may be willing (and we hope able) to buy out your interests in the house. If not, he may be willing to put the property on the market without court involvement. Then, if all else fails, you can force him to do so through the courts. Good luck -

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  • In Massachusetts, is there any law stopping me from putting up a headstone and burying my deceased mother in my own back yard?

    Assuming death was by natural causes.

    Denise’s Answer

    There are plenty of laws governing the care and disposition of bodies in MA. It may be possible to bury your mother "in your back yard" but you would have to get permission from the local health department. There is a helpful discussion about this at http://www.fcaemass.org/diyGuidance.shtml . Your land would have to meet certain size requirements and the plot would need to be a required distance from the home, any groundwater, etc. You should also draw a map of the property showing the burial ground and file it with the property deed so the location will be clear to future owners. That is the key issue - do you really want your mother to be part of someone else's back yard after you're gone?

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