Paul Bernstein’s Answers

Paul Bernstein

Salem Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 6
  1. Does an executor of a will have power over a trustee of a living trust?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Paul Bernstein
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    2 lawyer answers

    To answer your question directly, it depends. Someone would need to review the documents. If you have the original will, you are responsible to, at a minimum, file it with the probate court. Whether a probate petition needs to be filed depends on whether the decedent owned any assets in his/her name alone at the time of death. Generally, an executor has little to no power over the trustee. Paul Bernstein Salem, MA LEGAL DISCLAIMER Attorney Bernstein is licensed to practice law in...

  2. Starting an S Corp. online

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Paul Bernstein
    1 lawyer answer

    Dear Jeff and Nancy: First, best of luck and much success in your new venture. Second, I would strongly encourage you to retain the services of an experienced business planning attorney who can discus with you the pros and cons of the various forms of business ownership: partnership, corporation or LLC. Things to be covered should include income taxation, liaiblity protection, ownership transition, exit planning, etc. I have recently been involved in a situation where a client is...

  3. My mother recently passed away without a will. Does her estate have to go through probate?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel
    2. Joseph Stephen Stanganelli
    3. Paul Bernstein
    4 lawyer answers

    As with most things, it depends. In Massachusetts, if the assets where in her name alone, you will most probably need to go through the probate court process. Whether an estate must be probated does not depend on whether there is a will, but in how an asset is owned, If it is owned by an individual, then the probate court is typically the only process to change ownership to the heirs. However, if the assets are comprised of several bank accounts, in different banks and the individual...

  4. My mother recently passed away without a will. Does her estate have to go through probate?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel
    2. Joseph Stephen Stanganelli
    3. Paul Bernstein
    4 lawyer answers

    As with most things, it depends. In Massachusetts, if the assets where in her name alone, you will most probably need to go through the probate court process. Whether an estate must be probated does not depend on whether there is a will, but in how an asset is owned, If it is owned by an individual, then the probate court is typically the only process to change ownership to the heirs. However, if the assets are comprised of several bank accounts, in different banks and the individual...

  5. If the beneficiary of my life insurance policy is my estate, is the payout subject to estate taxes when I die?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Roger Torr Whitaker
    2. Elizabeth Smith Schmitz
    3. Paul Bernstein
    4. Keenan M. Post
    4 lawyer answers

    Whether or not the life insurance is included in your gross estate for estate tax purposes is determined by ownership, not be the beneficiary designation. For federal estate tax purposes, if you own the policy, the death benefits will be included in your gross estate. If your gross estate exceeds $3.5M (in year 2009), an estate tax return will need to be filed. If your gross estate exceeds $3.5M, whether taxes will be due is another question. Are you married? Is your spouse a US citizen....

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  6. Why stocks would go into probate when part of the trust?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Bert Z. Tigerman
    2. Kenneth V. Zichi
    3. Paul Bernstein
    3 lawyer answers

    Vicki: Whether an asset goes through the probate court process depends on the ownership of the property. If owned individually at the time of death, a probate proceedings is required to change ownership to the next rightful heir(s). It appears from your question that the house was owned by the trust. Therefore, the trust will typically detail what happens to the house. No probate required. However, it appears that the stocks where owned that the stocks were owned individually and that the...

  7. I am the administratrix of my sisters estate in mass. can i charge a fee

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Keenan M. Post
    2. Paul Bernstein
    2 lawyer answers

    In Massachusetts, an administratix would be appointed if there was no will and, therefore, your sister died intestate, that is without a will. As such, Massachusetts law generally provides that you may charge a reasonable fee. Massachusetts Courts typically frown upon fees based upon a percentage of the value of the estate. What is a reasonable fee depends on numerous factors - and this question should be asked specifically of the attorney that is assisting you in representing the estate....