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Leanna Hamill

Leanna Hamill’s Answers

39 total

  • My mother and father passed when me and my sister were very young i don't know if they had wills but they had life insurance ??

    i heard about awebsite called missing money .com so i checked for my immediate family to see if any was available low and behold i found 2 met life insurances policies in both my mother and fathers name i'm not sure if theres a will but if not am ...

    Leanna’s Answer

    You will need death certificates for your parents, which you can usually get a the town hall of where they lived. Then you should contact the abandoned property division (which I'm assuming is holding the money) about how to claim it. If there is a named beneficiary on the policies, the funds would be paid to that beneficiary. If there was no beneficiary named, the funds would need to go through your parent's probate estates, which would require someone getting appointed as their administrator. You may need an attorney to assist you if you have to go through their estates.

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  • What is a reasonable fee to just update a will, power of attorney, and living will?

    what is a reasonable fee to just update a will, power of attorney, and living will when you are just changing the name of the executor of each?

    Leanna’s Answer

    It will vary by attorney of course, but it would probably be a couple hundred dollars. If you are going back to the attorney who drafted the documents, it may be less since they are familiar with your situation. If it is a new attorney, they may want to have a "get to know you" meeting. Usually the change to the Will can be done with a codicil (like an amendment) and then the power of attorney and living will would just be done again from scratch, since those aren't usually amended.

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  • Re: Trusts, Will, Power of Attorney, Health Proxy

    Would it be recommended to use forms downloaded from the internet to put a house in a Trust, complete a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Proxy? If not, is there a going rate (ball park figure). All of the above would be very simple documents ...

    Leanna’s Answer

    Sasha (E. Alexandra) is exactly right. This work is much more than just documents, it's counseling, advice and guidance now and in the future. A going rate for a plan involving a trust, will, power of attorney and health care proxy probably starts around $2500.00. It may turn out, after speaking to an attorney, that you need more or less than that. Which is another reason to work with an attorney, so you can make sure you are getting the appropriate planning for your situation.

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  • My elderly parents both died recently and I do not wish to be executor. There are almost no assets.

    I recently signed a POA form for my dying father who lived in Florida, but having read about duties of executor I realize I don't want to do it. What do I have to do, if anything, at this point?

    Leanna’s Answer

    A power of attorney ends at death, so the document you signed is no longer valid. If he has nominated you in his will to serve as executor you can decline the appointment. If the estate is being opened in Florida, you'll need to speak to a Florida attorney about the process.

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  • Are home prepared wills and trusts (from Suzie Orman's book) legal, binding documents?

    If I prepare these documents myself at home and have the proper papers notorized, are they legal and binding? Do I have to go to an estate planner to make these legal? We are ages 48 and 55 and have two grown sons who we would want to inherit ev...

    Leanna’s Answer

    I believe Suze's website has a disclaimer that the documents should be reviewed by an attorney. The ones I have seen that people have tried to do themselves have not been properly prepared and the language was very vague. I even tried to do one myself, just to see what the process was like, and it was nearly impossible to draft the document properly to reflect my wishes.

    You would be well advised to seek the assistance of an attorney. Especially since when the documents need to be used, you won't be around to tell people what you meant to say.

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  • Guardianship for elderly parent in Massachusetts.

    I am the guardian of my elderly mother(in alzheimers care). Now my lawyer is suggesting a guardian ad litem. Why would I need a guardian ad litem, and is it required in Mass?

    Leanna’s Answer

    In general a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court when there is something to investigate on behalf of the incapacitated person - for instance to review an accounting by the guardian, or the sale of real estate. If the Court appoints a guardian ad litem in a case then you would need to cooperate with them and provide them with the requested information.

    Without more information, it's hard to tell why one was appointed in your case, or why your attorney thinks one may need to be appointed.

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  • My nephew was killed a few months back and we are all at a loss. Does my sister need to set up an estate?

    My nephew was killed a few months back and we are all at a loss. Does my sister need to set up an estate? If so can it be done with no expense? Either way is there a step by step guide in laman terms that we can go by? Is there anyone in our area ...

    Leanna’s Answer

    Very often the probate court in the county where the estate would be open (where you nephew resided before his death) will have a "Lawyer of the Day" program, where attorneys volunteer to help people with their legal paperwork.

    The probate court in Worcester County is here:http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/worcesterprobmain.html

    You should call the court ahead of time to make sure there will be a lawyer of the day, and bring your nephew's death certificate and will, if he had one, along with any information you can find about his bank accounts or other finances.

    If he lived in a different state or county, you can look up the probate court for that state online.

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  • My mother's home was put in a life estate in dec.2001. She entered ltc 2/05 & died 12/09. as executor what next?

    medicaid placed a lien on her house 5/2004 but it should have been exempt as lookback was 3 years then. What steps do I have to take to ensure the home is not taken by Medicaid?

    Leanna’s Answer

    In general, when she passed away the life estate (and accompanying lien) were both extinguished and ownership of the home passed to the remainder person (the other person listed on the deed.) You should record a copy of her death certificate so that it is clear to anyone purchasing the house that the life owner has passed away.

    It may be worth it to have an attorney review things just to be sure you aren't missing anything that might affect the title to the home.

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  • Is there a way to avoid a nursing home from taking and elderly persons home that they own when they go in the nursing home?

    my mother may have to go into a nursing home in Mass. I was told that she will have to loose her house to pay for the nursing home. can this be avoided?

    Leanna’s Answer

    There generally are things that can be done to help protect your mother's house, and protect her as well (by making sure that someone has the legal authority to act on her behalf if she becomes unable.) The nursing homes will not give you this information, you need to seek advice from an attorney who practices in this area (and in Massachusetts.) The solutions available are very dependent on the facts in each individual circumstance, so you'll need to meet with an attorney to make sure they have all the information before advising you.

    I am in Hingham and assist clients with these matters.

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  • Must a lawyer for decedent produce will for heirs at law?

    Elderly never married aunt passed away. She had no children either. Will has apparently now been filed by her lawyer. We had asked to see will at time of burial. Found out that deed to house was altered two years ago to include lawyer in joint ten...

    Leanna’s Answer

    I agree with Nancy. And even if the house is the only asset, the will must still be filed with the probate court, even if a formal probate is not opened. Keep in mind that you do not need to sign the assent that the attorney sent you, if you do not want him to be appointed executor.

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