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Peter Caldwell Herbst
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Peter Herbst’s Answers

18 total


  • 2 executors/trustees-sisters, of Dad's will (died 4/19) I feel they have over stepped their power. what is their exact role

    As 1 of 5 beneficiaries, are we all entitled to receive copy of the Trust, not just the will?

    Peter’s Answer

    Trustees do have a duty to keep the beneficiaries informed about the administration of a trust. Depending on all the facts, when a trustee takes on the position of trustee or when a trust becomes irrevocable (which can occur to a revocable trust when the settlor dies) a trustee has to disclose the existence of the trust and their name and address to the beneficiaries. There are some "silent trusts" in which the settlor may attempt to keep the trust document hidden and instruct the trustee not to release a copy, but usually there are mechanisms (judicial and non-judicial) for getting a copy of the actual trust.

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  • Can u sell a house in massachusetts if you owe taxes on it?

    I owe back taxes on my home and wanted to no if i could sell it

    Peter’s Answer

    The answer may be different based on the type of tax you owe (e.g. federal income, state income, local property taxes, etc) and what stage of collection the taxing authority is in. You should consult with a tax attorney prior to listing the house for sale to find out the procedure in your specific case.

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  • I need a state address of where Living Trusts are filed in the State of MA.

    Todd Elliott 101 Munroe Ave Woburn, MA 01801 tel 781 933 0223

    Peter’s Answer

    If you provide more background or the purpose of your question it may be helpful. In addition to trusts previously being recorded with the registry of deeds for real estate matters, a trust with a contested issue may be filed with a probate court.

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  • Can I sue my tax preparer for over 6k supposed to reach my direct deposit acct and never did?

    He filed a wrongful tax return for 2014 but it never reach my acct. now IRS wants it back but I never saw that money which I'll have to pay from my pocket. I have no proof he retained it or stole it, all I know is I owe that money + penalty + inte...

    Peter’s Answer

    Given the amount at money at issue, especially with interest and penalties, you may want to consult with an attorney to explore all your options. You mentioned that you have "no proof he retained it" but attorneys are good at sifting through the facts to find the proof needed to support your case.

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  • Looking for estate planning attorney

    Estate planning attorney

    Peter’s Answer

    You may want to click on the "Find a Lawyer" link and then type in "estate planning attorney" in Wilmington, MA to find a local attorney who can help you.

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  • What are IRS gift and/or capital gain tax implications of quitclaim real estate deed?

    Mother created a quitclaim deed "granting" home to herself "for life" with remainder to her children. Upon her death: 1. Does IRS require a gift tax payment from children?, 2.Upon sale of home, when did the IRS clock start ticking relative to...

    Peter’s Answer

    Transferring a remainder interest in a primary residence can have positive and negative income tax implications. In Massachusetts this can also impact MassHealth planning concerns. The attorney who guided your mother through this transaction should have already provided your mother with detailed explanations for all these questions. You should start with that attorney to answer these questions and if not then find your own attorney who can guide you through this transaction and give you a more detailed answer based on the specific facts and circumstances of this transaction.

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  • I am Trustee for an Irrevocable Trust. Upon the death of the "settlor", the funds were to be divided "into equal shares"

    It was later revealed to me by the lawyer who wrote this trust, that this "equal share" was meant to be in an FBO account, bearing the name of the Irrevocable Trust, FBO for each of the beneficiaries. the money from the IRR Trust was distributed ...

    Peter’s Answer

    You should meet with an attorney to review this situation more closely. As a Trustee, you have fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries that can lead to personal liability. Based on your verb tense, I'm guessing that the settlor has passed away and you are now ready to distribute funds? If so, this is a great opportunity to prepare an account for the beneficiaries to sign and to obtain general releases from the beneficiaries for all of your actions to further insulate you from any liability. And all of that (including meeting with an attorney) should take place before you distribute the funds.

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  • How to legally get 5 signatures for a small estate form that needs to be notarized, when the signers reside in different states?

    I am serving as the family rep for a small estate in VA. The small estate form requires that all 5 elderly siblings sign the document and that it is notarized. I want to know if legally each of the siblings can provide a document for that purpose,...

    Peter’s Answer

    If it is a Virginia form you should contact a Virginia probate attorney - or the probate court itself - to find out the local custom of obtaining multiple signatures on one document.

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  • How can I find out how much a MassHealth lien is?

    The person who owns the property just passed away.

    Peter’s Answer

    You can start by contacting the MassHealth estate recovery unit (508-856-7653) and they will forward you to the caseworker assigned the file.

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  • What is the best way to orchestrate the transfer of real estate from both spouses to one spouse for PACE application purposes?

    We are planning to hire an elder law attorney to complete the PACE application for my father. He currently is taken care of by my mother and both live at home. The program is perfect for him but they have assets (real estate) in both their names...

    Peter’s Answer

    You should review any transfer being done as part of MassHealth application process with your attorney before making the transfer. Not only does he or she need to know about it, they need to advise you on the tax consequences of such and other impacts the transfer will have.

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