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Alan Stanford Fanger

Alan Fanger’s Answers

29 total

  • Is it necessary to present a compelling need to trustees of trust fund in order to liquidate the trust?

    Trust language indicates "beneficiary will receive (1)all of the income and (2) so much of the principal as the Trustees, in their discretion, determine is necessary to maintain the beneficiary in which she is accustiomed, or for her special needs...

    Alan’s Answer

    Thank you for your question. The language you quoted appears to give the trustee considerable discretion when, and to what extent, he/she should use principal as a means of supporting the beneficiary. If it is obvious that dipping into principal is necessary and that anyone serving as trustee would realize that, you have one of two options: (a) try to persuade/negotiate with the trustee; or (b) bring a petition in the probate court to have the trustee removed. The latter is a course of action I would recommend only after the former is exhausted, as such proceedings can be time-consuming, slow and costly. However, courts have removed trustees where they acted in deliberate disregard of the beneficiary's interests and needs.

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  • Litigation against large company

    I have already talked to one lawyer. he is in a one-person firm. He estimated i would recieve a settlement of more than $100,000. If I seek a larger firm with more experience against large companies would i be able to seek a more aggressive sett...

    Alan’s Answer

    While I understand that the size and the stature of the company might make one think that the use of a large firm is necessary, that is definitely not the case. For example, I recently represented 14 condo unit owners who litigated a case for four years against the city of Taunton and two other defendants, and the case recently settled for $1.35 million. None of those defense attorneys thought that my status as a sole practitioner affected their strategy in the case. If an attorney is competent, dogged in his/her pursuit of your claim and makes clear to his adversary his knowledge of the facts, the applicable law and the strategy employed to achieve the best possible result, those factors, and not the size of the attorney's firm, will be relevant.

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  • I have a tenant that I want to evict because she has rubbish and trash and dishes piled up everywhere. The smell invades my life

    I would like to evict her not only for non-payment of rent (she has a long history of being 2 to 3 weeks late) but also because I am tired of the house being trashed. I live in a duplex and she is a tenant at will.

    Alan’s Answer

    I would not rely on either non-payment or accumulation of trash as grounds for eviction. Rather, I would proceed to terminate the tenancy at will and then follow that up with a complaint for eviction. If the tenant pays her rent (or is supposed to pay her rent) monthly and on the first of the month, you can terminate the tenancy as of June 30 if you have her served with a notice of termination on or before May 31. But the notice needs to have certain magical language and is best served by a constable.

    Just to round out the analysis, you don't want to use trash as a basis for eviction because (a) she might "see the light" and remedy the problem as soon as she receives notice and (b) judges see trash-related reasons for eviction as generally being flimsy.

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  • What should we do

    My 2 uncles lived together for years. One got alzheimers and the other just died. My sister who is living in the house for 3 yrs. found will leaving everything to our brother who took our uncle to the lawyers when he had alzhemiers and made a ...

    Alan’s Answer

    Thanks for your question. Since your brother benefited from the change in the will, if he was managing your uncle's finances or was otherwise involved in his care, the burden shifts to him to demonstrate that the change in the will was NOT the product of undue influence. However, you must take the first step by challenging the validity of the will. There are strict deadlines for doing this and the failure to adhere to those deadlines can be fatal to your claim. Please see my blog at www.lawfang.com for details about challenging a will and specifically the use of an undue influence argument.

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  • If a pool company breeched my contract, do I have to pay them?

    A pool company screwed up my pool, back yard, and vinyl siding. I already paid them 15,000.00 out of the 23,000.00 in credit cards. The last credit card company is trying to collect, but I say I don't have to pay the rest because the job wasn't ...

    Alan’s Answer

    I am assuming that the pool company is not collectible because it is out of business. If this is the case, you should immediately dispute the balance with your credit card company. The law that applies here is known as the Fair Credit Billing Act. It allows a credit card holder to dispute a charge based on the failure of the merchant to have not properly or fully provided you with the goods or services you charged. However, the law provides that you must inform the credit card issuer of the disputed charge within 60 days of the date of the charge. If the 60 days have expired but you have only recently learned that the pool work was defective, you should make that clear when you register your complaint/dispute.

    In order for the credit card issuer to give some validity to your claim, you will need to document the defective nature of the work. This can only be done effectively by way of the written opinion of an expert. I recommend Trip Knox of Northeast Aquatic Design at 978-767-8711 (neaquatic.com), who could inspect the pool and give you an opinion as to the quality of construction. Photos would also help.

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  • I want to leave my lease early due to pot smoke from another tenant getting into my unit.

    The landlord does not believe my complaint, and has therefore not done anything to remedy the situation. I feel it's within my right to leave. He is holding me to my lease terms, apparently due to my "unreasonable demands" and for "not being parti...

    Alan’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Thanks for your question. I am of the belief that if the landlord has not taken steps to restrain the tenants from engaging in illegal drug use, you may validly terminate your lease on the grounds that the landord has interfered with your right of quiet enjoyment of the apartment. However, in order to minimize the risk associated with this (that risk being a lawsuit by the landlord for rent), I would recommend that you have several disinterested witnesses corroborate your observations about the pot smoke. These witnesses should be people who come across as being extremely credible, and who should anticipate possibly having to testify at a court proceeding. If you would like to discuss this further, please be in touch.

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  • If a beneficiary breaches his duty as fiduciary and caretaker after the will is made, is he still entitled to be beneficiary?

    my brother, who talked my mother into changing her will and leaving everything to him, locked my mother in his house, would not let me or my son see her or talk to her on the phone; she got sick; he didn't get her medical care. He called 911 to ...

    Alan’s Answer

    I am quite sorry to hear about these events. The one thing you should know above anything else is that you have the right to have the will set aside as having been the product of the "undue influence" of your brother. You also have the right to recover the funds taken from your mother. If your mother is not in a position at this point to determine how she has been vicitimzed, then I suggest that you have a guardian appointed on her behalf. The guardian could then bring suit for the benefit of your mother and seek to set aside the will and recover the funds as mentioned above.

    We this profile quite often in undue influence situations; one child attempts to take over complete control of a parent's affairs because that child has a hidden agenda, and in the process that child cuts off his/her siblings' access to the parent.

    Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this matter in greater detail. My blog on undue influence and other things related to estate and trust disputes is on my web site at www.lawfang.com

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  • Can I contest in Washington state from Massachusetts

    I am a brother of my sister who passed away last week. After caring for her for the last month, I find out that none of her family were included in her will. She was under psychiatric care for the past 15 years with multiple problems and a 10 year...

    Alan’s Answer

    If your sister died as a resident of the state of Washington, her will would be administered in that state, and any challenge to the will would need to be made in that state. I suggest that you consult with an attorney in Washington concerning your rights and those of your family.

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  • Landlord caught breaking law

    After my wife and i noticed some things missing from our apartment we set up a surveillance camera and caught our landlord entering our apartment without permission while we were away. this is after i took action of rent withholding to force repai...

    Alan’s Answer

    if the landlord entered your apartment secretly for a purpose other than for making repairs or another emergency, in my opinion that would be grounds for termination of your tenancy. You have a few options available to you. On the criminal side, you can file an application for the issuance of a criminal complaint. This will require you to go to the district court for the area where you live and "swear out" a complaint. On the civil side, you can sue the landlord for something called "breach of quiet enjoyment", for which you would be entitled to damages in the amount of 3 months rent as well as attorney's fees. Finally, in my view you would also be eligible for damages for the cost of your move, any emotional distress you suffered from feeling "violated" by the landlord's unlawful entry into your apartment, and any increase in rent you would have to pay for any apartment you move to. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this further.

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  • We have had our sewer back up 7x in the last 2.75yrs. we have 2 small kids and need some legal help please.

    Nothing has been done to resolve the problem and when sewage is contaminating our living space REPEATEDLY it is an obvious health issue especially since we have a 3 yr old and an 8 month old. We have also lost many personal items that we threw aw...

    Alan’s Answer

    I am presently representing 14 owners of condominium units in Taunton, MA who experienced two episodes of sewage backup within 8 months. I have brought suit on their behalf against the city of Taunton as well as the trustees of the condominium complex where this occurred. Backups of sewage usually occur because the municipality (city, town or township) either does not maintain the sewage (e.g. fails to clean pipes) or allows stormwater to mix in with the wastewater, thus overwhelming the capacity of the system. I can answer any questions you may have; feel free to be in touch. Alan Fanger

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