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E. Alexandra Golden

E. Golden’s Answers

2,642 total


  • I am being pressured into signing an informal probate. Massachusetts.

    A few years ago my mother died. . She made a point to say that upon sale of the family home her will/divorce stated that half of the gross would be split evenly to each child. The house is in the process of being sold and I have received a not...

    E.’s Answer

    Yes -- don't sign anything until you meet with a probate attorney!

    If your father was divorced from your mother, he has less of a right to administer the estate than you do unless he either had an ownership interest in the property or was nominated in the will as either a beneficiary or the personal representative. Further, the fact that he filed for informal probate means that you can go in and file for formal probate. This process turns the case into a process which is supervised by the court and requires the court to determine the validity of the Will.

    You have an absolute right to a copy of the Will that was filed with the court along with a copy of the Petition for Probate. If he won't give it to you, then go to the Probate Court and copy the entire file. Bring the documents to the meeting. The attorney can then advise you about your rights, determine if the probate was actually properly filed, and otherwise help you protect your inheritance.

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  • I suspect my small-business employer (owner) is underreporting my hours. If I can get proof, what can I do about it?

    As it is a small business, records are terrible, so it would be reasonable to claim that not all hours were recorded. I do not have independent confirmation but I intend to start consistently recording my hours for my employer's records and my own...

    E.’s Answer

    Your employer is obligated to keep proper records. No excuse.

    You can find more information about how to file a complaint here:

    http://www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/labor-laws-and-public-construction/file-a-wage-complaint.html

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  • The parties further understand the appointment is intended to resolve the pending petitions and objections now before the court

    What does the above statement mean. Is all the b.s my sister suing me about resolved now that a personal rep. has been named...has he been named to execute the will or investigate her objections? After a battle in court over who is going to be...

    E.’s Answer

    This means that the purpose of the agreement is to resolve, once and for all, whatever dispute there is in court concerning the estate. If there is something pending in the court, the agreement would be presented to the judge for entry into a judgment.

    I strongly suggest that you have any agreement reviewed by a probate litigator if you are not already represented by counsel. Don't sign anything that you do not fully understand, particularly if signing something means that you give up rights that you may not know about.

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  • Can I be denied ownership of an insurance policy if I am the one who opened/made all payments since it was opened in 2000?

    I opened a life insurance policy on my great-nephew, who then was 14. As I see it, I am sole the owner. The company sends bills to me, and accepts my payments from my checking acct.. My nephew knew nothing of the policy. While imprisoned, I conti...

    E.’s Answer

    The only way to answer the question is to review the policy and see who it ACTUALLY names as the owner and whether there actually is a provision that transfers ownership to him at some point.

    If you have the policy (either original or a copy), bring it to an insurance agent and get some help.

    Good luck.

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  • What actions should I take since Personal Representative of my mom' estate (intestate) forged my signature on assent to sale ?

    Random developer (PR) said he could make me some $$ by probating my mom's estate (it only consists of the house I lived in). Except PR only sold the house for $100k (despite assessed value of $350k), which barely covered my back taxes. PR said it ...

    E.’s Answer

    Find an experienced probate litigator ASAP to petition the Probate Court to remove the personal representative . The attorney may need to hire a handwriting expert to prove the forgery, but in the meantime, the attorney can ask the court for an temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The attorney can also get appraisals of the property and try to argue to the court that the price was unreasonable (the fact that the property was immediately flipped should be pretty helpful in this regard).

    Good luck.

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  • What types of social / legal services exist for those with no family or friends to serve roles as POA or HCP?

    Since I have no family or friends left, I'm very concerned as to what will happen to me as time goes on & I can no longer care for myself. Who will serve as my POA to pay my bills when I can't? How can I ensure that my money doesn't get stolen? Wh...

    E.’s Answer

    Your future is a lot less bleak if you take charge of things and work with a good elder law attorney with experience in planning for incapacity.

    Unfortunately, there are publicly-funded programs of the sort that you are looking for. The court can appoint someone to be your guardian for medical affairs or conservator for legal or financial affairs. This approach has its pros and cons, however; and you risk the luck of the draw as to who may get appointed.

    Some elder law attorneys are willing to serve as attorneys-in-fact and trustees for persons in your position. (Keep in mind that if an attorney screws up, he risks his license as well as potential criminal prosecution.) There are also some geriatric care managers who will act as your health care agent and advocate. (An elder law attorney will often know who those persons are, which will save you a lot of calling around.)

    If you retain an attorney for this purpose, make sure that there is a contract which spells out at what point does the attorney step in and take over, how fees are calculated, and so forth.

    Good luck!

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  • What type of legal help do I need?

    My mom is upset over my oversight of Mothers Day and my sisters birthday and is convinced that it is because of my girlfriend and has now threatened to sue me for money/support she has provided me since college (2005-2013). There are several email...

    E.’s Answer

    The law presumes that money transferred from one person to another without a contract or receipt of goods or services in return is a gift. The burden is on your mother to prove otherwise.

    A quick letter from a lawyer on your behalf might put a stop to this, particularly if the person who is investigating you really is a lawyer.

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  • Hi I just had a baby two weeks ago and trying to get information as my ex wants to take her overnight and I feel she's to small

    I need to know my rights as a mother. We are not married and no longer together.

    E.’s Answer

    If you have never been married, then you, as the mother, have sole physical and legal custody unless a court decides otherwise. If he wants visitation that you think is inappropriate, he'll need to go to court for an order.

    http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/family/custody-before-court.html

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  • I need a Net Tangible Form. Where to find on a Legal website?

    I'm buying my parents house (currently in a Trust) from my brothers. The mortgage co. approved it as a re-finance rather than an outright purchase. They've asked for a document detailing how the money is to be dispersed at closing. House listed f...

    E.’s Answer

    Hire a real estate attorney, if you haven't done so already. This property is probably the biggest investment of your life, and you want to make sure that you have clear title and all documents are correctly prepared.

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