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Jeffrey L Crown
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Jeffrey Crown’s Answers

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  • Will an attorney in CT represent a party in a contested will on a contingency? estate value over 2 mil.

    original will beneficiaries stood for 20 years. new will emerged naming sole beneficiary. questionable circumstances and timing

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    As the other lawyers have stated, fee arrangements depend on the facts of the case. We've done them on a contingent basis where we have "very good facts." At the other end of the spectrum, we've done some with more difficult facts on a hourly basis. Sometimes we make "blended" arrangements, a lower hourly rate against a possible contingent fee. Will contests present unique challenges not present in other types of litigation. For more information, please visit our website, www.trustlawyer.com and click on"Estate and Trust Litigation" under the practice areas. I wish you well. Jeff Crown

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  • After dad/grandparents passing I've been named as a beneficiary in a family owned home and the other shareholders refuse to sell

    I am 1 of 8 shares in a family owned home. Grandparents owned a home, they passed.they had 8 children. My Dad was one of the children/shareholder. He passed. His share was then passed to me. The family refuses to sell and I want out of this house....

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I agree with the other lawyers regarding a "partition." I just want to explain to you what a "partition" is.

    An owner of a partial interest in real property can bring an action in the superior court to have the property appraised and sold at a public sale. You have an absolute right to do this.

    Please understand that this procedure may be expensive and, if it goes all the way to a sale, might not bring the best price.

    As one of the other lawyers pointed out, it could open the door to the other owners offering to buy out your share.

    You should contact a real estate lawyer, not a trust and estate lawyer.

    I hope that this helps.

    Jeff Crown

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  • Grandmother left 75% of estate to 3 sons or their surviving spouses. One son died and his wife remarried. Is she a beneficiary?

    Will left 75% to be shared equally between 3 sons "or to their spouses who survive them." Uncle went missing and spouse (aunt) had him declared legally dead. Aunt has made a motion to remove executor (eldest son of decedent). Since she remarried...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This is a difficult question to answer without research. The issue is when the spouse's share "vested" in her [when she became entitled to it. Connecticut follows the "rule of early vesting" - that interests in estates and trusts vest at the earliest point of time, considering the language of the document.

    The condition is only that a spouse survive the son, not that she survive and not remarry.

    This could be argued both ways.

    This is an interesting matter. You should discuss it with a lawyer who has experience in technical trust litigation. I would certainly be happy to speak with you about it.

    Jeff Crown
    Trustlawyer,LLC
    21 New Britain Avenue
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067
    860-257-4330
    jlcrown@trustlawyer.com

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  • I am a CT. resident with real property in NYC NY

    at my death do I pay NY estate taxes and if so what credit do I receive on my Ct. estate taxes?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There's another aspect to this which you may want to think about. If you own real property outside of your state of residence, there will have to be a separate probate proceeding in the state(s) where the property is located. These "ancillary administrations" can be expensive and time consuming. They can be avoided by transferring the property(ies) to a revocable trust, of which you are the only trustee. You maintain complete control of the assets and avoid out of state probate.

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  • My sister is trustee to my 500 , 000 plus inheritance Both sisters serve to inherit ant the principle should I die .

    Proceeds generated are more than 2 , 000 monthly , although I receive Andaman rest is reinvested . I cant help but feel there is a conflict on interest

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This is not a questions that can be answered without further information. The answer depends to a large extent on the terms of the document creating the trust [trust agreement or will]. You should discuss this with a lawyer who has experience in trust and estate law.

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  • My mother has POA for my elderly father. Do I have the right to contact their attorney?

    I am concerned my mother is being exploited by a care taker

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Abuse of seniors is an epidemic. A recent Wall Street Journal article put the annual figure at over $2 Billion. Let's look at what your choices are. The police will not be of initial help because this is, at least at this stage, a civil matter. Your mother's lawyer probably won't be able to speak with you because of the attorney-client privilege. You might want to speak with the people at the Department on Aging. I've found them to be helpful. I wish you and your mother well

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  • Can a lawyer in CT create a will for a client in North Carolina? Do they need to have a license in North Carolina?

    If I live in North Carolina and come to CT and have a lawyer in CT create my will, is the will going to be valid in North Carolina?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I'm a Connecticut lawyer, and do not know North Carolina law. With that caveat, here are some thoughts. Many states,including CT, have a "borrowing statute". The CT statute, which is fairly typical, provides that a will validly executed in another jurisdiction is valid here. The caveat is that, although a will may be valid under a borrowing statute, language used in a will in state "A" may have a different meaning in state "B."

    Your CT lawyer should probably consult with North Carolina counsel as to any unique provisions of North Carolina law.

    I wish you well

    Jeff Crown

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  • When someone dies intestate (had dementia); can you contest the Probate Court's distribution to a sibling who rejected him?

    One sister was conservator and is now executor, but Probate CT said sibling who refused to help deceased in his care or even allow him into her home, must now share in his estate.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You said that your sister died intestate [no will]. However, you used the word "executor." An executor is someone who is appointed by will. The person who settles an intestate estate is called an "administrator." I'm not sure whether your sister had a will or not.

    If she died intestate, then I agree with the prior answer. If she had a will, you would have the right to contest the will. Having the right to do it does not mean that you would be successful. Will contests are often uphill fights. You would have to basically prove that your sister's dementia resulted in her not having the capacity to make a will.

    I hope that this helps.

    Jeff Crown

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  • We have a signed will which is witnessed and signed by first party. It is not notarized, though. Will it hold up in court?

    My father-in-law wishes to leave all world possessions to his son. He had a last will and testament drawn up and signed by witness completing it. Because it is not notarized, concerned about legal actions others can take, and if a court would reco...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Under Connecticut law, a will must be in writing. and signed at the end by the testator [will maker]. It has to be witnessed by two people who sign as witnesses in the testator's presence.

    The courts interpret these statutory requirements strictly. One has to comply with all of them..

    Your father should hire a Connecticut lawyer to take care of his will.

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  • How to prove froud or Undue Influence in Wills.

    Do I have a chance to wine the case.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    One judge described undue influence as a "Svengali like state" in which someone , by manipulation or deception, obtains a bequest by overcoming the testator's free will.

    It's quite difficult to win a will contest based on the ground of undue influence. There is almost never direct evidence. We sometimes speak of "badges" of undue influence.

    Here are some of them. \
    The testator is in a weakened physical or mental condition.
    The "influencer" is in a position of "trust and confidence" with the testator, such as a relative, physician, lawyer, clergyman, home health aid, etc.
    The influencer isolates the testator from his family and friends. The bequest represents a radical departure from prior wills.
    The testator is psychologically or otherwise dependent on the influencer.

    I hope that this helps.

    Jeff Crown

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