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Steven M Zelinger
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Steven Zelinger’s Answers

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  • Do Swiss citizens pay the US government's 40% tax for having their money transferred to the US?

    My boyfriend is from Switzerland, and he is still a Swiss citizen. He is trying to buy a house and needs more than he was approved for. Can he have his money transferred here without the tax Obama made law regarding people transferring money from ...

    Steven’s Answer

    I think you may be confused. For one thing the president doesn't make laws, Congress does. Second you may be referring to the foreign bank account reporting requirements (FBAR). FBAR is a reporting requirement that applies to US Citizens and persons with accounts in overseas institutions. It is a reporting of assets not a tax. If he is subject to US income taxes, which he probably is if he lives here, the income on that account (as well as pretty much any other income) is taxed at that point. I would suggest seeking the advice of a CPA and tax lawyer as a first step.

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  • My grandfather in law wants to set up a trust for my children that are 6 and 4,

    My grandfather in law wants to set up a trust for my children that are 6 and 4. He wants them to grow interest until they are 18 and not allow access to them until then. Any suggestions on plans to look into, forms, or ????? TIA

    Steven’s Answer

    His best bet is to sit down with an estate planning attorney to lay out his wishes so that he can accomplish this goal. If he just wants the money to grow until they are 18 or 21 he could put funds into UTMA accounts or 529 plans for them. But the better course is probably to keep in trust longer because most kids aren't really able to handle money even at 18, 21 or even 25.

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  • Letter of Administration without a Will

    My fiancé (daughters father) passed away in 2011 and I rec'd a request for this document due to a small remaining balance on a card in his name. The County Probate contact only provides directions to the office, so I'm just trying to find out what...

    Steven’s Answer

    When you say "a card in his name" are you referring to a debt (credit card)? Or is there an asset? As was mentioned if this is an asset you may be able to get the fund through a small estate procedure.

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  • If I ever get in a lawsuit with my siblings about a trust and wil lcontest can they get records of my email accounts or internet

    search from my home computer?

    Steven’s Answer

    Discovery rules in litigation would control and email correspondence is most certainly discoverable if it is relevant to the matter or reasonably expected to be relevant. I would assume everything you say or do could be discovered and operate in such a fashion.

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  • How does a Tax sale of a house due to back taxes work?

    i owe taxes on my home and the township is putting it up for sale . Who is responsible for the mortgage on the house if it is sold.? Will i be liable for anything? Will i have to move? If i have the money the day of the sale , will i be able to ke...

    Steven’s Answer

    You have the right to redeem the property by paying the taxes due (plus costs, interest, penalties) until the foreclosure goes through. You still owe the mortgage - the mortgage company can still foreclose and if there is a balance still due you can be sued for that deficiency as well. If you don't own the home you would eventually have to move it as the owner will be able to evict you.

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  • I would like to find out what is the process for putting house in me and brothers name? What forms? We live in North Carolina.

    My brother and I are only heirs to father's estate. We inherited a house we agreed to co-own. Right now it's under fathers name and "heirs.". , my brother and I will co- own this house. I am executor. We also have two other houses(inherited) ...

    Steven’s Answer

    It is not entirely clear from your question if the house is still in probate or not. If it is, the probate has to be completed to transfer the house out by deed to the rightful heirs/beneficiaries. After that point the owners are generally free to work out what ever they need or want. Typically this would simply be accomplished by a deed but there can be other transfer and tax implications so you should sit down with an experienced probate and/or real estate lawyer.

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  • Commencing Action Against a Trust - New York State ("NYS")

    Facts: 1. The lawsuit to be commenced in NYS. 2. The defendant is a Trust and its Trustee. Question: a. In which Dept. of State a Trust is registered/filed? b. Can I also serve the Trustee on behalf of the Trust? ...

    Steven’s Answer

    Just based on this brief question I believe you have a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings about how trusts work and also how litigation of this type is handled. I would strongly advise you to retain a probate litigator to assist you in any proposed cause of action.

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  • What arrangements does parent need to make with mortgage lender and in her estate plan so her son can retain low rate?

    My mother has an excellent mortgage rate (2%) on the family home in California. The home and two rental properties (one paid off and one also w/ mortgage) are in the family trust. Does Mom need to put anything on file with the lender and in her es...

    Steven’s Answer

    You don't really have control over such a thing. Usually when someone passes if the mortgage payments continue to be paid the lender typically won't do anything. However if there is a transfer of ownership they have the right to call the loan due (Due on sale clause is in every mortgage/note). This means the new owners have to refinance or assigned to the new owner with lender approval. I'm sure you could ask the lender but I don't think you'll have much luck.

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  • Do I get house proceeds at settlement?

    My mother passed away last year, leaving my brother as executor. My brother, although the will states it, did not discuss the sale of her car or house contents. Now, the house is going up for sale, with both of us on contract (since everything is ...

    Steven’s Answer

    There are a number of unanswered questions here. Usually if the house is in the estate it would be sold by the estate - then the proceeds have to go out as stipulated in the will (sounds like here the debts woudl be paid and then the net proceeds distributed to you and your brother)...you have a right to an accounting of this if you are unsure things are being properly handled.

    I wonder since you say you are both on the contract if the house was deeded to the two of you and is now for sale (technically not in the estate) although I would think you would know that by this point. Hard to say. If yo uare an owner it is possible you would get a check at closing. If it is in the estate, teh check goes to the estate and then the executor has the responsibility to pay the debts and divide the proceeds as per the will.

    It is also possible that even though it is in the estate, the title company still asked you to "sign off" in order to protect against you saying you did not know about the sale or didn't agree to the price. I have seen that happen on occasion. I would hire a lawyer to represent you because you only have one best chance to head off anything improper.

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  • If I have my mom declared incompetent, can it be reversed? Are there any other things to worry about?

    My mom has a brain injury and we do not know if she will improve or not. Currently the Doctor said she needs 24 hour care, she cannot self medicate, cook or do her own banking. I wouldn't consider this, but she has someone that may tell her to get...

    Steven’s Answer

    You need a lawyer, badly. The declaration that she is incompetent is based on medical evidence. If the situation changes an appropriate petition to "reverse" it as you say could be initiated - I assure you the courts do not want someone with mental capacity to be forced into guardianship as preserving one's liberty is a basic right. Many guardianship are also not "all or nothing" and can have terms as to what decisions the guardian does/does not handle for the "ward." It is much better for an agent or guardian to use her money for her expenses rather than you advancing funds as well. Keep in mind this answer is of a general nature and you should consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction for a specific answer in your state.

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