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Steven M Zelinger
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Steven Zelinger’s Answers

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  • My sister is trustee of an irrovable trust. She has done shady things in the past. I need advice

    I asked her to give this to the lawyer she is trying to hire in Pennsylvania, however the lawyer claims she does not have to speak to me. To Whom It May Concern, I completely understanding my sisters wanting to hire an attorney to make sur...

    Steven’s Answer

    I guess this is a continuation of your earlier post? I'm not clear if you think your sister should hire a lawyer but you don't want to yet? You are not really going to get a good answer on the internet because there are not enough facts. It may very well be that you can proceed without a lawyer but I can tell you that sometimes when both sides are represented it is actually better because the lawyers know how to work things out and it can be a hindrance when one party has a lawyer but another does not.

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  • My sister is trustee of an irrevocable trust. I am a beneficiary. She has been shady in the past I need advice

    Part 1 -The trust declarations consist of 16 articles that outline the procedure for administering & distributing the trust assets. Article 2 Section 3 made the trust irrevocable & unamendable after my Poppop died in Feb '10. Article 4 sec 3c expl...

    Steven’s Answer

    I'm not totally clear either on the exact question but if you feel the trustee is not carrying out their duties you are entitled as a beneficiary to hire your own counsel to try to get answers - anywhere from informally asking to demanding an accounting through the courts. You'd be best to visit with an attorney. Interestingly I grew up near you in Broomall. Good luck.

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  • My father passed away about a week ago. My sister had her name on his banking account. she spent most of his money.

    My father was a 100% disabled veteran who has been in a nursing home for the last few years. His stay there was paid for by the VA. Can I find out what she did with his money?

    Steven’s Answer

    If she was a joint tenant with right of survivorship on on his account then it was her money as well as his during life and passed to her automatically at his death. That said, if you would be able to prove that her name was merely on there "for convenience" and it was all his money and she was on there as his "power of attorney" then you may be able to argue against her. Achieving that is very difficult and would require that you hire an attorney.

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  • How can we get the money from our mothers checking acct. After her death, with no will?

    Our mother passed away, we would like to withdraw money from her checking account to pay for her cremation. She had no will or life insurance. The bank will not release the money even with a death certificate.

    Steven’s Answer

    If someone dies without a will they are said to have died intestate (without a will, and the laws of intestacy determine who will take her estate, after creditors are paid). If her estate is small most states have a small estate procedure that is easier but otherwise you have to being probate to deal with her debts and assets. I am attaching a link regarding some probate basics in Iowa. In the meantime, a family member may need to pay for her funeral expenses and then seek reimbursement from the estate.

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  • My son is 28 and physically and mentally disabled how can a get medical power attorney for him

    i have been taking care of him all his life and he lives with me and i am his ssi payee

    Steven’s Answer

    if he has mentally disabilities and cannot legally execute a power of attorney you will need to file for guardianship. I would advise you to hire an attorney.

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  • How long can one ignore your Mom's attorney who is requesting a meeting on her behalf?

    Brother and sister have power of attorney over my mom's finances. She is still in control of her Trust. She contacted her lawyer and he is suggesting a family meeting twice now. Brother and sister continue to ignore him. Two other siblings mys...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you suspect some type of improper acts by your siblings they don't have to meet with anyone. Seems like it would be helpful to do so but you may need to resort to court action if they refuse to comply and you need them to do or not to something.

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  • How will an inheritance effect my SSD and Medical Assist.

    I'm one of two Trustees named in My father and step mothers will. I currently am on SSD and live in a group home that is funded by the county. I also have MA- Medicaid. I have been in a group home for the past 8 years. Will I have to payback the ...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you are on needs-based assistance and you take title to property you will likely be disqualified for your benefits unless you create the appropriate type of trust. See an estate or elder law attorney right away.

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  • My mothers last will she appointed my sister and I co representatives of her loving trust. my sister took the title of a trustee

    and put it in her name, leaving me without any power to make decisions on behalf of the estate. Naming my sister first does that give her the right to appoint herself as the sole trustee

    Steven’s Answer

    You have to be clear if the trustee is one at a time or co-trustees. If it is co-trustees then you both act at the same time with equal powers. Therefore if you sister somehow managed to make herself sole trustee with you not resigning or being removed she committed fraud. The order of the names if they are co-trustees does not matter. See an attorney immediately.

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  • Regarding trust funds. This is due to illness, not wealth. Does a Trust need to be filed through an atty?

    To save money, can I fill out an on-line form and have it notarized? Or does the form need to be filed with an attorney to be legal? Thank you.

    Steven’s Answer

    An attorney does not need to draft the trust and it isn't "filed with" an attorney or usually filed anywhere publicly. The issue is whether or not it is a good idea to do estate planning on your own if you are not a lawyer or actually a lawyer who knows anything about estate planning. I would not fix my own car or do my own plumbing or butchering of meat because I don't know how to do those things (or do them well). Being that the risks of poor estate planning can be very great, it is worth a consultation with an attorney which I promise you is a good return on investment especially if you avoid even one minor issue.

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  • My grandparents passed away back in 1990 and my we had an account that was left to me and my brother and he was the beneficiary

    I never seen a written will to know exactly what was left to me how can I discover that now

    Steven’s Answer

    Being that the matter is 25 years old you probably won't be able to do anything but...You say the "account was left to you and your brother" and "he was the beneficiary"....these are somewhat contradictory statements. If the account was left in a will to you then the executor of the will should have carried through the terms of the will and got your money to you. If your brother was the beneficiary under the will it is his not yours. If your brother was the beneficiary by way of a non-probate transfer (meaning if the account had a direct beneficiary or Payable on Death designation) then the account would be all his - in which case he could share with you but is not obligated to do so.

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