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Steven M Zelinger
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Steven Zelinger’s Answers

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  • QTIP Trust has 3 beneficiaries. Trustee wants us to waive accounting to distribute - 1 beneficiary refusing

    My grandmother passed away 3 years ago now. My brother, sister, and I are the beneficiaries to a QTIP trust. The trustee, a national bank, is withholding the remaining funds until the Court approves an accounting on Sep 2. They offered us back in ...

    Steven’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Shields - it is quite normal for a trustee to want court approval if all beneficiaries won't sign off and trustee is entitled to that.

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  • MY TAX RETURN WAS HELD FOR EXAMINATION,AFTER SENDING THEM ALL THE INFO THEY WERE ASKING FOR; CASE STILL NOT RESOLVED.

    GOT TAXPAYER ADVOCATES, AS IF THEM AND THE IRS ARE WORKING TOGETHER,AND NOT TO HELP ME RESOLVE MY ISSUE.

    Steven’s Answer

    You have not really provided enough information to point you in any direction and you haven't really asked a question. I assume you want to know what to do - I would note that the IRS does not move fast, so perhaps you are being a bit impatient. Second, you may need a professional to assist you such as an attorney who specializes in tax resolution work or a CPA with the same experience.

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  • Probate Conundrum: Plaintiff in civil suit died. How is his claim handled in Probate?

    Plaintiff was suing for fraud, requesting damages (punitive and real) for upwards of $500k. It was discovered that the Defendant has a net worth of less than $50k. During negotiations, Plaintiff offered to settle for $30k and instructed his atto...

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I would argue that right now it is not "worth" anything. If it becomes worth something later, and that pushes you over the limit the probate filings can be amended. The plaintiff (or estate on behalf of the plaintiff) has not proved their case yet so it is not possible to determine the value. Thus I would imagine fling as a small estate if the estate is otherwise other the limit is acceptable and if the executor has further information later the records can be updated to reflect that. Please note I am not licensed in OR and this is not legal advice but merely an opinion, so you need the attorneys in OR to advise you as to exactly what to do.

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  • Please confirm if the heirs have the right to view all financial (bank) statements for a Revocable Trust created in Wisconsin?

    My brother (now the executor / successor trustee) takes offense to being asked. He is very reluctant to do so... basically indicating that he does not have to. He has quoted three totals - but is not showing the hard copy support for those numbers...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you are the current beneficiary of a trust you are entitled to at least periodic accounts of the trust principal, income and distributions and disbursements. If you object or have questions you certainly have judicial remedies that would lead to discovery of the financial records you are seeking.

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  • I received a letter from court from ex wanting guardianship of minor/guardianship of property. How do I respond to this?

    My ex and I have a daughter who is in Miami-Dade county, FL. She had served me with petition for guardianship of minor/property. How do I respond to this as I do not want her to have sole guardianship, as to make decisions of taking her out of the...

    Steven’s Answer

    Is she asking for guardianship of property or the person (physical) or both? If she is the parent of the child she does not need guardianship of the person unless I am missing something in your explanation? You can either agree or fight regarding the property ... I would advise you to hire an attorney if you need to properly respond quickly.

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  • If a will does not have a declarations for a beneficiary who died prior to the will holder does it pay to the estate of the bene

    My grandmothers will equally divides her estate between my aunt and my mother. My mother died recently and the will has no declarations in the event that my mother or aunt dies prior to my grandmother. So, does it all pay to my aunt now or do...

    Steven’s Answer

    I assume your grandmother is still alive? If your mother failed to survive your grandmother either the will says what happens (something such as "but if she fails to survive to her issue...") or the gift lapses meaning it become ineffective and thus would like fall to the residuary beneficairy which sounds like in this case it could be your aunt. Thus it is up to grandmother to determine what HER wishes are regarding what would have gone to your mother and otherwise the law would assume she understood the implications of how the will was drafted and is okay with it going to your aunt.

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  • If a sibling has their name on our mom's house, property and bank accounts and there is no will, is the sibling entitled to all

    My 85 year old mother passed away in April and my father 22 years prior. My 55 year old sister resided with my mother and father her entire life. Another sibling and myself both married and both have children. The last three years "Mom" had been s...

    Steven’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys that as a general rule the asset titling would control and it would not matter what a will says (if there is/was one) or what the law would say about how solely owned property is divied up. On the other hand, if you believe there was an element of coercion or influence in getting mom to point the sister on these accounts that is a different story. I caution you that proving such a claim is exceedingly difficult and you very much need an attorney versed in probate litigation and you also need to act quickly to preserve your rights (and preserve any property before it is used up).

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  • Is it possible for several people to share guardianship of a teenager who's current guardian is medically unfit?

    This boy had been raised by his grandmother who's health is failing and will soon be admitted to a full time care facility. There are several families from our church where the boy had been attending for years who are willing to share custody of h...

    Steven’s Answer

    There is a difference between guardianship and custody. Guardianship also usually involves guardian of the "person" and the "estate" (property). Courts usually look to have a single person or entity as guardian. Custody may be able to be worked out separately. I would try to choose one person who will apply to be guardian (or two people if you wish to split person/estate) and go from there. I am not licensed in WA so this is based on a general understanding of the law - obviously you need a local attorney familiar with local law and rules.

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  • I was the executor of my parents will. My brother and sister changed this and made themselves the executors without informing me

    How is this legal?

    Steven’s Answer

    Only the person making a will can make such a change, so unless there was fraud or coercion regarding the will this cannot be done. If your parent died without a will, children would all normally have equal right to act as personal Representative (handle matters just like executor but when there is no will) so you would have to have gotten notice or requested to give up that position. Again, if there is fraud (a fraudulent will or applying to probate and not listing you at all) this could happen in which case it is not permitted. Sounds like you need an attorney to figure out what happened.

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  • How do I know if any trust disbursements have been made against my social security number?

    a family member is the executor of a trust due to a death in the family. Shortly after the trust became active, he asked for my social security for beneficiary reasons but not benefits have been disbursed. Since then there has been a decline in ...

    Steven’s Answer

    If there have been distributions of income from the trust to you, typically you would recieve a K-1 which indicates the income you received which you would then in turn use to file your own income taxes. The K-1 would generate a record based on your Social as to your income and would then appear on your federal Wage and Income Transcript. You should know if you received income but if you haven't but you suspect it has been reported you can go to the IRS website and view your wage and income transcripts or call the IRS to request copies. Make sure to request all possible relevant years.

    Depending on the time since the death it may or may not be that anything was distributed.

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