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Steven M Zelinger
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Steven Zelinger’s Answers

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  • Small Estate Affidavit question

    My brother died intestate with no debts and only $1,800 in a bank account. Am I correct than I can get the money by going to the bank with 1) a completed Small Estate Affidavit, 2) death certificate 3) itemized bill from the funeral home?

    Steven’s Answer

    My esteemed colleagues gave you great answers...I would add as well if not clear that if there are other non-probate assets (joint accounts, beneficiary-designated accounts or insurance) you may still need to file an inheritance tax return.

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  • I need a copy of Letter of Tesamentary in Pittsburgh Pa. How would I go about getting this copy? I was executrix of Aunts estate

    I need this copy to send to Prudential Insurance. An old policy my Aunt had is unclaimed money...It is listed as unclaimed money in my name. All the paperwork is gone. The lawyer I paid is retired. I want to do this on my own.

    Steven’s Answer

    Call the register of wills/orphans court in the county where probate was and see if you can get a copy or reopen the estate to get a short certificate (Letters Testamentary).

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  • How do I handle an IOLTA account after death of an attorney?

    My father passed away. He was an attorney and self-employed. He had no employees and I have been trying to figure out how to handle everything on my own. He didn't have enough assets to open an Estate or go through probate but recently I found ...

    Steven’s Answer

    I would also agree with the other answers - tread lightly, carefully and slowly and engage the services of an attorney. If all the funds are actually funds his practice is entitled to for payment for fees he actually earned you are probably okay but if one penny is that of a client's those funds will likely need to be returned to the client. Since you are not acting in the capacity of an attorney entrusted with the funds I imagine you have less risk but I would still hire a lawyer of your own to represent you and advise you with this and all other matters related to the estate (even if it is a very small estate it might be worth a small investment to get assurance)

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  • Can I sell my house with a state tax lien on it from my deceased husband.

    The tax lien is in his name only and it was put on our house 2 weeks after his death.

    Steven’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys that more than likely the lien will just have to be paid off. I might mention however that if the house was joint with survivorship then perhaps there is an argument that the house passed to you immediately upon his death and if the lien was filed after his death they actually have no claim to it and could only go after other assets in his estate (since the debt existed before he died but the lien was filed late). I would also explore the possibility that if it would benefit the estate or you financially, you attempt to negotiate the balance down in return for a quick lump sum payoff - otherwise the full amount of the lien with all accrued charges will have to be paid at closing. This assumes there is sufficient equity to cover the liabilities.

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  • How can my estate be closed if I have cosigned my stepson's mortgage?

    Will completed. No other debts

    Steven’s Answer

    You are saying that you are concerned about the treatment of a mortgage you are the co-singer on, upon your death? Typically the lender would have the option of going after your estate to satisfy the mortgage - technically your death is probably considered an event of default (read the note) so they have this right. In practice, if the co-borrower continues to pay on the mortgage the lender will probably have no issue with it. The issue is that if they are told of your death or he or someone else advises them and they wish to call it due they can...and perhaps even if your stepson wants to refinance/assign to his name alone they may or may not choose to do so. If the house that is the security interest has equity things are certainly going to be easier for any eventuality.

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  • Will I be able to sue

    Father is deceased n get asboso money suppose to have outside kids from his marriage. I told the law firm n sent paper showing proof (birth certificate) with his medical papers

    Steven’s Answer

    Your question is not clear. Try to repost or explain more...if you have an asbestos claim for your father there needs to be a personal injury attorney and if your father has died, an estate will have to be opened so that the estate is the party that is suing for the asbestos claim.

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  • Is it possible to close a special needs trust?

    I have had a special needs trust through Secured Futures and they only pay for my wants but not my needs. Which are bills such as lights, water,and etc. I have disability but that is not enough to get by and live comfortably. Is there any way that...

    Steven’s Answer

    You have to speak to /contact the trustee and determine what the trust says the monies can be used for. It is not really possible to answer this question without reviewing the trust or knowing more about the situation.

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  • Married filed separately, am I liable in the eyes of the IRS and the court for my soon to be ex-husband's personal taxes?

    I am in the middle of a divorce. My soon to be ex and I filed married filing separately on our taxes. I have paid for what I feel I am liable for, both the personal and the business taxes, and now he is asking that I agree to pay his personal taxe...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you are asking about how it relates to the divorce/settlement I cannot answer but I would ask your divorce attorney. As far as the IRS goes, married filing separately means it is separate and on separate accounts so the IRS would not come after you for his tax debts (which however doesn't mean that it doesn't effect you in some practical way or another).

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  • If you have a tax court case in the United States Tax Court and your case 004502-13 L what does the L means in tax court case?

    N/A

    Steven’s Answer

    From the internal revenue manual (IRM):

    35.1.3.3 (08-11-2004)
    Designation of Declaratory Judgment Cases; Cases under Sections 6015, 6110, 6330, 6404, and 7436

    The Tax Court identifies declaratory judgment cases by placing after the docket number a letter or descriptive designation of the category of declaratory judgment. A similar designation is used for certain other proceedings and for worker classification cases under section 7436.

    The Tax Court uses the following identification terms or letters:

    Section 6110 (Disclosure Actions) – D (with the prefix number next in order among all cases)

    Section 6330 (Collection Due Process Cases) – L

    Section 6404 (Interest Abatement Actions) – ABATEMENT

    Section 7428 (Exempt Organization Cases) – X

    Section 7436 (Worker Classification Cases) – EMPLOYMENT

    Section 7476 (Employee Plan Cases) – R

    Section 7478 (Governmental Obligation Actions) (Bonds) – B

    Section 7478 (Governmental Obligation Actions) (Bonds) – B

    Section 7478 (Governmental Obligation Actions) (Bonds) – B

    Rule 82 (Application to Take Deposition Prior to Commencement of Case) – D (with a single digit prefix, e.g., 1–02"D" )

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  • My mother needs to sell her house to help pay for her assisted living. Her husband who is on the deed does not want to sell.

    She added him to deed when they married.

    Steven’s Answer

    I would urge you strongly to sit down with an elder law attorney regarding this matter right away. There may be no need (and in fact it may be unwise) to sell the house at this time. The goal at this time should be to get her the care she needs but not unnecessarily divest the family of assets. Please know that this is a complex area of the law and you need an elder law specialist.

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