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Steven M Zelinger
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Steven Zelinger’s Answers

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  • Dads will had a cavert on it,settled . Papers were filed to state of NJ for tax in July . How long until disbursement of monies.

    The estate was under 700,000 . Cavert was settled July, cash is in the attorneys account since April . What is the normal wait time until money is dispersed ? If it's way under the high tax limits why do we need to hear back from the state tax dep...

    Steven’s Answer

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    From the time of filing of the NJ Inheritance and/or Estate tax return I typically expect 6-9 months for audit and issuance of the waivers (Form 0-1 which states the taxes are cleared). Once the executor has those in hand they can typically draft the accounting and release documents which can take a while depending on the complexity. Monies should not typically be dispersed until after the tax clearance and then release are signed so it seems like you may be jumping the gun a bit. But check with an attorney about the exact facts and if the executor can get a better answer for you.

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  • Was i beneficiary in my grandmothers will?

    To those of my children who survive me (a,b,c,d) and to those of my children who shall not survive me my estate shall be divided in equal shares per stirpes my father passed when i was very young but was not named in parenthesis this was the clau...

    Steven’s Answer

    This question is not very clear - take the will to a lawyer to have it reviewed to get an answer.

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  • Are trust attorneys fee's usually a percentage thats based on the trusts total estimated value and are they manditory?

    Are trust attorneys fee's usually a percentage thats based on the trusts total estimated value? Are trust attorneys even neccessary? How do I go about verifying a trusts monetary accountability and a POA's accountability?

    Steven’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys but I am actually a bit unclear exactly what you are asking - by that I mean are you asking about fees to draft estate planning documents such as trusts and if an attorney is necessary for that? IF so I agree that usually you'll get a flat fee and yes you need a lawyer unless you don't care about it that much or think you have the skills to do it as a non-lawyer (the old I'm not a mechanic or plumber argument).

    If you are inquiring about a trustee's fees (the fee the fiduciary is paid to act in that role) that is something else. A fiduciary is entitled to a fee and that is usually a percentage of assets in the trust (most states base the fee on the amount of principal and/or income in a given year). A trustee, whether just a layperson or an attorney, is also entitled to hire an attorney to represent their interests. Usually attorneys hired to do this are compensated hourly. Regarding accountability - certain interested parties (e.g. beneficiaries) are entitled to ask fiduciaries (such as agents under a POA, executors, trustees) for an accounting of the activity in the estate/trust.

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  • My father passed away last year, he had a policy with his job but did not list a beneficiary. how do I set up a estate?

    I have a sister that told his job that she does not want the money but I was told to have to establish and estate and let her know . I do not know the process of and estate.

    Steven’s Answer

    It sounds like you need a probate/estate administration attorney - depending on the size of the policy and the estate there could be varying levels of complexity to it. I would sit down with a lawyer who is in the area of the decedent's residence. You could also contact the probate court/office in the county where your father died and they may be able to give you some level of guidance.

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  • When can an underwater condo that is part of a trust estate be turned over to the bank that holds the mortgage?

    My brother died and left his son as trustee. There is a condo not selling, and worth the same or less than the mortgage. Can the trustee let this go into foreclosure before the entire trust is used up? Ps.if you don't understand my question, ...

    Steven’s Answer

    Assuming the trustee is properly appointed and acting they can deal with the bank at any time to work out how to deal with the property - short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure if that is best. If they let it go into foreclosure and expose other trust assets to the deficiency that could be a dereliction of their fiduciary duty.

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  • I AM CO EXECUTOR OF MY MOMS WILL SHE IS IN NURSING HOME NOW MY OTHER SISTER IS POWER OF ATTORNEY CAN I HAVE A KEY TO HOUSE

    MY SISTER SOLD STUFF FROM HOUSE PLUS HER TRUCK I JUST FOUND OUT SHE SOLD THINGS MY MOM HAD A STROKE I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE SHE IS DOING RIGHT THING AND IF SHE HAS RIGHT TO SELL STUFF OUT OF THE HOUSE

    Steven’s Answer

    If your mother is alive, the will does not mean anything yet (You are not the appointed executor and cannot be until she has passed and the court appoints you). If your sister is the agent under the power of attorney (alone) she is the only person who can act on mom's behalf but she still has a fiduciary duty as the agent to act in your mother's best interests. As a child you have the right to ask her to account for her actions to a court. I would advise speaking to your own lawyer as to how to proceed if you have concerns with her as the agent.

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  • How to get appoionted executor If those the will appointed cannot do it.

    Parents can't. Estate is in Arizona and we reside in Georgia. Have general power of Attorney for them.

    Steven’s Answer

    The power of attorney is only valid while someone is alive. If there is a will and none of the named executors (and backups) can serve, then those persons at the level most closely related to the decedent will have a right to serve as the Personal Representative of the estate.

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  • What happens to debt when you pass away

    Curious.. What happens to my debt if I were to pass away right now. Would my kids be left having to pay for all my credit card debt and loans with the bank? Or would they take what I owe from my life insurance policy before my family gets their sh...

    Steven’s Answer

    As a general premise your estate must be used to pay off your debts. Some assets are not subject to this but I would operate under the assumption that your debts will be paid off in full before your beneficiaries receive anything. If you have issues where you think there will be a problem after you pass you should really speak to an attorney about how to handle this. Having dealt with insolvent estates and those with little liquidity I can tell you it is difficult and daunting for the family.

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  • My Dad left my inheritance of his home in a supplemental benefits trust Does the trustee get a key?

    My Dad left his home that I inherited in a supplemental benefits trust for me. My aunt is the trustee and is being way too controlling. Does she legally have the right to have a key to my residence to walk in any time she wants. She is trustee of ...

    Steven’s Answer

    This sounds like a complicated situation - but generally a trustee has the right to secure and inspect trust property. The wrinkle here is that you control the other half. I would also want to know how that half is to be disposed of when that probate is completed. Also if there is a special needs trust I assume you may have some sort of disability or eligibility for needs based aid?

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  • Can you file taxes of the deceased?

    My mother passes 2 years ago as of may 2015 she was working up until she passed am I am legally her executive of estate am I able to file her taxes this year when I file my income taxes

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes if you are the executor you are in fact required to. I would highly recommend that you begin working with an attorney if you are trying to probate an estate in Virginia.

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