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Ellen A. Victor

Ellen Victor’s Answers

203 total


  • Whose name does title company search for the sale of and inherited house?

    My friend inherited a home along with her 2 sisters. The home was in her father's name when he passed. They plan on selling the home. My friend has judgements against her. She has nothing in her name so the judgements are uncollected but regis...

    Ellen’s Answer

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    The title company will search the heirs whether it is an estate sale or not. Having testamentary letters will be much cleaner for the title company and some may insist on it.

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  • CouId the beneficiary of a 3rd pty special needs trust live in a trust owned home if they paid rent without a benefit reduction?

    A SNT owns a home residence given to the trust by the parent of the disabled sole beneficiary of the trust. If the beneficiary lives in the home and pays rent or household expenses like taxes, etc., could they pay the rent/expenses with their SSI...

    Ellen’s Answer

    If the SNT owns the home, then if the beneficiary lives in the home, the SSI benefits will be reduced by approximately $230. As to whether the reduction would be worth it, can the beneficiary live somewhere else for less than $230/month?

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • What document(s) would I need to detail ownership of an INC?

    I've just incorporated my small business and was wonder what documents I need to detail the ownership % of the company and job responsibilities? I know for an LLC I would use an operating agreement. Is there something similar for an INC? How do ...

    Ellen’s Answer

    While it is not really equivalent to an operating agreement, you need bylaws and stock certificates. Job responsibilities are not part of the bylaws usually. Perhaps you need a written policy for that.

    If you own the company with another person or persons, you should use a buy/sell agreement.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Can I put a home into a special needs trust?

    My mom wants to give her home to my disabled brother who is receiving government benefits. Would having a special needs trust own the home and have my brother as the beneficiary of the trust be the way to go? Is there a better way to do this? My m...

    Ellen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There are benefits to both having the home owned by the special needs trust, or for your brother directly owning the home. In either case, his SSI will be reduced by several hundred dollars. The SSI is supposed to pay for food and shelter so if he receives shelter already, the SSI will be reduced. Nevertheless, with the cost of the housing market in Bellmore, this is usually a very good deal.

    Additionally, if your mom were to need benefits, she could give her home to a disabled child without having to sign it over to Medicaid. You should see a qualified local elder law/special needs attorney. You might want to visit my blog at www.longislandspecialneedslawyer.com

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • How can my mother leave her residence to my disabled brother without affecting his benefits?

    My 92 year old mom wants to leave me and my brother her estate which includes two homes: I live in the AZ home and my brother lives with my mom in the NY home. He has a psychiatric disorder, cares for himself and for my mom to some extent and I t...

    Ellen’s Answer

    I am a Long Island New York attorney who focuses on special needs trusts in just these sorts of situations. You can visit my blog at www.longislandspecialneedslawyer.com. There is a lot of good information there.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I am on SSD SSI Section 8 and I want to know if a special needs trust will effect these and how, and what I can do about it

    see above

    Ellen’s Answer

    Yes, establishing a special needs trust will affect these benefits. Both SSI and Section 8 housing have very complex rules as to how they will treat funds placed into an SNT. The probability is that you are also on Medicaid. It will depend on whether you are over or under 65, where the money you want to be placed into the special needs trust came from, and how long you have held the money.

    You should contact a local elder attorney who specializes in special needs trusts. Feel free to look at my website for more information about these trusts. www.longislandspecialneedslawyer.com

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • My mother has dementia, rheumatoid arthritis which prevents her from being able to sign financial papers.Can Dad sign for her?

    Both parents are in their 80's and my Dad takes care of mother. Neither one has signed a power of attorney in the past. Can mother be declared mentally incompetent?

    Ellen’s Answer

    The dementia and the rheumatoid arthritis are two different issues. If she is unable to sign because of the arthritis, that is a physical handicap. Under certain circumstances she may be able to sign her name with an "X." If the dementia prevents her from signing financial documents and there is no power of attorney, then your father or another capable person may need to go to court to establish a guardianship over your mother's financial and/or personal affairs.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Can a mentally disabled person take ownership of a property due to certain circumstances?

    Just recently my mother had passed away from a long illness. She has her house in her name. She willed it to me if something should have happened. I currently owe the IRS a lot of money. I have a tax lien as well. If I took delivery on my mom's ho...

    Ellen’s Answer

    You may end up causing difficulties for your brother too. If he is disabled and receiving SSI and/or Medicaid benefits, an inheritance could cause him to lose those benefits.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • If I put stocks and mut funds in irrevoc trust do reinv gains/div have to be paid out at some time? Is there $ limit for it?

    I'm considering setting one up as my parents 80 yrs old have $1.1million in assets. They live comfortable on their SS and pensions in a senior apt. and fairly healthy (tho father has beginnings of alheimers). We're trying to protect their assets...

    Ellen’s Answer

    Your parents should see an elder law attorney to explain the pros and cons of setting up an irrevocable trust. It would depend on their purposes as to whether income should be paid to them. For Medicaid purposes however, Medicaid may deem certain income as income received whether the grantor of the trust actually receives that income or not. This is especially complex where annuities are involved. Additionally, should they apply for Medicaid within five years, those assets will create a penalty period of ineligibility.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • If married under 6 months and one passes away and is not named in the will but prenup gives Life tenancy in NY>

    My mother passed away, she married her divorce lawyer 5 months before she dies. He wrote the prenup which gave himself life tenancy. My sister and I want him out of the house. If we negate the prenup can he contest the will that he is not named in...

    Ellen’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. While you might very well have grounds to contest the prenuptial agreement, the result of that would be that New York's right of election would kick in. This would entitle her husband to 1/3 of her estate or $50,000.00, whichever is greater. There would be no need for a will contest. Although I have not seem the prenuptial agreement, it sounds as if he gave up his rights to 1/3 of your mother's estate in return for a life tenancy.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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