Michelle C. Berk’s Answers

Michelle C. Berk

Fort Washington Elder Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Must an estate always go through probate if it consists only of a checking and money market account?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Michelle C. Berk
    2. James Noel Voeller
    2 lawyer answers

    An account in joint names is a non-probate asset so probate is not required. If the $10,000 account was in his name alone either probate is required or an attorney can be hired to file a petition to distribute without probate whereby a judge's order authorizes distribution to the heirs without probate after payment of inheritance tax and any debts that are disclosed on the Petition to distribute the small estate. An individual can probate if named as executor, although if not, another executor...

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  2. My Mother of almost 80 is being used and abused and Brainwashed by my sister,and Family cause of a grudge against me?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Michelle C. Berk
    2. John Virdone
    2 lawyer answers

    there are many alternatives all of which involve using either an elder law attorney, elder mediation to resolve family issues with the help of a skilled, trained elder mediator, or a combination of the two. Your mother may lack capacity to make a Will and an evaluation should be made by a geriatric doctor or assessment in an elder health unit of a hospital or facility to assess her capacity to determine whether the Wills are even valid. You can the file to be appointed her guardian.

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  3. Must I probate a will if all that remains is money in a banking account and I have access to it via bank card and internet?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Michelle C. Berk
    2. Jan Matthew Tamanini
    2 lawyer answers

    You must be appointed executor to access the funds since the authority granted to an agent under a power of attorney dies with the principal. Once appointed executor you need to pay PA inheritance tax also. A 5% discount is available if inheritance tax is prepaid within 90 days of the date of death. Probate also affords you protection from creditors and also from your siblings if at some point they are not fine since it requires disclosure and following the mandated requirements of the Register...

  4. Dentist, did not call to get ok for veneers

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Kenny Kean Tan
    2. David Lee Rice
    3. Keeley Canning Luhnow
    4. Michelle C. Berk
    4 lawyer answers

    The District Attorney's Office may have an elder fraud unit.Also the county agency on aging may have a unit to investigate this as may a consumer protection advocacy group under governmental auspices and any of the foregoing may have enforcement or the ability to recover the charges or file a claim against the dentist.

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    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. My dad in on MediCal and in a skilled nursing facility. I was approaced by Hospice/VITAS and asked to sign a consent form for

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Victor Peter Obninsky
    2. Joseph Bernard Mchugh Jr
    3. Michelle C. Berk
    3 lawyer answers

    I suggest having a consultation with an elder law attorney to understand what the consent form entails and whether it is required, necessary or a scan to make you a "responsible party" as you suspect. Some county bar associations or area agencies on aging have low cost initial consultations.

  6. My dad is in a skilled nursing facility and on MediCal. Each month I send his share of cost to the facility from dad's checking

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Joseph Bernard Mchugh Jr
    2. David Lee Rice
    3. Michelle C. Berk
    3 lawyer answers

    Any transactions made under the power of attorney should have your signature and be identified as the power of attorney since you are not acting for yourself but as dad's agent and that should be disclosed. Medicaid estate recovery does not create a responsibility to repay out of your funds, only from dad's if there is a probate estate remaining after he dies. The power of attorney dies with the individual. You could be liable though if you converted his funds to your own use, which you did not...

  7. Can my sister, brother and myself prevent another brother from visiting our mother?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Brian E Barreira
    2. Christopher Joseph Fein
    3. Dan W. Armstrong
    4. Michelle C. Berk
    4 lawyer answers

    If your mother has some capacity since there are many degrees of cognition, she could execute a power of attorney whereby you could do whatever is needed for her health and wellbeing, including screening her visitors. If she lacks capacity to execute a power of attorney and an elder law attorney should be consulted to both determine that and to draft the document, both for finances and healthcare, you should retain an elder law attorney to pursue a guardianship whereby you will be appointed...

  8. SSA thinks i owe them over $14k??

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. David J. McCormick
    2. Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus
    3. Michelle C. Berk
    3 lawyer answers

    In order for you to prevail against SS once you appeal the overpayment, you must prove you you were not at fault and that also do not have the ability to repay the overpayment, both of which you can do hopefully, but first you must appeal the overpayment. On line forms are available however I suggest you hire SS counsel also since you will have an in office hearing. Michelle C. Berk

  9. Medicaid Rules

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus
    2. Michelle C. Berk
    2 lawyer answers

    If all the proceeds from the sale of the old house will be used to purchase the new house it should not result in a denial of benefits due to being over resourced. Proof consisting of the settlement sheets and your bank accounts should suffice. If there are excess proceeds they could be spent down on Medical bills or prepaying a funeral by purchasing and irrevocable burial cd, etc. I would consult a ny elder law attorney in your county. Michelle C. Berk