Stephen Wills Murphy’s Answers

Stephen Wills Murphy

Charlottesville Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 9
  1. What happens if the assets in a dynasty trust which are part of a real estate partnership are sold?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen Wills Murphy
    2. Harry N. Konst
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    That will depend on the language of the trust instrument and the language of the partnership agreement. As for the trust, under Virginia law the trustee must provide you with a copy when you request it. Usually, the proceeds will still be held for the benefit of the beneficiaries, but the instrument might state that the proceeds should be distributed to the beneficiaries. As for what happens to the partnership in the event of a sale, again, that will depend on the language of the...

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  2. If I have POA for my mother...when she dies does the money remaining in her accounts come to me tax free?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen Wills Murphy
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Robert E. Millsap III
    3 lawyer answers

    The first issue is not taxes. If you have a power of attorney, then you have a duty to only use those resources for her benefit. You cannot use a power of attorney to purchase something for yourself.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Is there any way I can bring legal action against my sister, wo is executor of my late Mothers estate?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen Wills Murphy
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. C L Huddleston III
    3 lawyer answers

    You should contact a local Ohio probate attorney. There may be a procedure that is less formal (and less expensive) as filing something through the court system. For example, in Virginia, beneficiaries are required to receive certain notice, and you could contact the Clerk of Court or the Commissioner of Accounts to make sure everything is proceeding properly with that notice. For further example, in Virginia a creditor of an estate can file a claim with the Commissioner of Accounts, which...

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  4. Mu uncle had a stroke. I am his full power of attorney. What do I need to do to begin conducting his business, financial,

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Evan H Farr
    2. Stephen Wills Murphy
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the above. As for when the POA takes effect, the language you are looking for is whether the POA states that it only takes effect upon his disability, or whether it "survives" disability (in which case it is in effect before and during any disability).

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  5. My sister died intestate.No direct relatives except for me. Do I need a lawyer or should I let the probate process handle it.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen Wills Murphy
    2. C Steven Moskos
    3. Ian Andrew Taylor
    4. William Frederick Bratt
    5. Evan Kyle Guthrie
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    You need to contact a probate attorney and/or the clerk's office. This process does not happen by itself; that is, you probably cannot just "let the probate process handle it." If you are the only relative, then you should try to qualify as the "administrator" of the estate -- that is, the person who collects her property, manages it, and distributes it to the beneficiaries. Usually, if there is just one beneficiary, then the clerk's office will prefer to name that person as beneficiary....

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  6. My gmo's niece had a number of large cd's changed from my dad's name to her own as beneficiary. What can be done?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Marcos P Martinez
    3. Stephen Wills Murphy
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with James' response. I only emphasize the difficulty of proving that the CD's were changed when your grandmother lacked capacity or as a result of undue influence. In many states, the same rules apply to undoing a gift or change in a beneficiary designation, as apply to contesting a Will. But ironically, in the case of a gift or change in a beneficiary designation, there is less evidence of the circumstances of the transaction, which ironically often works against the person who is...

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  7. I have an aging mother, 85, and need advice on where to start in helping her get her life in order. Power of Attorney paperwork

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen Wills Murphy
    2. Robert M. Gardner Jr.
    3. Lisa L Fiance
    4. James P. Frederick
    4 lawyer answers

    The three documents your mother needs to start are (1) a Durable Power of Attorney, to empower someone to manage her affairs while she is alive; (2) an Advance Medical Directive or Living Will, to empower someone to make health care decisions for her; and (3) a Last Will and Testament, to convey her property when she passes away. Keep in mind that she can only execute these documents if she has legal capacity. If there is any doubt about legal capacity, it is best to be transparent about...

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  8. I want to know if I could be responsible for the bills my estranged wife made now that she has passed away. I'm in PA, her VA

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. John B. Whalen Jr.
    2. Brian Edward Sipe
    3. Stephen M Trezza
    4. Stephen Wills Murphy
    4 lawyer answers

    Because you are still formally married, then under Virginia law you have certain rights to a portion of your wife's assets. And I agree with the other answers -- you need more information to determine if you could be on the hook for her debts. You should call my office immediately to review those rights. My office is in Virginia, and my email address is swm@stlawva.com, and my office number is (434) 296-7138. I will not charge you for this consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.

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  9. Does a bank record overturn a living will

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Stephen Wills Murphy
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    This question depends on the specific facts. You should get a record of the bank's signature card and other account information, and then contact a California estate planning attorney to interpret those documents. But generally, a bank's designation of Payable on Death trumps a Will. A Will only governs property that is not otherwise disposed of by its own terms. In this case, if the bank account names your brother as the payable on death beneficiary, then the Will has no control over...

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  10. What steps can be taken to protect the estate of a person recently admitted to a nursing home?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Dana P. Shaffner
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    3. Stephen Wills Murphy
    4. Matthew Erik Johnson
    5. James P. Frederick
    5 lawyer answers

    If there are issues of forgery and other misconduct, then you should also take steps to make sure that her original documents are kept safe from alterations. You can consider filing her Will, Power of Attorney, and other documents with a third-party repository. The one I work with is the National Will Repository, available here: http://nationalwillrepository.com.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer