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Scott James Golightly

Scott Golightly’s Answers

105 total


  • With 3 beneficiaries, who is in control of the real property after probate is over and all is free and clear?

    Probate has been over for more than a year. My sibling has managed the property since probate started and still does long after it's over. We let her keep ALL income with the stipulation that Taxes, Insurance and maintenance is handled by her. She...

    Scott’s Answer

    If probate has indeed been closed, then the executor has no more authority. He or she is done.

    It sounds like the 3 of you are tenants in common, each with an undivided 1/3 interest in the property. So, EACH of you will need to agree on the handling of the property. That is, to sell it, all of you will have to sign the deed of sale. If there is an unwilling sib, those wanting to sell may need to pay him or her some money to cash them out of this asset. If that does not work, and 2 still want to sell, then a "partition suit" is the answer. That is when the court gets involved, values the property, oversees the sale, and splits the proceeds. That was is not preferred due to time delays and costs.

    Good luck.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • What forms does the recorders office need to revoke a living trust?

    I have a notarized copy of revocation of trust but at the county office they said we needed other forms What other forms?

    Scott’s Answer

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    In my state (VA), living trusts are generally NOT recorded in the courthouse unless there is a real estate transaction involved. I suspect you may be dealing with some real estate issue, and the court is requiring additional documentation to clear up a title issue.

    If you post a follow up question with more detail on your goal, that may help you get a better answer.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • Someone obtained a POA from my Aunt while she is the ICU . Can she get a CD my Aunt has me as the beneficuary upon her death?

    My Aunt is not in stable condition and is hearing impaired and 89 years old. I dont think she realized what she was signing. I live in CT and they live in Fla. Can she go to the bank and get the CD and remove my name on it? Is there anything I ca...

    Scott’s Answer

    Whether the agent has authority to change a beneficiary designation is likely to be spelled out in the POA itself. If that power is not expressly spelled out, the agent may have a hard time making this change.

    You can call the bank with the CD. Explain your concern. This will put them on notice of a potential issue, which may keep them from making any change on their own. Banks are very conservative. If a change is made to this CD, you may be able to challenge it in court. Doing so, however, will require you hire a lawyer and initiate litigation, which will be expensive and emotional.

    I would call the bank right away.

    Good luck.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • Should I pursue settlement or wait to see if they submit the bill of particulars and proceed with the case?

    I went to court today for a warrant in debt for a past credit card. When asked by the judge if I agreed with the debt, I said I didn't know because I had not seen the plaintiff's documentation. The plaintiff asked to move the case to trial. The ju...

    Scott’s Answer

    If the defendant disputes the debt, the judge almost always orders "pleadings." For the plaintiff, the pleading is called a "bill of particulars." The defendant has several different responses available -- usually a "grounds of defense." If the bill of particulars is insufficient in some way, it's the defendant's job to point that out in the responsive pleading. There is really no automatic dismissal of a bill of particulars for failure to provide proper documentation.

    As for settling, this is a personal decision. Once you get the bill of particulars, you will have a better idea of what you're up against. If you see exposure, try to get out of it with a reasonable settlement. If you feel you have a strong defense, press it in court.

    Best of luck,

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • I am selling my condominium, but the property management company says I can't sell to an investor, is that legal?

    I've had my condo on the market for the last several weeks. So far, the only good offer I've had was from someone who wanted to buy it to rent it out. When my agent called the mgmt company to get information about what needed to be in the contract...

    Scott’s Answer

    Read the condo declaration and bylaws carefully. Almost every set of these I have seen do spell out a limit on rental units -- sometimes no more than 50% rental allowed. If such a restriction is not in the declaration or bylaws, you need to be sure this is not dealt with in the Virginia Condo act. (I can't recall.) The condo act has a lot of default rules that kick in if the actual condo documents are silent on an issue. If you don't get anywhere with the management group, you probably should consult a real estate lawyer in your area.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • If a parent dies are you responsible for their debts and paying back their loans?

    My father passed away after taking a loan out on his house. I just found out that since I am his only child and he was only married to his wife for two days that the house is mine. If i decide to keep his house will I have to pay back his loan or ...

    Scott’s Answer

    The house was almost certainly collateral for the loan. The lender may also have a claim against your father's estate for any deficiency. Simply put, if the debt does not get paid, the house will get foreclosed upon. If you want to keep the house, you are going to have to deal with any estate issues (that is, any other claims on this asset) and perhaps assume the loan or refinance.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • Does a Motion for Nonsuit in Richmond Circuit Court have to be endorsed by both parties?

    I am informed the usual practice is to have it signed by both parties . . . but if it is not, can the party opposite the motion simply file a reply saying that it is unopposed?

    Scott’s Answer

    A "motion" is usually only made and signed by one party -- the "moving" party. In your case, the moving party wants a nonsuit. An "order" spells out how the judge rules on the motion. Orders need to be signed by all parties or their lawyers -- either as "seen and agreed" or "seen and objected to."

    If all parties agree in advance to a nonsuit, you can likely submit a "sketch" order to the judge, which must be signed and "agreed" by all parties or counsel. Judges routinely simply endorse orders signed and agreed by all parties without need for a hearing.

    Hope that helps.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • In Phoenix, arizona, where do I go to view the will of my deseaced father?

    My father passed in 2002 and I have never been able to view his will. I am sure my mother was the executor but she gets angry when the matter is brought up. I just want to look at it and see if he said anything about myself or my sister. I have...

    Scott’s Answer

    If the will was probated when your father passed away, a copy should be recorded in the will book in the court located in Phoenix. State laws do vary, but probate usually occurs in the court where a deceased person had their last residence. I'm not sure how cities and/or counties are set up in AZ.

    Depending on the nature of your father's assets when he passed, his will may not have been probated. Probate usually only deals with things a person owns in his or her own name alone. If your father owned assets jointly with others (likely your mother), those assets don't get probated. Likewise for things where a beneficiary was chosen or a payable on death designation was made.

    Good luck.

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • How can i obtain my deceased fathers will?

    my dad passed in 1995 and my brother is the executor. he didnt read the will to any of us and now states he doesnt have it

    Scott’s Answer

    If the will was probated, the clerk of the court where your late father was living when he passed away should have the will on file. The probate process requires the will be recorded for notice purposes. You should be able to call the clerk's office and learn about that.

    If the will was not probated, the court won't have a copy of it. In that case, you may never find it. If you can learn the name of the lawyer that drafted it, perhaps you may call him or her to see if they can provide you with a copy.

    Contrary to what we see in the movies, there is usually no requirement that the executor actually read the will.

    Best of luck!

    Scott Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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  • What can i do after finding out what happened to a stolen money order ?

    I dropped my rental payment money order in the office drop box,and was told it was not recieved. I put a track on it and recieved a copy of the cashed and tampered with very easy to notice. There is a first and last name, and the banks stamp was o...

    Scott’s Answer

    You should call the local Commonwealth Attorney's Office. They investigate and can prosecute this matter.

    Best regards,

    Scott J. Golightly
    www.golightlylaw.com

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