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Doris Jordan Wiggen

Doris Wiggen’s Answers

34 total

  • If there is a will leaving everything to the spouse does it need to go through probate court?

    The house are in both of their names. The cars are in the surviving spouses name. There are no mortages or loans. The only bills are utlities, insurance, property taxes. There are hospital bills, but they all should be taken care of through medi...

    Doris’s Answer

    North Carolina does have Tenancy by the Entireties for real estate owned by spouses. At the death of one spouse, the property passes automatically to the surviving spouse. If the bank accounts are joint with right of survivorship they will pass outside of probate to the joint owner as well. As for the cars, if they are only in the name of the surviving spouse, you do not need to do anything. However, if the titles are in both spouse's names, but do not specifically state that ownership is joint with right of survivorship or JWROS, then it is treated as though the surviving spouse owns 1/2 the car and the decedent's estate owns the other 1/2. In that case, you may need to do a small administration to transfer the 1/2 interest to the surviving spouse. DMV may also allow you to do an a heir's affidavit to pass the 1/2 interest to the surviving spouse, which may allow you to avoid probate. If the surviving spouse has any concerns about debts of the decedent, the best way to cut off creditors is to do a full estate administration and publish a notice to creditors, allowing 90 days for any creditors to submit their claims.

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  • Medicaid Estate Recovery

    Grandfather passed 11/11/09 My mother his daughter lives in his home due to hers is inhabitalble. Medicaid is stating the estate owes 55,000.00. My mother has no money to pay this and wonders if she will lose his home the one she currently lives i...

    Doris’s Answer

    Your mother should meet with an elder law attorney right away to see if she qualifies for an undue hardship claim. Depending on your mother's income level and how long she has been living in your grandfather's home, medicaid may be willing to waive the estate recovery claim. There is a time limit on submitting the claim so she should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.

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  • Who is responsible for State Taxes of Deceased?

    My father in law died and as executor my wife is setting up payments through probate. We're getting mixed signals on who to pay first. If we choose to pay outstanding bills and run out funds, who is responsible for the deceased state taxes afterwa...

    Doris’s Answer

    North Carolina law dictates who gets paid and in what order in an estate. North Carolina's general statutes are available online. The statute you need is NCGS 28A-19-6. This statute tells you the order in which you should pay claims. I am attaching a link to the specific statute for you. If you have any trouble understanding the statute and your responsibilities for paying claims of the estate, you should seek the advice of an attorney who practices in the area of estate administration and probate before paying any claims.

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  • I am a 73 yr old recently widowed and would like to gift my property to one of my children.

    I had a heart attack two years ago and am on medicare and the bill was 90,000 can I legally give the land or is medicare able to receive payment from my land when I pass.

    Doris’s Answer

    The answer to your question is state specific and I highly recommend that you speak with an elder law attorney in your state before you transfer any property. I think you may be confusing Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is the Federal health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older and for certain disabled Americans. Medicaid provides health care coverage for some low-income people who cannot afford it. This includes people who are eligible because they are aged, blind, or disabled or certain people in families with dependent children. Because Medicaid is a program for low-income people, there are certain restrictions on how much property you can own. These restrictions can be different from state to state. If you give away your property and do not receive anything in return, you may be penalized by medicaid. This means you would not receive medicaid benefits for some period of time based on the value of the property you gave away. Also, if you are receiving Medicaid, your land may be subject to estate recovery at your death, which means that the land may need to be sold in order to pay back medicaid for any benefits you received during your lifetime. An experienced elder law attorney in your state can advise you whether there are ways to protect your land from estate recovery.

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