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Loraine M. DiSalvo
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Loraine DiSalvo’s Answers

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  • Do my deceased fathers brothers have any claim to his personal belongings? His will left everything to wife and daughter.

    Father passed away in GA 3 years ago with a will naming wife and only daughter as heirs to his property and belongings. Now, 3 years later, his 3 younger brothers are asking us for certain family items my father has had for 40+ years and left to w...

    Loraine’s Answer

    The only possible argument your father's brothers could make would be that he wasn't really the only owner of the assets in question. If your father had exclusive and sole possession of the assets for more than 40 years, however, that's a very doubtful claim. You said there are no documents regarding ownership, which also means that any such claim regarding ownership would really not be provable. So no, it does not sound like the brothers have any actual claim to the items. I agree with the first answer: having an attorney contact them and explain that they need to leave it alone may help. If the harrassment is serious, you may also be able to seek help from the police.

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  • Do I need to close a probated will/estate account?

    I'm executor of my deceased husband's will that was probated 3 years ago in GA in solemn form. Do I need to worry with closing the estate with the probate court? Are there any pros/cons? I didn't know if the estate is still open if anyone could st...

    Loraine’s Answer

    You are not required by state law to formally close the estate. However, if you are subject to any requirement to post a bond or file inventories and report, you need to formally close the estate in order to turn off those requirements. If you leave the estate open, it will eventually close by operation of law. Until it does, you are still the executor and still have the power and obligation to deal with any estate-related issues that come up. This can be a good thing in some cases, such as if an undiscovered asset turns up after you thought you were done (it happens). In many cases, it's not necessarily good or bad. If the estate was insolvent (i.e., there are unpaid creditors), then it becomes more important for you to both close the estate and seek a formal discharge from liability as executor as part of that process. Solemn form probate means that no one can now challenge the Will, but unpaid creditors can still come forward and try to get paid. Most of my clients who are executors of solvent estates (where no debts or beneficiaries remain unpaid) do not formally close the estates. Instead, we notify the probate court as a courtesy that the estate administration has been completed but no petition for discharge will be filed. You can file one later if desired but the estate is not formally closed. The clients who formally close the estates are usually those who are dealing with insolvent estates or ones where there was some dispute. You should ideally be working with a probate attorney on the estate administration and probate; the attorney should be able to help you decide whether or not you need to close the estate based on the actual facts of your matter. That's not something that can be done in this kind of forum.

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  • Can a credit card company come after a house that is paid for

    my mom and dad has passed away and mom didn't have a will. i am now the next in line to inherit the home. can my moms credit card companies come and take money out of the house?

    Loraine’s Answer

    If the house is in your mother's name, then the house became part of her probate estate and is subject to being used to pay her creditors along with any other assets she had, before the heirs can keep it. So the generally answer is yes, the house is subject to the credit card debt. You should ideally consult a probate attorney to determine what needs to be done and how best to handle it. Be aware: if your dad had an interest in the house and it didn't transfer automatically to your mom at his death (that is controlled by the deed and how they actually held title), you may also need to deal with his probate estate to clear title to the house.

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  • Can you create a warranty deed to add my name to a deed to a property?

    My mother passed away without a will and no other sibling contests my claim to the house. the only problem is she never got around to putting my name on the deed to the house while she was still alive. I need to get this done sooner than later. I ...

    Loraine’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am sorry for your loss. If your mother's name was the only one on the deed and she died without a Will, however, then right now you and all of her other heirs automatically received interests in the house. The best thing for you to do is to seek appointment as Administrator of her estate so that the estate can be dealt with properly. This will help you free the house of any debts or other claims against your mother's estate. If your siblings and all other heirs (if there are other heirs: your mother's spouse, if any, and the children of any siblings you may have had who predeceased your mother would be heirs as well as you and your living siblings) are willing to work with you, and the house does not need to be sold to repay debts and expenses, then you should be eventually able to have the house transferred to you by buying out the other heirs or having them make gifts to you. Disclaimers may also be possible, but these are tricky and have to be done within 9 months after your mother's death. When I say tricky one thing I mean is that, if a sibling disclaimed but has children of his or her own, that sibling's interest in the property won't pass to you, it will pass to the children of the disclaiming sibling as if that person died before your mother.

    As for your requests for someone to help you with the matter: first, as the first respondent stated, Avvo's rules do not allow the attorneys to solicit business this way. You'll need to try to find one; using the Find a Lawyer tool should help you in doing so. As for the fixed fee request: you may find someone to do this on a fixed fee basis for you, but I wouldn't do so and I suspect many other attorneys won't, either. I've never done probate work on a fixed fee basis because no two probate matters have ever been similar enough for me to be able to feel comfortable estimating a fixed fee that would be neither too large nor too small for the actual work required. My suggestion would be that, instead of seeking a fixed fee, you try to find an attorney who will help you do what needs doing but let you do as much as possible on your own, with guidance, instead of doing everything for you. That can help ensure that you get good advice while still keeping fees down.

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  • How can I get a copy of my mothers will

    my sister is executer of my mothers will. the will has gone to probate. i would like a copy of the will as i am an heir.

    Loraine’s Answer

    Your sister should have given you a copy when she asked you to sign the probate petition. You should not have consented if she didn't. But if you can't get a copy from her, call or go to the probate court and get a copy. You can also get a copy of anything else in the file.

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  • Can I claim anything right now?

    My father died years ago. When we got into the the place where the estates etc where to be revealed, our mother told my sister and I to refuse to get anythg of his goods. At the time we were minors and followed her idea. Today I live in Atlanta ca...

    Loraine’s Answer

    Unfortunately, if your father died in Ivory Coast and had no US contacts, that country's law will likely be what applies. You should contact a lawyer in Ivory Coast and ask this question. You might happen across a US attorney with that knowledge on Avvo, but it certainly wouldn't be the first place I would look.

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  • What can I do if an executor of a person's will does not do his job?

    My mother died over 2 years and she made my middle brother the executor of her wiil, but he has not fulfilled his duties as of yet. Every time one of by siblings contact him, him seems to be avoiding us He continues to break his promises. The onl...

    Loraine’s Answer

    You hire a probate litigator, and you take him to the probate court. If he was actually appointed as the Executor, force him to give an accounting and/or seek to have him removed. If he never even offered the Will for probate, force him to produce the Will and then someone else can offer it for probate and seek appointment as Executor. If he has taken estate assets, seek to force him to give them back. It will be an uphill battle, but unfortunately if an appointed Executor fails to do his job correctly, those are your options.

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  • WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR TEN YEARS AND AM AFRAID MY HUSBAND MAY NOT HAVE ME IN HIS WILL. HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF..

    HOW CAN I PROTECT MY SELF UPON HIS DEATH. I AM AFRAID THAT HIS SON WILL TAKE EVERYTHING AND LEAVE OUT IN THE COLD

    Loraine’s Answer

    If your husband had a Will in place before you got married, if it didn't contemplate his getting married after the Will was executed, and if he hasn't updated it, then you might be considered a "pretermitted spouse" if he dies before you. In that case, you would be entitled to an equal share of his probate estate. You will also be entitled to receive (1) any assets controlled by a beneficiary designation under which your husband has designated you as the beneficiary (this would normally include life insurance and tax-deferred savings such as IRA accounts, but can also include normal bank or brokerage accounts and individual securities such as bonds or stocks) and (2) any assets you and your husband own jointly, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, if there are no other owners (a joint bank or brokerage account is normally owned as joint tenants automatically, real estate, such as a house, normally must include words on the deed to the property specifically stating that a joint tenancy is intended, otherwise the real estate won't be held in joint tenancy in Georgia and the property will not automatically transfer to the surviving owner). Finally, if your husband has a Will that specifically and intentionally fails to include you as a beneficiary, you have some options for trying to take assets from his probate estate. You could try to challenge the Will as being the product of undue influence by the son (or someone else), or you could try to say that your husband was not mentally competent to make the Will, or that the Will was not executed correctly. Those claims would require specific facts and don't guarantee you anything. You, as surviving spouse, would also be entitled to make a claim for a year's support from the probate estate. If the son, and any other heirs or beneficiaries don't like the amount you are trying to get (which can be the entire estate), they would have to try to challenge that amount. However, if your husband really wants to disinherit you, and he gets advice on how to do so, he will try to keep assets from becoming part of his probate estate at all, to minimize your ability to easily make and enforce a year's support claim.

    The best way to protect yourself if your husband dies is to get him to take steps to protect you. He can make appropriate estate planning documents, name you as beneficiary or joint owner on assets, take out a life insurance policy on his life for your benefit (or let you take one out on his life), and take other steps. You can even try to get a postnuptial agreement under which he agrees to provide you with specific benefits. But you can't force him to provide for you after his death if he doesn't want to. The next best thing for you to do if he's not willing to protect you in the event of his death might be to take steps to protect yourself. That could mean getting a divorce and getting some assets from him now, making sure you have employment and income prospects to fall back on and providing your own income and assets, or taking similar steps.

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  • My nephew, niece was murdered in 2009 and he just got a letter from a bank, saying that the money in bank would go to state

    we want to know how we can get it so we can give their kids the money

    Loraine’s Answer

    I agree with the first answer: it sounds like either no one administered the estate, or that, if someone did administer the estate, this account got overlooked. The best way to stop it is for someone to open (or reopen) the estate of the deceased account holder. Contact the bank as soon as possible to tell them what the situation is and ask them to hold off on turning over any funds to the state for a while longer. I would suggest getting the help of a good probate attorney.

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  • How long will it take to form an revocable trust for and inheritance in the state of Georgia and is court filing required ?

    none

    Loraine’s Answer

    Creating a revocable trust in Georgia just requires preparing and signing a trust agreement. How long that takes depends on a lot of factors, but in general it's not that complicated a process. Consult a good estate planning attorney who can help you consider whether a revocable trust is really needed or desirable, and can also help you ensure that you're covering all the other estate planning bases.

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