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Loraine M. DiSalvo
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Loraine DiSalvo’s Answers

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  • My late husband's daughter is trying to claim a commercial truck that he and I owned. what is the valitity of her claim?

    title is in mine and his name

    Loraine’s Answer

    If your husband and you were both owners listed on the title, his 1/2 of the truck may have become part of his probate estate. The normal rule in Georgia is that a vehicle is owned by joint owners as tenants in common, which does not automatically transfer ownership to the surviving owner when one dies. Now, if the title actually says that you own it as joint tenants (or jt ten, or jtwros, or something similar), then his interest in the truck should have automatically passed to you. If it didn't, however, then you need to figure out how to deal with his interest in his estate.

    If he had a Will that leaves his assets (or at least the truck) to you, then you should be able to probate the Will and get the truck transferred to yourself that way, assuming the Will is valid and you get it admitted to probate. If he didn't have a Will, then his daughter, along with you and his other children, if any, each have some potential rights to his 1/2 of the truck, as his heirs. As the surviving spouse, if it hasn't been more than 2 years, you may be able to make a year's support claim and take his interest in the truck, along with other assets, if desired, even if he has a Will that does not leave the truck to you.

    The best advice I can give you is to take the title and other information about the estate to an attorney and get an estate consultation. The attorney can help you figure out the exact situation you have and what your options are for dealing with the situation. Without more information, it's not possible to tell exactly what rights his daughter may have with regard to the truck or anything else.

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  • Do I have the legal right to ask the executor for a will copy and an accounting of the estate?

    My mother passed away 2 years ago. My brother (executor) put the will into probate 1 year later. The last information he gave over a year ago was that he was leaving mutual funds and investments in the stock market to grow. He has not responded t...

    Loraine’s Answer

    Yes, you have the right to request an accounting of the estate, and you should have been given a copy of the Will long before it was actually admitted to probate. (You should be able to get a copy of the Will and the probate file directly from the probate court, however.) Many executors misunderstand and think that because they are not required to file inventories or reports with the probate court (it is common in Georgia to waive those requirements in a Will), that they don't have to inform the beneficiaries. That is a misunderstanding. In other states, you can't even always waive the requirement to file with the court; if this estate is in one of those states then he doesn't even have that excuse not to have provided information to you already. Usually, beneficiaries should receive an annual update if the estate is open for more than 1 year.

    The best advice I can give you at this point, given that you say your brother has failed to respond to inquiries already, is for you to find an attorney in the state where the probate is taking place and have the attorney contact your brother. That may produce the information you seek. If not, you may have to take him to court and have him forced to provide the information, or even removed, if he's not doing his job. Best wishes to you.

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  • How to get appoionted executor If those the will appointed cannot do it.

    Parents can't. Estate is in Arizona and we reside in Georgia. Have general power of Attorney for them.

    Loraine’s Answer

    Where is the Will being probated and who died? Those factors affect the answer.

    In Georgia, if a deceased Georgia domiciliary has a Will that appoints Executors, but none of those Executors are able to serve, then someone else can generally offer the Will for probate and ask to be appointed as the Administrator C.T.A. for the estate. This is essentially a Petition to Probate Will and for Appointment of An Administrator With the Will Annexed. It's not a do-it-yourself process, ideally.

    However, because it appears from your question that this is an Arizona estate, you will need to talk to an Arizona attorney for help, because Arizona is likely different from Georgia in how this works.

    A general power of attorney will not necessarily help in this case, even if your parents are the appointed Executors, although you might be able to use the Power of Attorney to sign a probate petition on behalf of the parent who is an heir if he or she is incompetent and can't sign for himself or herself. Again, you really need to get the advice of an actual Arizona probate attorney in this case. I'd suggest finding one and calling the attorney directly, but if you want to try this forum again try using an Arizona location so it won't post to Georgia attorneys.

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  • How reliable are the do-it-yourself will kits?

    My husband and I have both been married before and have grown children from our previous unions. We have no children together. We do not have a lot: Our modest home, an antique car, and two WWII jeeps. Some cash - all valued about 180,000 total....

    Loraine’s Answer

    Do-it-yourself Wills can be better than nothing, IF they are very carefully prepared AND executed correctly. But those are very big IFs, and in most cases I've seen do-it-yourself Wills can be WORSE than nothing. You have a complicated situation just by virtue of the blended family, even if your assets aren't great in value. I join the other respondents in urging you to get a consultation with a good estate planning attorney, and letting an attorney help you with developing and implementing your estate plan. That should actually include not only Wills, but also coordinated asset titles and beneficiary designations, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives for Health Care. Depending on a number of factors, revocable trusts may also be a desirable part of your plan. But you won't know without getting someone to actually look at your overall situation and ask the questions you may not even think of.

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  • What are the steps to probate a will in Georgia?

    I know every case is different, but would there be any kind of guidelines to probating a will? This instance no heirs contest the will.

    Loraine’s Answer

    You can look at gaprobate.org for information about probating Wills and dealing with decedents' estates in Georgia. Even if no heirs are contesting, that doesn't mean that it will be a simple process, and the help of an attorney, even if it's just a quick consultation for specific advice before you start the process, can be invaluable in helping you minimize the costs and hassles involved. But the gaprobate.org website has good information, including a handbook for personal representatives (executors and administrators) and the standard forms that are used to offer Wills for probate, among other probate court tasks.

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  • I want to make a will, but is it safe to do online thru legalzoom?

    I hve been married to my wife for 35 years. My wife and I share interest in our home. Can my previous wife or children interfere with my will. most all my prior children are grandparents now but I want to make sure my wife has no proble...

    Loraine’s Answer

    I strongly agree with Mr. Lipshutz: there's no way for anyone on this forum to be able to know whether a LegalZoom will would be adequate for your situation. There are just way too many variables. I have seen LegalZoom wills that were likely better than nothing, and I have seen others that for one or more reasons were likely WORSE than nothing. You also have a very common but often difficult to address situation, with the blended family you describe. Please do yourself, your wife, and your children a favor, and get the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. It may be that a Will is a good idea; you may also want to take other steps to protect your desired plan and your loved ones. That all depends on what you have, what you want to have happen, and a whole lot of other factors.

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  • My aunt passed away friday her sister is her next of kin no husband no kids she just paid off her house. So rhe house is hers rt

    Her friends have the kids to the house and will not turn them over to her. There is not a will. What can she do about gettin the locks changed and haveing access to her sisters stuff does she need a lawyer

    Loraine’s Answer

    Your aunt's sister (your mother?) likely is the owner of the property, yes, given the facts as you state them, but in order to enforce her rights the best course is for her to open your aunt's estate and get appointed as the Administrator. Until then, she is going to have a hard time proving that she is the actual owner of the property. And yes, I would very strongly advise her to hire an attorney to help. There are a lot of potential pitfalls in administering an estate, and if she doesn't get good advice before starting the process she can easily make a lot of costly mistakes.

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  • Which debts or expenses have priority from the the estate when a person passes away and the estate is insolvent?

    I have ask this question before and Ms.Di Salvo gave a very good answer,but it did not directly answer the question that i was asking.My question was other than a years support or there any other expenses from an estate that would take priority ov...

    Loraine’s Answer

    As Mr. Lipshutz said, funeral expenses would normally be paid out of an estate before an unsecured creditor, which is likely what the attorney he owed money to at his death would be. But, as he also mentions, if the attorney is holding any funds for your father, the attorney may be able to take his reimbursement before the remaining funds are turned over.

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  • What type lawyer handles investment questions regarding personal investments and how they were handled or not handled?

    have 2 annuities which I had thought were regular IRA accounts. I am 62 and was planning on using the $280,000 to live on. But because this entire amount was set up in the annuities and not in various investments I cannot receive the money for a...

    Loraine’s Answer

    If I understand your question correctly, you are asking whether someone can help you address the result of potentially improper and inadequately disclosed investments in annuities. You need a securities and investments litigator, if you want to see if there is something that can be done now to undo the effect of your IRA funds having all been put into annuities so that you cannot access your money when you need it. I have someone I usually recommend for that kind of issue. You can also find that kind of attorney here on Avvo with the right search.

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  • Does the will get filed with the court prior to me receiving the "Ack. of Svc & Assent to Probate Instanter for Solemn Form?

    I recvd a "Ack of Scv & Assent Probate Instanter" with typed copy of the will, missing 2 pgs, (Witness Sig Pg and Ack of Testator) Also years on Ack of Testator Page could be 2013, 2014 or 2015. Also year on Notary page was marked over to reflec...

    Loraine’s Answer

    You are supposed to receive a copy of the entire Will and the entire Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form and be asked to sign the Petition, if you are willing to consent to having the Will admitted to probate. That should be done before the Petition is submitted to the probate court. If you don't sign the Petition, it can be submitted without your signature, but I recommend to my proposed Executor clients that they ask for consent first in most cases.

    The original Will would not be provided to you, only a copy (but it should be a photocopy of the actual Will). The Will could either be held by the proposed Executor and submitted with the Petition, OR the original Will could have been filed with the probate court already (either before the maker of the Will died, for safekeeping by the court, or afterward, if the original belief was that probate wouldn't be needed, for informational purposes only. So the Will could have been filed before the Petition was sent to you, although it's not common.

    You should insist on receiving a clear and complete copy of the Petition and the Will. If you don't think the Will is valid, then you don't have to sign the Petition. However, if you don't sign, you will need to be prepared to proceed with your challenge to the Will very quickly, because if the Will and Petition are offered for probate without your signature, you will receive notice, and you will generally have 10 days to respond. So, if you think the Will isn't valid and that you may have a right and reason to challenge it, consult a good estate litigator as soon as possible.

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