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Donald F. Hawbaker
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Donald Hawbaker’s Answers

207 total


  • My Father Died without a will he own two homes my mom his wife is on both houses deeds do they automatically go to her?

    My mom is on both property deeds one they lived in one they rented out in another county. Also two cars only in dads name. Do any of this need to go through probate.

    Donald’s Answer

    I'm sorry for your loss. Whether probate is necessary in order to distribute title to the real estate depends greatly on the way your parents names appear on each deed. Probate is likely necessary for the vehicles to be re-titled.I strongly recommend you confer with an experienced probate attorney near you. Good luck.

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  • Is it possible to get a letter of administration without filing probate?

    My husband passed away it will be 3 years this August . All of his affairs I have taken care of except the mortgage is in his name . They won't talk to me unless I have a letter stating I am the administrator . My deed states joint tendency with t...

    Donald’s Answer

    Probate could have been avoided if you were on both the mortgage and the deed, as joint tenants with right of survivorship. I assume you were added to the deed after the mortgage was taken out - which creates additional legal issues. You really would benefit from talking with a knowledgeable probate attorney to evaluate your options. Give the attorney all relevant documentation so he or she can best advise you. Good luck.

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  • My son is in Federal Prison and I would like to make him beneficiary in a living Trust. pros/cons?

    The trust would be a "Revocable Living Trust".

    Donald’s Answer

    In general, not a problem, unless you're trying to use it to convey guns or weapons that he may be prohibited from possessing when he's released. Probably it's more important who will be the Successor Trustee. You really should confer with an experienced attorney in the field of Trusts and Estates.

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  • Can a will from an individual who passed away in Florida be probated in Georgia?

    No details

    Donald’s Answer

    Yes, in the county of the decedent's residence.

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  • Do I need a probate lawyer?

    My father in law passed away over a year ago and I just found out he left a large sum of money in a bank account. He left no will. How can the family claim and acquire these funds?

    Donald’s Answer

    Yes, you should at least confer with an experienced probate lawyer and assess the advantages and disadvantages of trying to probate the estate alone, as an amateur. The old saying, "if you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur" is very relevant here. In any event, you do need to probate the estate to gain access to the funds in the bank. Good luck.

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  • My question is they have an hired attorney for my moms will if i dont sign an agree she did not leave anything in her will

    she put my name in the will didnt leave anything they want me to sign to turn it over to my step dad cause they were not married can i do anything to see if i can get anything from my moms will

    Donald’s Answer

    Do not sign anything. You may have valuable rights to protect. It's worth a visit to a competent probate attorney.

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  • Mom passed away/what rights do I have? my stepfather wants control over her possessions

    After funeral our step brother, his uncle and my step father told my wife and my sister ( whom had POA with both mother and step father's signatures on it)that was changed and they would take care of everything from then on. Is that legal?, step ...

    Donald’s Answer

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    First, the POA is no longer legally useful - it expired upon your mother's death. Secondly, you truly need to see an attorney to help sort out matters, the first determination being whether your mother left a Will. If the death certificate has been issued, you can obtain a certified copy at any probate court in the State. It's a public record.

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  • How to transfer property deed left from my deceased father?

    My father died 5 years ago. Our home was left to me and my brother In a gift deed before he died. My brother moved away a couple years ago. I have been maintaining and still living in my dads house. I have been paying property taxes and all respon...

    Donald’s Answer

    Ask your brother to sign a quit-claim deed of his interest to you. The only question will be what amount he wants for it.

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  • Do I need to use naming suffix even if it is part of my name on a POA agreement ?

    My mother had a Power of Attorney document drawn up which specifies my full name with the "III" suffix although I've never used that legally nor is it part of my name on my SS card. We've used it informally within the family since I am a 3rd with ...

    Donald’s Answer

    I strongly recommend that the name for the agent/attorney-in-fact (you) used in the POA match exactly the name as it appears on your driver's license.

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  • AB TRUST and QTIP TRUST

    Looking to doing a AB TRUST. Seems tax efficient, if the lax changes in the future. We are husband and wife empty nesters as of last year. Do we need a QTIP if we have no children from previous marriages ? Also are there any drawbacks to doing a...

    Donald’s Answer

    You're not considering a do-it-yourself QTIP or AB trust, are you? Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to consider all, and your best, options.

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