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Robert M. Gardner Jr.
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Robert Gardner’s Answers

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  • How do I withdraw money and close a bank account for a deceased loved one?

    If I have been named as executor over the estate of a loved one in their will, does the will already have to be petitioned and I have to be "sworn in" before I can withdraw and close a bank account or may I just provide a death certificate? The m...

    Robert’s Answer

    Unless your name was on the account as you "or" the deceased, you cannot get into the account until you have been issued letters testamentary from the court after being appointed and sworn in as executor. You can pay the probate fees and costs from the assets of the estate, including the bank account. You should be able to find an attorney who can work with you in a situation like this.

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  • How do I obtain legal medical and financial power of attorney for my disabled son?

    I have letters from my son's doctor addressed to probate court and the social security office stating that he is physically and mentally disabled to handle his own affairs, and naming me as his medical power of attorney. I have a hand written dur...

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Weinberg, If he had the legal capacity to sign a power of attorney when he did, then that document should be valid. If he did not, or if he did but the document does not give you the specific authority you need, then your best bet would be to petition the probate court to be appointed as the guardian of his person and property. That is likely why the doctor sent a letter to probate court. Usually, when a petition for guardianship is filed, a doctor is appointed to evaluate the proposed ward to determine just what this doctor is saying. A local attorney is also appointed by the court to evaluate the petition independently to determine if guardianship is in your son's best interests, and whether the person asking to become guardian is the person best suited to be such. A guardianship petition can be filed by you personally, and often people can do so without an attorney by getting a copy of a petition at gaprobate.org, or through the local probate court. Most probate courts are also willing to help you in filling them out and asking questions. Understand that being the guardian of his property will require you to file returns with the court regarding what is done with any of his money or property, and you are held to a strict standard as to what you can and cannot do, so getting some legal advice about that is in your best interest.

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  • Can I sue my previous dentist for a botched root canal?

    4.5 years ago when I lived in NY I had a root canal on a chipped tooth. Now I live in Georgia since 5 months ago. Last week I was in pain so much out of nowhere, and I went to a Dentist and he gave me an x-Ray and showed me I have a botched root c...

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree that a New York attorney would be best to answer this question, as a case would need to be filed there, and the New York statute of limitations would apply. In Georgia, a statute of limitations can be extended if the malpractice was not discovered until later, so be sure to ask if there is such a rule for New York.

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  • How to force the collection agency to correct the wrong reporting?

    I saw a medical debt record from my credit report. I have already paid it and provided a collection agency with a receipt but the collection agency ignored my request and did not reply. How shall I force the collection agency to correct the wrong ...

    Robert’s Answer

    Both previous answers are right on point. You need to be proactive and let the collection agency know that you are going to cause trouble for them if they don't fix the issue.

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  • What would I need to do for termination of parental rights of father and possibly adoption of baby by someone else?

    I have a toddler and her father has not really done anything to help her except paying a few dollars here and there, he doesn't see her much either. I've asked him to make a decision to step up to the plate and be in her life or to sign over right...

    Robert’s Answer

    Mr. Zezima has giving you a good answer. If you remarry, and your husband wants to adopt your child, he can file a petition to adopt at that time. The biological father can surrender his rights to make the process simple, or your husband could move to terminate his rights as part of the adoption case so long as he can show that the biological father has had no meaningful contact or has not supported the child at all for a period of 12 months prior to the filing of the adoption case.

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  • My husband owns our home. How can he leave everything to me in a will.

    My husband owns our home. How can he leave everything to me in a will.

    Robert’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    What you are asking can be accomplished in a simple will where he states that you get everything when he passes. This can also be accomplished by having him deed the house from himself to you both as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, which would make the house yours upon his debt, subject to any mortgages or liens against the house. If he does neither, then you would be one of his heirs, and would receive a share of his estate split equally with his children, with the exception that you would get at least 1/3 of his estate.

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  • What is the process to substitute an attorney for self representation? Is there a form to file or is it a motion?

    My attorney refuses to withdraw until I make final payment on the bill. I no longer have the funds to continue to hire him for services and wish to represent myself going forward. Can he force me to keep his services? How can I represent myself...

    Robert’s Answer

    You can terminate an attorney at any time during a case by doing so in writing. The attorney may retain a lien in the case, or an interest if attorney's fees are at issue. However, his or her representation of your interests would be terminated. If attorney's fees were reserved by the judge, and stated as such in an order, then there is still a case pending with the court. Even if he does not withdraw, your termination of him allows you to represent yourself. As there is a chance that a hearing could be set by a party to resolve the attorney's fees issue, make sure to file something in that case with the clerk's office stating that you are representing yourself, and send some kind of notice to counsel for the opposing side That way, if a hearing is set, notice will come to you rather than going through the attorney only.

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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...

    Robert’s Answer

    I strongly agree with the other answers. Using legal zoom is much like using over the counter medication. It may very well work, but if it does not, the consequences could be dire. You may even be able to find an attorney on this site willing to draft a will after a phone consultation and send it to you if convenience is an issue. Then, you have an attorney who is willing to back up the work he or she performed, and someone for your heirs or representatives to ask questions of if any issues arise.

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  • A credit card company file a lean on my mortgage title and I need to see how I can remove it.

    This has been more then ten or twelve years ago and I was told they have a three year statue of limitations. It was filed in 2008 and we have refinanced our house since then and it was never told to us, nor was it on the title at that time.

    Robert’s Answer

    in addition to Mr. Skaar's great answer, a statute of limitations is a time frame given to a creditor to sue. If they have a lien, it means they likely filed suit already and received a judgment. Therefore, the statute of limitations has already been met. A judgment lien is good for 7 years, and can then be renewed for another 7, so it will not go away soon. One other think that you may want to look into is whether the judgment lien was filed when you refinanced. As a refinance involves paying off your mortgage and replacing it with another, you want to make sure that they did not miss this lien's existence. If so, and it was already there, the judgment lien could be superior to your current mortgage, allowing the lien-holder to foreclose. While this is most likely not the case, and would not be the case if you modified rather than refinanced your mortgage, it is something you will want a lawyer to check out for you.

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  • If sentenced 3yrs for a nonviolent crime, drug possession how much time would a person serve?

    Was currently on probation

    Robert’s Answer

    The other answers you have received are very good. The only thing I would add is that, if he was on probation, his probation officer could look to revoke his probation on the prior sentence, which could either run with the new one or end up with him being revoked for the remainder of his sentence on the first charge. If, for example, he was doing 20 years of probation, and that probation is revoked, he would be remanded to prison on a 20 year sentence, and parole eligibility and where he falls on the grid would depend on both cases. Also, if his probation officer is looking to revoke him, he may sit in the county jail on that hold until it is resolved, sometimes for many months. In such a case, the amount of credit he is given on the new sentence may not begin until he is remanded to prison after the revocation is resolved and the hold released.

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