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Dan W. Armstrong

Dan Armstrong’s Answers

403 total


  • Trusts

    Is there a normal time span for a trust to pay its beneficiaries after it is filed with the court?

    Dan’s Answer

    Rather than the term “Trust”, you may mean Last Will & Testament (“Will”)? Trusts and the administration of Trusts usually are not filed with the court and require court oversight. A Will or when the descendant has no Will then that normally requires a filing and court involvement. In Florida court records in probate and trust administration are public record and may be seen by you by going to the county court where the decedent resided and see the clerk of the court normally in the Probate Division. For $1 a page you can retrieve copies of all documents. That may explain to you what is going on in this matter. Unfortunately, your question lacks specifics for anyone to specifically and sufficiently respond.
    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

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  • Is it ethical for a lawyer to offer to represent opposing parties involved in a dispute over a will.

    My sister was given my parents house after their death. This was the only thing she was to receive as specified in the will. Can she hire an attorney to break the will over money that was sent to the state as unclaimed? The wording in the will ...

    Dan’s Answer

    Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member like your sister is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn't receive) under a will, she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may be impossible to prevent relatives from fighting over your will entirely, but there are steps you can take to try to minimize squabbles and ensure your intentions are carried out.
    Your will can be contested if a family member believes you did not have the requisite mental capacity to execute the will, someone exerted undue influence over you, someone committed fraud, or the will was not executed properly.
    The following are some steps that may make a will contest less likely to succeed:
    • Make sure your will is properly executed. The best way to do this is to have an experienced elder law or estate planning attorney assist you in drafting and executing the will. Wills need to be signed and witnessed, usually by two independent witnesses.
    • Explain your decision. If family members understand the reasoning behind the decisions in your will, they may be less likely to contest the will. It is a good idea to talk to family members at the time you draft the will and explain why someone is getting left out of the will or getting a reduced share. If you don't discuss it in person, state the reason in the will. You may also want to include a letter with the will.
    • Use no-contest clause. One of the most effective ways of preventing a challenge to your will is to include a no-contest clause (or in terrorem clause) in the will. This will only work if you are willing to leave something of value to the potentially disgruntled family member. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will and loses, then he or she will get nothing. You must leave the heir enough so that a challenge is not worth the risk of losing the inheritance.
    • Prove competency. One common way of challenging a will is to argue the deceased family member was not mentally competent at the time he or she signed the will. You can try to avoid this by making sure the attorney drafting the will tests you for competency. This could involve seeing a doctor or answering a series of questions.
    • Videotape the will signing. A videotape of the will signing allows your family members and the court to see that you are freely signing the will and makes it more difficult to argue that you did not have the requisite mental capacity to agree to the will.
    • Remove the appearance of undue influence. Another common method of challenging a will is to argue someone exerted undue influence over the deceased family member. For example, if you are planning on leaving everything to your daughter who is also your primary caregiver, your other children may argue your daughter took advantage of her position to influence you. To avoid the appearance of undue influence, do not involve any family members who are inheriting under your will in drafting your will. Family members should not be present when you discuss the will with your attorney or when you sign it. To be totally safe, family members shouldn't even drive you to the attorney.

    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. A

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  • I am a limited partner in a Family Limited Partnership (LLC), and a six-figure 'distribution' was made from my share, without my

    authorization. When I contacted the administrator, he gave me a very vague answer, which he then refused to elaborate on. Can a general-partner actually strip a limited partner of such a large amount without his/her knowledge or consent?

    Dan’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorney, probable not. I would direct you to the Operating Agreement of the LLC and the breath of latitude you have given the partner. I recommend that you run to a business attorney to insure your equity is not at risk or gone.
    See an attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

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  • If a power of attorney has disappeared and refuses to account for my money, what are the options?

    While in prison I had a power of attorney to manage my affairs while incarcerated. That person had about $20,000 of my money in her bank account. Now that I am out, she refuses to report to me or account for the money. I fear she has spent all the...

    Dan’s Answer

    Run to an attorney. Have them immediately revolk the Power of Attorney (“POA”) and make sure they file the revocation with the county clerk’s office so it becomes a public document giving Notice. The attorney will also legally serve the revocation on your lady friend. As the last attorney has stated you should visit the financial institutions and give them a copy of the revocation and withdraw any of your funds remaining. After a Notice of Suit to your lady friend depending on the amount unretrieved it MAY be a small claims matter if the amount is under $15,000.
    See an attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question 
  • Can non blood relative contest a Will?

    My uncle promised me and my wife and equal share. Will was left with the attorney. We took care of him for 10 years. My wife's brother influenced the uncle and changed the will. He passed away and he gets all of his Estate. Florida

    Dan’s Answer

    See a litigating estate planning attorney and discuss “undue influence.” Although this is difficult to prove it deserves a discussion in depth with an attorney.
    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

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  • Should I sign a temporary guardianship form for my minor son?

    My son (17) is going away for the weekend to a mudfest event with his friend and the family. The venue requires that I sign a temporary guardianship form for the event. I am not sure if I feel comfortable with this. Am I being unreasonable? Wh...

    Dan’s Answer

    I am having trouble accepting that the term “Guardianship” is appropriate for this document. I suspect that the venue is requiring that all unaccompanied by their parents minors enter the venue with some document securing their safety in the case of an emmergency. For example; am advanced directive appointing a healthcare decision maker for your son in the case you or your wife are not present is understandable. I suggest you take the document and get it review before signing at an attorney’s office.
    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question 
  • What recourse do we have at this time in a trust payout?

    We are beneficiaries in a revoccable trust in the State of Florida. Our friend passed on in September 2010. There is an attorney who is the personal rep and trustee of the estate handling matters. Two weeks ago we signed a release for the disbu...

    Dan’s Answer

    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. Immediately run and see and attorney to insure your individual rights and inheritance. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question 
  • Trust

    We are one of several beneficiaries in a revoccable trust in Florida. Our benefit is a fixed amount and were told that there is enough money to cover our benefit. Are we entitled to know any details of the trust including how the trustee handled...

    Dan’s Answer

    Whether it's an honor or a burden (or both), many have been appointed trustee of a trust. What responsibilities have been thrust upon you? How can you successfully carry them out? If you suspect that your trustee is not following any of the below do’s and don’t, hire an attorney now.
    Here are nine do's and one don't for the trustee to get you started:
    1. Do read the trust document. It sets out the rules under which you will operate, so you need to understand it completely.
    2. Do create a checking account for the trust. All income and expenses should go through this account. While you can and should invest the money, a checking account will enable you to make distributions and payments and keep track of them.
    3. Do keep the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind at all times. You have what's called a "fiduciary" duty to them, which is an extremely high standard.
    4. Don't have any personal financial dealings with the trust. For instance, you cannot borrow money from the trust or lend the trust money to anyone.
    5. Do provide the beneficiaries and anyone else indicated in the trust with an annual account of trust activity. This can be a copy of the checking and investment account statements or a more formal trust account prepared by an accountant or attorney.
    6. Do invest the trust funds prudently and productively. You cannot simply leave the trust funds in a savings account. And you can't put them all into a promising new company. You need to diversify the trust portfolio among stocks and fixed income securities. It is wise to get professional investment advice.
    7. Do keep in regular contact with the beneficiaries to understand their needs.
    8. Do be aware of any public benefits the beneficiaries may be receiving and make sure you do not jeopardize the beneficiaries' eligibility.
    9. Do file annual income tax returns for the trust.
    10. Don't fly solo. Get professional advice to make sure you are correctly fulfilling your role.
    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question 
  • How to get the power to take decisions over a hospice patient, we are his children the wife it is not taking care of his needs

    My father was placed on Hospice one and a half weeks ago all the rights over his health are on the wife right now, she has not take care of him since diagnosis 8 months ago. my sister and I are the ones taking him to the doctor been for him all th...

    Dan’s Answer

    All complete estate plans should include a medical directive. Medical directives encompass various documents including a health care proxy, a durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, and medical instructions.
    Both a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney for health care designate someone you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. A living will, on the other hand, simply states under what conditions life-sustaining treatment should be terminated such as if you would like to avoid life-sustaining treatment when it would be hopeless.
    Like a health care proxy, a living will takes effect only upon you becoming incapacitated. Also, a living will is not set in stone; you can always revoke it at a later date if you wish to do so. A broader medical directive may include the terms of a living will, but will also provide instructions if you are in a less severe state of health, but are still unable to direct your health care yourself.
    A living will, however, is not necessarily a substitute for a health care proxy or a broader medical directive. It simply dictates the withdrawal of life support in instances of terminal illness, coma or a vegetative state.
    We recommend that everyone have a medical directive related to your specific needs. Elder law attorneys limit their practice to this planning. I suggest that you see an elder Law Attorney and allow the attorney to make a determination on your father’s mental capacity to sign a legal document. If your father has capacity then the executed and signed correct document will allow you to control your father’s healthcare, otherwise a discussion concerning an Emergency Guardianship appointment is suggested

    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question 
  • My Father died he was living in his mother house. my grandmother died, I don't want this house on behalf of my father portion.

    My father has a brother and two sister and they want this house how can I give up my rights to this home

    Dan’s Answer

    It’s unclear who died in what order. Each decedent’s estate will have to be probated. You are obviously a possible heir and should consult an attorney immediately. The probate system has a bad reputation, as something always to be avoided. Like most institutions, the probate system is sometimes wrongfully criticized by those who are misinformed. Probate is the process by which a decedent’s bills are paid and property held in the decedent’s name alone are transferred by court authorization, in accordance with the decedent’s will, if there was one, or by general law if no will is found. Contrary to what some people think, if you don’t have a will, the State does not “take” your property. Rather, State law just writes a will for you, based upon what is generally accepted in our society as the standard will. However, if your titled assets are transferred properly prior to death, there is no need for judicial involvement.
    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

    See question