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Matthew Thomas Staab

Matthew Staab’s Answers

5 total

  • This statement is in my mother's revocable trust. What does it mean?

    "Grantor(s) reserves the right to use, occupy and reside upon any real property placed in this Trust as their permanent residence during their lives. It is the intent of this provision to retain for the grantor(s) the requisite beneficial interest...

    Matthew’s Answer

    This simply means that the Grantor is reserving the requisite beneficial interest in the property to be able to claim homestead, even though the property may be owned through the trust and no longer by the grantor, individually. The fact that this appears in the trust does not conversely mean that the property ever transferred to the trust. This language should be in every revocable living trust in the event that the grantor decides to transfer their homestead to the trust.

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  • If the inherited home was left to named heirs is the home still consider an asset of the estate to be probated

    trying to figure out if we qualify for informal probate the home still has 56000 owed on it. the homes furnishings are very very old and not worth 1000.00 the home has had no repairs done in years might be worth 80000 as is with no repairs is the...

    Matthew’s Answer

    If this home was the decedent's homestead and it is at some point determined to be the homestead in a probate proceeding, then the homestead is not technically a probate asset. That being said, the homestead does get listed on the Estate Inventory, which is filed with the probate court, as an asset purported to be the decedent's homestead.

    That being said, the Florida Probate Code provides that if the decedent's estate (excluding the homestead) does not exceed $75,000.00. One way or another, you should contact an attorney to help you with this so as to avoid title defect in the future.

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  • Who is responsible for medical bills of a deceased person?

    My mother passed away about 10 months ago and I had her mail forwarded to my address which is out of state. I am now receiving medical bills for her. Am I responsible for her bills?

    Matthew’s Answer

    Generally, the decedent's estate is responsible for payment of the decedent's medical bills as well as all other debts of the decedent. If the decedent's estate is non-existent, then usually the creditor (in this case the medical provider) will ultimatley not be paid. The exception to this rule is when a family member has expressly agreed in writing to be responsible for the decedent's medical bills. This happens sometimes when someone is admitted to a hospital and the hospital asks a family member to sign a form assuming responsibility to pay the patient's medical bills. This often occurs at a time when the family member is not paying too close attention to what they are signing (becaus etheir family member is in the midst of a medical emergency), which occasionally leads to a family member unkowingly assuming financial responsibilty.

    Therefore, generally, absent express assumption or a joint debt, the decedent's family members are not personally responsible for the debts of the decedent.

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  • Does Power Of Attorney End Immediately After Death Or When The Death Certificate Is Made?

    After a doctor pronounces death there is a time period before the medical examiner/coroner makes the death certificate. If the patient had given someone a power of attorney, when does it end--after the doctor pronounces death or after the death ce...

    Matthew’s Answer

    The powers pursuant to a power of attorney are extinguished upon the death of the principal. In fact, if the attorney in fact named in the POA takes action using the POA knowing that the principal is deceased, the attorney in fact can be held personally liable for such actions.

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  • My fathers power of atty told me I was the executor of his will. He sent me the will but did not tell me or provide any other

    information. Isn't he obligated to tell me the exact dollar amt of the estate? How do I make funeral arrangements without knowing how much there is to spend.

    Matthew’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In order to probate a person's will, the will must admitted to the court for probate and a "personal representative" appointed. The responsibility of the personal representative is to identify probate assets (those assets owned by the decedent in their sole individual name and not otherwise distributed pursuant to a beneficiary designation) of the estate, file and inventory, pay creditors, and then ultimately distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries. It is not often that a decedent leaves a list of assets for the personal representaive, although we would all like that to occur. Rather, it is the pesonal representative's duty to identify those assets and obtain values for those assets. As part of the process, and as long as there are probate assets, the person who paid for the funeral arrangements should get reimbursed from the probate estate as part of teh probate process. That being said, Florida has a statute that sets forth the order of priority in which administration expenses are paid and or reimbursed. Generally speaking, the attorney gets paid first, then reasonable funeral related expenses up to $6,000, then debts and taxes (see Florida Statute 733.707).

    Please keep in mind that in order to probate an estate in Florida, you will almost always need to hire an attorney.

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