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Carol Anne Johnson
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Carol Johnson’s Answers

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  • If your on disability and you also get a check for your very young child because you are sick, does the child get the money?

    Or does it go to support the child and put a roof over the child's head?

    Carol’s Answer

    If your child is the recipient, you are the Representative Payee. The money is your child's, but can be spent for their benefit. As my colleague mentions, SSA will want to see an accounting of how / on what the money is being spent. I suggest putting the money for your child in a separate bank account to help you keep track of it.

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  • If you have a Will and Testament is it required by Florida law that you go through Probate if you have a legal Will & Testament?

    If you have a Will and Testament is it required by Florida law that you go through Probate if you have a legal Will & Testament? I have a Will and Testament. My mothers home was left to me and it's worth less than 56k. Having issue with mortgag...

    Carol’s Answer

    I'm confused - are you asking about your LW&T or your mother's LW&T? If you are asking about your mother's Will, it does have to be probated. The will must be filed with the probate court within 10 days of your mom's death, and any property (real and personal) will be frozen until her legitimate debts are paid from the probate assets and title has been transferred to you by final order of the probate court. In your case, if the home is the ONLY item in her estate, and you are the ONLY heir, you will probably qualify for a Summary Administration (which is inexpensive) or a mere Determination of Homestead. The mortgage company will NOT provide any information until you get a court order that allows them to do so.

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  • Having a legal guardian

    Hi I am currently 16 years old 17 end of December, I want to attend college in IN where I am from in a year I currently live in FL with my mom. So I would have to pay out of state tuition, but I can't afford it so I want my Godparents in IN to bec...

    Carol’s Answer

    As Attorney Haynes states, it doesn't so much matter who is acting as your guardian (and, I am sure your Mom would NOT want to have to give up her parental rights!), but instead how long you have resided in IN. Here is a suggestion. Find out what the residency requirement is and move to IN (presumably, with your godparents) ahead of that. Finish high school there and / or attend a year of Community College to satisfy the residency.

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  • Do I need to be approved SSID/SSD to receive alimony?

    I am disabled and getting divorce. Do I have to receive Social Security Disability to be granted alimony?

    Carol’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    No, alimony has more to do with the length of your marriage, the need for alimony to keep a spouse off the public dole, and other factors. I have never heard of alimony being denied because someone was NOT on SSDI or SSI. There is really no relation between the two. In fact, your disability will be a good argument for the NEED for alimony. Not knowing more about your spouse's financial situation, this is the best answer I can give. This is a family law question and I am moving it there.

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  • Is it possible for my mom to change my grandmother will without her knowing

    My grandmother passed away and my mom gave me a copy of a will with my name on it for house her my name is incorrect on the will how can I find out if this will is real or fake. I think my mom had the will changed when my grandmother was put into...

    Carol’s Answer

    Attorney Harvey gave you an excellent response. I would only add that just because the house has been devised to you does NOT mean that you assume the debt your mother took on. In fact, the loan may not be valid at all, if your grandmother was not competent to make such a loan and your mother was not her Power of Attorney. Do you have a copy of an original will that your grandmother had? I find it strange that your mother would not know your name, but maybe... Hire a good attorney to review your options.

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  • I believe my sister is using funds from my moms estate for her and by brothers benefit. She is the executor of the estate.

    I requested by registered letter 30 days to present to me an accounting of estate. Can I proceed to a probate judge myself if she does not comply.

    Carol’s Answer

    Hire an attorney immediately if you have ANY evidence that what you are saying is true. If it is just a "feeling" you should still speak to an attorney about those feelings and see what they have to say. You don't want to go this alone. In fact, in FL, if the estate is in probate, an attorney will be required. Typically, too, a "lawyer letter" demanding an accounting is given much more weight (by the PR) than is a letter sent by a sibling.

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  • PR and one beneficiary is represented by same lawyer. One beneficiary is not. Is there a conflict of interest?

    A probate/real estate lawyer has represented two sisters in real estate dealings for 2 years. Just recently my dad passed away (I am the third sister) The same Lawyer was just hired by my older sister (named as PR in the will) as her legal counsel...

    Carol’s Answer

    The lawyer for the PR is there to assist with the probate proceedings and does NOT represent the beneficiaries. In your sisters cases, unless there is a waiver, the same attorney should not represent both, but it appears that they are unconcerned about the conflict. That said, as both my colleagues have expressed, you really should hire your own attorney to represent you. The PR's attorney is not responsible for answering any of your questions as they don't represent you. They are responsible for ensuring that the conduct of the PR and the probate of the estate is legally proper. Period.

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  • Do lawyers ever offer mail receipt service?

    I am a believer in the right to pursue privacy; in the digital age, its getting challenging. I own some very modest property in a trust. I would like the trust address to be an attorney's office and to receive limited essential...

    Carol’s Answer

    After reading your comments to Attorney Kelly's suggestion about a P.O. Box, I see that you have a misunderstanding about what the federal mail privacy laws entail. First off, as you stated - if the attorney is only needed to chuck your mail into an envelope, what is the difference in a postal worker putting your mail into a box? You are making this entirely too complex. Do you think the postal workers are going to open your mail? Attorney-client privilege is NOT triggered by acting as a mail delivery service. And, if you are expecting mail service that is furthering a crime (which it sort of sounds like), your attorney cannot be a part of that (crimes in the past, they must keep confidential, but not intended crimes). Just get a PO Box. Or, be prepared to put an attorney on retainer and pay them an hourly rate to process your mail.

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  • My mother just passed away in florida, and left the family homestead to my brother and I in her will, can we assume her mortgage

    My mother still has a mortgage with wells fargo, we earn enough money to keep the home, however neither one of us have enough good credit to get our own mortgage. Can we keep paying on the mortgage in my mothers name, not change the mortgage and c...

    Carol’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your mother! Wells Fargo is interested in getting the mortgage paid - so, if you continue to pay it, there shouldn't be any issues. The only time you may have some difficulty is when / if you need information about the loan and you do not have your mother's login information or know the answers to her security questions. If the loan is paid on time, and you are still able to receive any loan docs that WF may continue to send to your Mom's address, you should be fine. Trust me - the bank is far more interested in getting the loan paid than in who is actually paying it.

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  • Can I have a parenting plan established without a divorce?

    My husband and I want to separate, but do not want to divorce. I'd like to have a court ordered timesharing plan established, to keep everything in order. Can one establish a parenting plan without a divorce?

    Carol’s Answer

    Yours is an excellent question - if you were in a state that recognizes "legal separation" the answer would be - Of, course! However, being in FL, as mentioned, you should both have an agreement drafted by your attorneys (each should have their own) or go through a mediation to create an agreement. You don't mention the ages of the children - if they are old enough, the court would want their desires to be a factor that is considered. It is public policy in this state that parents share equally in the rearing of the children, even when separated or divorcing. I would speak with a family law attorney about getting a time-share / child support plan sanctioned by the court, which would then have continuing jurisdiction over the matter. I believe that divorce and custody matters are sometimes bifurcated, which means that the court should be willing to hear one without the other. Good luck.

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