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Carol Anne Johnson
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Carol Johnson’s Answers

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  • Hello own 2 houses free and clear in FL. I have 2 kids and ive never been married. Im getting married in PR next week...

    I want to find out what i need to know so my kids inherit my 2 houses instead of my future husband, if i were to pass away before him.

    Carol’s Answer

    At this point, you should have asked your intended to sign a pre-nup that waives all his rights to the two properties. If that has NOT been done, you should speak with an estate planning attorney about options for protecting the homes (trust, LB deed, etc.). There are many options. Doing nothing is not one of them.

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  • Mother in law will

    I was not invited to my husband's mother's will reading and meeting by his sister,who is the executor of the estate. But my husband has a hearing disability and wants me with him to help him. I am going to go but if his family objects to me being ...

    Carol’s Answer

    Did your mother-in-law pass while a resident of FL? While Attorney Radadia's answer is thorough, every state does things differently as probate is a matter of state law. There is no "reading of the will" in Florida. Also, the person who is assigned letters of administration by the court is called the Personal Representative. But, even though there is no formal reading of the will, your husband has a right to a full accounting of the estate of which he is a beneficiary. By law, the will must be filed with the probate court in the jurisdiction where your MIL passed away. As such, it becomes public record for anyone to see. If you feel that your husband's rights are being violated in any way, he has a right to an attorney to challenge the sister's appointment, if that is his desire.

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  • 736.0407 Evidence of oral trust.—Except as required by s. 736.0403 or a law other than this code, a trust need not be evidenced

    by a trust instrument but the creation of an oral trust and its terms may be established only by clear and convincing evidence. What would constitute"clear and convincing"evidence? If a beneficiary of life insurance proceeds says that there a...

    Carol’s Answer

    OK - I am going to take a stab at this, although you are mixing up terms here; an ILIT (irrevocable life insurance trust) is the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy. If an individual person is the named beneficiary (John Doe, for example), that named individual is the beneficiary of the policy. Life insurance policies pass outside of probate and either go to the beneficiaries that are named or go to the estate of the deceased. If there is a trust that is the beneficiary of the life insurance proceeds, then the trust determines who the trust beneficiaries are. Otherwise, if the insurance is paid to the estate and there is no will, the proceeds are distributed by intestate succession. Oh, "clear and convincing" is the highest proof required for civil matters and demands proof that is unequivocal. Someone "saying" something is, without more, is NOT clear and convincing. In FL, a decedent's desires must be in the form of a will or trust executed with the proper formalities.

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  • Does my 8 year old qualify for social security?

    my daughter has autism spectrum disorder,anxiety, and is speech impaired. she is struggling in school with academics and socially. we are a lowcome family and her school psychologists and a couple of my friends said I should check into if she qual...

    Carol’s Answer

    Maybe. Since she is living at home, her "income" is based on everyone living in the home with her and what resources they may have (cars, assets, income, etc.) to determine whether or not she would be within the eligibility amount. She certainly should at least be qualified for Section 504 accommodations at school and have an IEP to help her mainstream with her peers. If the school is not providing for her, as required under IDEA, then you have the right to seek an outside opinion and get an IEE - which the school system MUST reimburse you for if it is found that she is NOT getting the services that she is entitled to be receiving. Below is a great link to a SSA document that will explain how her eligibility for SSI would be determined.

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  • I'm only 20 years old. I did not expect anything like this to happen honestly I just need to be pointed in the right direction!

    Hello my name is Alexandria. I have a bit of an odd situation. My grandmother passed away on March 30th due to lung cancer. Her daughter was put as power of attorney. I was her caregiver and also lived in the house with her for the past 10 years. ...

    Carol’s Answer

    First off, I am sorry for your grandmother's passing. Second, the POA document became null and void upon her passing. So, if your Aunt is still doing anything with her accounts, she is doing so illegally. At this point, your Aunt will have to file the will in court and open probate. If the will has been filed, it is a matter of public record and will be available either on-line or in the probate court in Ohio. If she has not filed the Will or opened probate, you MAY hire an attorney to demand the will be produced and probate can be opened by you - but only by an attorney in Ohio. How would a co-worker know what was in your grandmother's will? You cannot assume anything! Probate can be complicated - you need to have an attorney for this.

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  • I have a trust in California and live in Florida. Does my husband have any legal rights to my trust?

    i have not received it yet in the process of signing all the paperwork

    Carol’s Answer

    I am not sure what you mean by "I have not received it yet..." - received what? If the trust is being funded solely by an inheritance received by you and is not a marital asset (there are a number of legal specifics to marital property), then your husband may have no rights to it if you were to divorce, and it may not be considered part of your exempt estate. It really depends on from where the trust assets derived. On the other hand, if the assets are those that you brought into the marriage and used for the benefit of the marriage, then, yes, your husband has rights both in probate and divorce.

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  • Is it possible to write an legally binding agreement between estate heirs.

    We consist of 9 heirs and two of the heirs are decease. we all have agreed to give the two decease portions to other individuals. Even though we all have agreed I would still like to make it legal and binding so no one changes their mind at the la...

    Carol’s Answer

    If this is a testate estate (subject to a will) the will is the arbiter of what happens should any heirs not survive the testator. If intestate, the share of the deceased heirs goes to their respective estates, so, the answer is "no" - you may not. It is not yours to give. Additionally, if there are 9 heirs, you MUST have an attorney to file the probate proceeding - it's FL law! Your probate attorney will be able to advise you as to your rights and responsibilities. Bottom line, unless the will directs, you cannot give away money that is earmarked for someone else. Hire an attorney who can get the estate properly probated for you.

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  • Is there anything I can do?

    I am 20. i have a 31 year old brother. My mother passed on august 31, 2013. She had a lawsuit against a store for personal injury before her death but the case did not settle until after she passed. My mother never married. The lawyer handling her...

    Carol’s Answer

    A probate will have to be opened or re-opened to receive the funds. If the lawyer is not responding, you should send him a certified letter asking where the funds have been placed (most likely, in the court register). If he STILL does not respond, make a formal complaint, forwarding the letter in the complaint, to the WV Bar Association.

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  • Can a will be executed by a stroke patient in rehab that was prepared by legal zoom prior to stroke?

    my cousin asked me to manage her estate and assist in preparing a will about 2 months ago which we did (paid by her and shipped to her) I had a Florida lawyer prepare a general POA as well. Since they were done separately the POA was executed firs...

    Carol’s Answer

    If she is mentally competent and understands completely what it is she is signing, there are provisions by which a notary can sign for her at her express direction. Make sure that the notary is aware of and follows the EXACT procedure to determine a) competency, and b) that the direction by your cousin is clearly that the notary sign the document to execute the same. Of course, all other formal requirements for execution of testamentary instruments will also have to be followed.

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  • How can I get around a difficult heir?

    I'm trying to probate my mother's estate and get named the PR. My brother (and mostly his wife) is making things very difficult. He refuses to sign anything for the case and the judge is requiring a consent form from my brother before he'll sign...

    Carol’s Answer

    Attorney Goldman hit it on the head. Your probate attorney can (and should) file the proper notices which then begin the clock running for your brother to object or comply. It sounds like you don't yet have an attorney? In FL, so long as there is more than one heir, an attorney must be used for the proceeding, even if it is a summary administration. I am not sure what assets will be lost, as all accounts should be frozen until the letters of administration are issued. Speak with your attorney about your concerns.

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