Carol Anne Johnson’s Answers

Carol Anne Johnson

Saint Petersburg Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 18
  1. My parents left me the family home in their will, now my brother wants the home, is he entitled to it?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam Troy Rauman
    2. Jonathan J Goldberg
    3. Carol Anne Johnson
    4. Joshua Eli Adams
    5. Evan W Turk
    5 lawyer answers

    I agree with Attorney Pippen - in response to your question, if your parents left the home to you in their will it belongs to you. Your brother cannot dictate your parents' wishes and if he is unsatisfied with what was left to him, he can sell it. He cannot simply move into your property, regardless of what he claims unless he has an ownership interest that either precedes yours (on title with your parents) or is simultaneous to yours (left an equal share of the home in the will). If your...

    Selected as best answer

  2. Lawsuit settlement that has finally come thru just after husband passed away. Does it have to go to probate?

    Answered 5 days ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    3. David Michael Goldman
    4. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    4 lawyer answers

    There are several issues here; 1) the POA the wife had became useless upon the death of the husband, 2) if the settlement was to go to the husband, then it goes to his estate,, 3) if the will of the husband leaves everything to the wife (or, even if it doesn't) it MUST be probated. The type of probate will be contingent upon the value of the settlement. The only way to have avoided a probate proceeding would have been had the settlement been paid into a trust that was established by the...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. How do I make a copy of a will legal ?

    Answered 3 months ago.

    1. E. Fernando Orrego
    2. David Michael Goldman
    3. Carol Anne Johnson
    3 lawyer answers

    You will have to "prove the will" to the court. Typically, there is a will search done of any attorneys who may have drafted the original, but since your father wrote the will out himself, the original may be lost. Hire a local probate attorney to help you with the formalities of getting the will proved.

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. If a trustee passes away and has appointed a new trustee but they refuse the position how would a proper trustee be appointed?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. David Michael Goldman
    3. Maureen Ann Wickert
    3 lawyer answers

    Typically, the trust will direct how the successor trustee is to be appointed (i.e., by the court, at the appointment by the beneficiaries, etc.). If the trust does not have those directions then the beneficiaries are free to decide among themselves if they wish to have a corporate trustee. Make sure that whomever you choose has experience in administering trusts and gives you a breakdown of the fees UPFRONT. Florida law allows for "reasonable fees" - what is reasonable can mean many things....

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. Can I make a will for my sister in law?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Sabina Tomshinsky
    2. Carol Anne Johnson
    3. David Michael Goldman
    4. Harley Herman
    5. Michael Alfred Hollander
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    First off, you are NOT related. As a widow of her deceased brother, you have no legal relationship for succession purposes with your sister in law. Second, if she is so incapacitated that she cannot understand the legal process of making a will, she will not be able to draft a will - even with an attorney. Third, yes, the "distant" family members can, and probably will, come after you as they are her legal heirs. Again, having a power of attorney would make you an agent of hers - not just...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. If you own a home prior to marriage. Is your spouse entitled to half the property?

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Jacqueline Alicia Salcines
    3. Heather A. Patchen
    4. David Luther Woodward
    5. Marc L. Shapiro
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    If you choose to divorce in Florida, which is not a community property state, then the answer is most likely "no". However, the court will look at what occurred after the marriage with regards to the home; i.e., were marital funds used to pay the taxes and maintenance or repairs?, how was the house titled?, was the income from the rent used for marital purposes?, and, ultimately, when you homesteaded the property, did you re-title the property with your wife as 'tenants-by-the-entireties'?...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. Our will and living trust was written in Illinois. We are now residents of Florida.

    Answered 12 months ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Frank Joseph Tylman Jr.
    3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4. Alan James Brinkmeier
    4 lawyer answers

    If they were created properly by a trusts and estates attorney in Illinois and were executed with proper IL formalities, then they will both be valid in Florida. However, as Attorney Tylman mentions, if you have a homesteaded property in Florida that you wish to put in the trust, Florida requires some very specific language in order to maintain your tax exemptions and homestead status for the property. While the trust and will probably won't have to be completely re-drafted, I would suggest...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. I have an inheiritance coming from a trust. When real estate is sold then the money is distributed. If I divorce does she getany

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Betty Elaine Jones
    3. Gary Roger Waitzman
    3 lawyer answers

    It depends. If you keep your inheritance assets in a separate account and NEVER, ever commingle the funds with anything remotely marital, then you will be fine. However, the minute you use the money to pay off marital debts, renovate your marital home, etc., then she can argue that the inheritance has now become a marital asset. It sounds like a divorce is already in your future or you wouldn't be worried about it - easiest to have the money put into a trust for you and then just leave it...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. Does my family need to hire an attorney to settle my mom's will? She is debt free, the will equally divides amongst 4 siblings.

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Dana Laganella Gerling
    2. Carol Anne Johnson
    3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4. Eileen D. Jacobs
    5. John Arthur Smitten
    5 lawyer answers

    Unless the investments and banking accounts are TOD or POD, you will have to have an attorney file a probate proceeding for you. Florida law requires an attorney do the filing for formal administration of estates valued at more than $75K, and for summary administration where there is more than 1 interested party - here, there are 4. So, go to the AVVO Find a Lawyer tab. Most of us in your area offer free initial consultations. Probate is a very personal process and you should be comfortable...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. I was appointed administrator of my mother's will. The only item to probate will be her life insurance. How long do I have?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Paul A. Smolinski
    3. Christian K. Lassen II
    3 lawyer answers

    I am sorry for your loss. You will probably continue to get medical bills presented until you file probate and they present their claims against the estate. Why does her life insurance need to be probated? That should only be the case if there was no named beneficiary or the named beneficiary pre-deceased your mom. Unless you are the sole interested party, you will need to hire a probate attorney - even to file for summary administration. They will know what to do with the life insurance...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

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