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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,035 total


  • Does the attorney also represent myself, or just the trustree?

    I am an trust beneficiary and i have been questioning the trustee re: house sale and inventory of items to stay with the house, which i am a legal resident what if i believe my list is correct, and have been ordered not to speak in any form to the...

    Carol’s Answer

    NO! This is a common mistake. The attorney for the trustee represents the trustee. Is the home part of the trust? Who has been ordering you "not to speak"? There is too little information to give you a qualified answer, but I can suggest that you need to hire your own attorney to represent your interests if you feel the trustee is not being truthful with you or providing you what you are legally entitled to receive.

    Your own attorney can review the trust and the accountings and provide advise as to your entitlements. OMT - if you are living in the home, I would certainly suggest making your OWN list of items (inventory) that you expect to remove from the house upon sale. Good luck.

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  • Do I have to pay tax on stock or money that I've inherited?

    My mother passed away and left a sizable estate consisting of money and stocks...I am the executor and may or may not take the fee of 2-3% because I think tax is due on it, right? However, if I decide NOT to take the executor fee...and I just take...

    Carol’s Answer

    You have asked this question numerous times. In Florida, you will not be able to obtain any monies from the estate without going through probate. Additionally, if the estate is worth in excess of $75K, then you will need to do a formal administration and will also have to hire an attorney - who can, and will answer all of your questions.

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  • Does my Trustee have to sell it to them?

    The homestead property of our parents is in my Trust. My brother's share is not in Trust. My brother and his family want the home. They do not want the house sold to a third party. The other home was sold 'privately ' to a third party.

    Carol’s Answer

    If the property was left to you in trust, then your sibling has nothing to say about it, unless the trust directs that it remain in the family. Your trustee has to follow the Trust instructions for the benefit of the beneficiary - you. If your brother is willing to pay fair market value, why not just sell it to them?

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  • Privacy fence in town home community was build by my neighbor but it is not allowed in HOA agreement.

    My neighbor build a privacy fence on his backyard, which is not allowed. He did asked for permit from our HOA Management company, they did not responded in timely manner so he got permit from the city and build it. Our HOA must answer with in 30 d...

    Carol’s Answer

    Attorney Deason is correct. Additionally, if the HOA failed to do their job and you are aggrieved as a result, you may have an action against them for, basically, dropping the ball.

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  • When decanting is it necessary to move all assets into new trust(s), or can the old trust be used by an original beneficiary?

    I am a successor trustee, and I would like to divide the trusts into several new ones for the beneficiaries. One if the beneficiaries is an adult, two are still in college, and the last is a minor. I would like to decant the trust into one living ...

    Carol’s Answer

    This seems an odd solution to some sort of a problem. What is the need to decant? Does the original trust instrument give that power to the successor trustee? But, to answer your question, if there is a good reason to decant, and the trust allows, you can do so and leave the original trust available to the minor. If the trust does NOT allow, i.e., is irrevocable and (for some reason) has not reserved that power to the successor trustee, if there is a compelling reason, the court can order the decanting of the irrevocable trust. But, as stated, all the beneficiaries will have to be on board with this. Speak with a good estate planning attorney. There may be a better and easier solution.

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  • What is a reasonable hourly rate to charge for my services as power of attorney.. this is for the state of florida ,

    as a power of attorney what is a reasonable rate per hour to charge for my services rendered in florida state.. I ve been informed I can charged for my time in handling banking and other household chores and phone calls n faxing, along with m...

    Carol’s Answer

    What you are describing is not the functions of a POA. It sounds more like a Personal Services Contract, which basically will pay you to do the jobs that you have described and can be (and often is) used to reduce the assets of the disabled individual for the purposes of Medicaid qualification. Recent cases have disallowed such contracts where the fees charged were considered to be "exorbitant." Since the chores that you describe are those that a secretary / administrative assistant would do, a reasonable rate would be anywhere from $12 - $17 per hour, depending on the nature of the chores involved. Do you already have a POA for your step-mother?? If not, then it may not be possible to do either - a POA or personal services contract due to her dementia. Both these instruments MUST be signed by her and she must be legally competent to do so. Have a good estate planning attorney advise you on this.

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  • What are my rights as a renter of a property in probate? Would a new owner have to uphold our current lease?

    I am currently renting a property which is in probate. The executor was the deceased's daughter and offered to rent the house to us after her mother passed to assist in the cost of maintaining the mortgage payments until probate was complete. We w...

    Carol’s Answer

    Do you have a written and signed lease agreement for the 2 years lease with option? If not, then I suggest you start looking for a good rental situation now. ALL FL leases for a year or more must be signed by all parties to the lease and certainly must be in writing to be enforceable. If you DO have a written lease, then it may not even be valid as the home was not owned by her at the time of your renting it - according to your fact pattern. Ready or not, without a valid written lease you have no rights to remain in the home. I suggest you find another living situation sooner rather than later.

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  • Should I pay the taxes due on my deceased parents estate?

    My parent passed away several months ago. My sibling who is the executor of the Will, failed to pay the property taxes due and it appears has pocketed the funds instead. Gotta love those siblings aye?! As things are taking a turn for a new sibling...

    Carol’s Answer

    The probate estate should have enough funds to pay the taxes on the property. If not, the other sibling needs to cough up the funds. If the Personal Representative has the funds to pay the taxes, the estate can reimburse those prior to final distributions being made.

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  • If I sign this am I no longer allowed to renegotiate or end sale during 10 day inspection period without losing my deposit?

    I have a real estate contract that includes a 10 day inspection period (during which you are supposed to be able to get inspections and renegotiate and/or back out of a contract without losing your escrow deposit). However, the bank has added an ...

    Carol’s Answer

    This is not unusual. The bank has probably offered an extremely low price hoping to attract investors, who will typically inspect before buying (look-through) or else assume the risks. Because the bank added this addendum after the fact, before you sign anything waiving your rights to rescind based on inspection, I would get an inspection done right away to see if anything major comes up. If it doesn't and you are willing to take the risk, sign the contract and the addendum. But, be prepared for issues down the road. Just make sure the sales price is worth it. You can also speak with neighbors to see if they have information that you should know about (sinkholes? flooding?).

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  • How can i get this people out of my house ASAP before they destroy it for completely?

    My fiance Friend need it a place to stay and he has a family of 5 with 4 minors. I let them stay in my house for some time to help them out.This family end up been very careless and due to that the ac broke because they never changed the filter, i...

    Carol’s Answer

    If they have ever paid rent, then you can evict, otherwise you need to have them removed as being unlawful detainers. I would take pictures of the current condition of the property and then hire a good real estate attorney to get them out. DO NOT SELF-HELP BY CHANGING THE LOCKS. You will get in serious trouble.

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