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Carol Anne Johnson
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Carol Johnson’s Answers

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  • Can a trustee evict the beneficiary off property?

    Can a trustee evict the beneficiary off property? TRUST STATES trustee is responsible for maintaining insurance, taxes.. beneficiary will occupy property until age 25 when it is free clear to beneficiary. beneficiary welfare is sole focus of ...

    Carol’s Answer

    Hire an attorney immediately to sort this out for you. It sounds like you have gotten yourself into a pickle already (why didn't you call the cops when the door was kicked in???) If you lose the property because of a refusal by the Trustee to pay the taxes - you've still LOST THE PROPERTY. Hire an attorney to save your inheritance.

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  • Does a Florida attorney need to provide a conflict waiver if he becomes Co-Trustee with the opposing counsel during litigation?

    During litigation the Defendant was removed as Trustee and held in contempt of court. Somehow the Attorney for Defendant and the Attorney for Plaintiff became Co-Trustees. The Attorneys are not named in the Trust as successors trustees.. The li...

    Carol’s Answer

    On the surface, yes, yes, yes, and yes. However, you have not given us any of the particulars that may have resulted in this situation arising. As my colleague states, the probate court may have ordered this as a matter of judicial efficiency so that the Trust can continue on UNTIL a proper Successor Trustee has been named by the parties to the Trust, or the litigation is concluded. If I read your question correctly, this WAS done in a court proceeding (Defendant removed, presumably for violation of duties, and found in contempt - no small matter!) and the Court determined that circumstances warranted the unusual arrangement to protect the Trust and its assets.

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  • Estate out of funds.

    If an estate is out of funds but not all legal issues have been settled, can the attorneys refuse to work anymore?

    Carol’s Answer

    First off, your probate attorney should have given you a fee agreement for the probate proceeding. Did the scope of work extend beyond that agreement? Were there actions taken / not taken that interjected additional "legal issues" not foreseen by the parties to the probate proceeding (i.e., will contest, heir search, etc.)? If the attorney just mismanaged the probate proceeding and then ran out of money - they can ASK to be relieved, but without good cause shown, the judge will probably refuse. Can they just stop work and leave the matter unfinished? Probably not without the leave of the court.

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  • How difficult to get TOD accounts back to Estate.

    Investment accounts had a TOD beneficiary, but was removed for reason, many knew in the family. However the replacement was not known to anyone and was definitely undue influence result. This 'transfer' of beneficiary on TODs and a Will were done...

    Carol’s Answer

    If you can prove undue influence, you can set-aside the TOD and will. Don't dawdle or the funds may disappear. It is much harder to recover funds than to keep them in the first place. A probate litigator can help advise you as to the strength of your evidence. Suspicion is insufficient.

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  • If the general partner of an LLLP is a person acting as the trustee of a Revocable Trust

    and the person dies, does the LLLP stay without a General Partner or the successor Trustee of the Revocable Trust would take over his duties as General Partner?

    Carol’s Answer

    It depends. It is not clear from your question whether or not the LLLP OWNS the Rev Trust. If so, then the governing docs of the LLLP should address what happens when the Trustee dies, becomes incapacitated, or is removed. If the two entities are just coincidentally managed by the same party, then you will have to look at each of the instruments that brought the entities into being and see what they say regarding the matter.

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  • I just put in a question about making up a will.

    I was wondering in simple language if I can get a will form and fill it out and sign it in front of two witnesses if it is legal in florida? The two answers I got has me confused a little. I read somewhere else on here that someone was told if it ...

    Carol’s Answer

    As you can see from the answers you have received so far, there is no "Yes" or "No" definitive answer. Florida law will not allow for certain things in Wills and requires other things in Wills. I have made a lot of money re-drafting on-line wills for people who did them wrong. It is much cheaper to do it right in the first place. If you are already having to ask about how to make a will valid, you probably shouldn't be drafting your own, IMHO.

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  • Is a will that you made yourself from an application bought from a company that was made by me, legal in Florida?

    I made a will up myself which is just home contents, and would like to know if it is legal in florida,I had it notorized. And can I make one also to put my home in one?

    Carol’s Answer

    Florida has defined what constitutes a legal, valid will which includes the formalities required for execution. Notarization, interestingly enough, is NOT one of the requirements. However, having two witnesses is. If you don't really care whether or not the your self-drafted LW&T will transfer the property as you intend, then you should be fine. If, however, you want to make sure that the correct person(s) get your estate, you should have the will drafted by an attorney. It doesn't cost much and will ensure that it is done correctly. Just by reading the nature of your question, I can tell that you would benefit from an attorney's representation here, otherwise you would not be needing a second will to take care of what should have already been devised in the first one.

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  • Is the surviving spouse liable for deceased spouse's credit card debt?

    Credit cards are in deceased's name only.

    Carol’s Answer

    As Attorney Shields has responded - Maybe. Generally, the answer would be "No", under most circumstances. However, all your husband's creditors and tax bills still remain to be paid from the estate assets before they can be distributed to you. Your probate attorney will help you file a Creditor's Notice that will put a shortened statute of limitations on the time that his creditors have to file a claim against the estate.

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  • Do married couples when separated for a good number of years, and one dies, still have to take care of the other's expenses?

    Both still live on property, because of lesser expenses, but in separate housing. Neither have any expenses in the other's name. However the property is in only one's name because when separated, one got the RV and the other got the mobile home ...

    Carol’s Answer

    It all depends on what expenses and liabilities you are speaking about. If all your husband's liabilities are in his name only, then they will be satisfied from his share of the estate. Being married, you still have rights to each others property to a limited extent and a homestead right to any home that you share, whether or not you are on title with each other. If your husband should pass before you, and you want to assert your interests in the spousal estate, you would have certain expenses that must be paid from the estate assets (his) and you would also be able to claim an elective share of the estate. Probably more than you really wanted to know...

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