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Sallie D. Skipper
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Sallie Skipper’s Answers

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  • In Florida, can a husband married to the same woman for over 13 years sign over his assets to others upon his demise? Thanks

    He brought investment assets into the marriage that were in his name alone. She owns a home outright which does not include his name on the deed. He has lived in her home for the entire marriage helping in some financial ways but not paying toward...

    Sallie’s Answer

    This is a good example of why such marital agreements, in Florida, must be in writing with two witnesses. That is the short, simple response. She cannot hold him to oral promises. The other lawyers are correct about the surviving spouse - whichever that may be - having rights, and among them is an elective share of the estate of the first to die. These are complicated, and do include a variety of assets, in addition to household personal property, a life interest in the homestead, and an allowance. She must speak with an attorney. This comment is not intended to be a substitute for personal, specific legal advice.

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  • If I am the administrator of a will/estate am I entitled to a fee for administrating money in the estate.

    no additional details

    Sallie’s Answer

    Florida Statutes suggest 3% of the PROBATE estate, which does not include the homestead real property, if any, or other assets which transfer on death - up to the first $1M, reducing thereafter. You are entitled to additional reasonable fees for services performed managing non-probate assets. Fiduciary fees are taxable as income; therefore, if you are the sole beneficiary, then you may wish to waive, but are limited as to the time to make that declination to take your fee. This comment is not intended to be substituted for the advice of an attorney and/or a CPA.

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  • My mother recently passed on feb 15 2014..she left a will which is being contested..there are 3 heirs and they are living in the

    home which is about to go into probate..it has not yet been registered in the courts..there is a trustee who has asked me and my sister to vacate the home within 3-days march 3rd is the deadline to vacate ..leaving only one heir in the home..my qu...

    Sallie’s Answer

    If the home was in your mother's name alone, and she intended to reside there permanently (e.g. Registered to vote from there; homestead tax exemption on the property); and if she was unmarried with no minor child when she devised it to another person, and if her Will did not instruct that it be sold and the proceeds deposited to her trust, then there is a good chance you are correct. The property may not even go into the probate estate, and the personal representative ( executor) may have no right to the property, either. Homestead devises in Florida are very complicated. It is worth your while to seek the advice of an attorney.. Complete details of this matter are necessary to direct you, and this comment is not intended to be a substitute for a legal opiniom.

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  • The only asset my father had was a small checking account...do i have to go through probate?

    my father passed away 4 yrs ago and only had a small checking account with no beneficiary. he did have a lot of debt-credit cards and medical bills. his attorney told me probate would be pointless because the account had $1400 only and creditors w...

    Sallie’s Answer

    Based on your information, the cresitors'' period – or period in which some company who claims to be owed money – expires two years from the date of death. You need not worry about any credit cards or medical bills if the creditors did not open an estate. What Wells Fargo is referring to is the statute for "disposition of property without administration". It is one of the two situations in which you do not need a lawyer. If dad died in Hillsborough County, then taking his paid funeral bill and his bills for medical services during the last 60 days of his lifetime and a copy of the most recent Wells Fargo Bank statement to the probate clerk in Tampa. The clerk will assist you in preparing a petition and order for the judge to sign instructing Wells Fargo to deliver the funds to you. Please do not substitute this suggestion for personal, legal advice. Comments are made based on the information provided by you, and you should not rely on them as being absolute advice. On the other hand, give it a try. I will be surprised if you are not successful! All the best, Sallie.

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  • Can I be my dad's estate executor if I am on administrative probation from a non adjudicated misdemeanor in Florida?

    I plead no contest to culpable negligence and was placed on administrative probation. I was never on state probation. My sibling claims I can no longer be the executor of our dad's Will. Although charged, there was no conviction or admission of gu...

    Sallie’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Condolences for the loss of your father. There are several ways to remove a personal representative (executor) after appointment. The statutory list is available to you and to your sibling. As for appointment in the first place, the court will not consent to you serving your father's estate if you are a convicted felon - not misdemeanor. You must retain an attorney to commence an administration and to ask the court to honor your father's wish that you be appointed. Your attorney will discuss this with you at the initial consultation. Meanwhile, please know that a misdemeanor should not be an impediment to your appointment. This answer is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. You should retain an attorney to begin the administration of your father's estate.

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  • If I purchase a home that has a lien from a prior relative that passed away, am I responsible for lien?

    The woman im buying house from was left the house from her mother passing away. I just found out that it has a broken window lien from 7 years ago from when the mother was alive. The city says this is a family estate lien and isn't on property, s...

    Sallie’s Answer

    It is not required by law, but the standard in the real property community is for the Seller to provide to the Buyer with title insurance. Title insurance will guarantee you clear title, describe liens, if any, and defend you if there is a problem. It is not your job to investigate potential liens. The Seller is supposed to deliver good title (and insurance is highly recommended). This response to your question is not intended to be a substitute for a legal opinion about your situation or the lien in question.

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  • I'm a widow and have a Revocable Trust backed up with a Will.

    My 3 grown children will inherit everything. Am planning on remarrying and would like to know if my Trust will stay in tact. My future husband, a retired Military, approves of this.

    Sallie’s Answer

    Congratulations. You and your fiancé should consult with attorneys regarding a prenuptial agreement. If you wait until after the marriage, then there is a higher degree of disclosure, more detail to cover, and more expense. After the marriage, each of you will have rights to and in the estate of the other. Some are by operation of law, some are by filing an intent, and still other rights are through an elective share option. You would also be entitled to a family allowance during the administration of the estate of the first of you to die. In other words: a will and trust are not sufficient. Once again, congratulations on your pending nuptials.

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  • How does one transfer probation restitution payments to a surviving spouse?

    My deceased husband did not have a completed will at the time of his death. I have a death certificate. But what do I need to prove that I am the executor of the estate?

    Sallie’s Answer

    First, please accept sympathy for loss of your husband. As to your dilemma: A lot depends upon whether he had a prior will (not the one that was incomplete) and when it was signed (before or after your marriage) and whether you had children together or if he had children before he married you. Complicated answer to your question. Isn't it? The short answer is that you must petition the court to be appointed executor (Florida calls it a "personal representative"), and see where you go from there. You will need an attorney to do this, and it should be done in the county listed as his residence on his death certificate. My response to your question is intended to enlighten you, but not to provide complete legal advice or a solution to your problem. You have a unique, specific problem, and you n need unique, specific answers.

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  • Can a POA (daughter of the accident victim) distribute funds from his bank account, at his wishes, before his death?

    The property damage, bodily injury, and uninsured motorist insurance money was paid to the dad directly and is in the bank. Medical bills far, far outnumber the current assets and the amount already paid by his insurance. He wishes to leave some...

    Sallie’s Answer

    I think your question is whether the agent of a power of attorney can LAWFULLY make that gift to herself. From what I see, and without all the information, my response would be: probably not. The other attorney's comments regarding a transfer of wealth to avoid payment of creditors are correct. Also, for two reasons, it sounds like the accident victim did not have an attorney for the settlement: one, the settlement went directly to the victim; and two, it does not appear that the bills were negotiated. Oftentimes, a good personal injury lawyer can not only find coverage that the client was not aware of, but also, if the medicals bills and/or insurance payment liens exceed the settlement, then attorney can negotiate those bills downward. Why not consult with a personal injury attorney and see what can be done with the bills and liens before considering the power of attorney? *This response is not intended to be a complete or accurate answer to the question presented - nor is it a substitute for direct legal advice.*

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  • Any legal requirement to speak to Florida deceased dad's credit card companies, i.e., giving my name, etc.? Have Sum. Admin. Ord

    My deceased dad lived in Florida and we received Order of Sum. Admin., Order of Homestead Protection and Order of Exempt Property. No bank accounts. Suddenly, credit card company calling asking for my dad and I told them he is deceased and no mo...

    Sallie’s Answer

    You should ask the attorney who secured the Order Determining Homestead Status and the Order on Exempt (personal) Property. Your petition for summary administration would have required you to take an oath to satisfy the creditors, and your attorney should have served a copy of both those petitions on the reasonably ascertainable creditors by formal notice, providing a time limit in which the creditor could object to the status of those assets. If that was done correctly, then your responsibility ended. Please re-connect with your lawyer. *This comment is not intended to be a complete response to your question, nor is it a substitution for direct legal representation. *

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