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Douglas C Martinson

Douglas Martinson’s Answers

331 total


  • Can I file a 2003 will for probate if a 2005 will also exists, but the validity of which is being challenged?

    The '05 will has already been presented for probate, but the judge has not ruled on whether to probate will or stay the proceedings until the appellate court decides the validity of the will. The attorney the executor claimed drew up the '05 will...

    Douglas’s Answer

    If the 2005 will is valid and was drafted by an attorney, it probably revoked any prior Wills or Codicils in which case that 2003 will cannot be filed. Just because there is a physical original will doesn't mean it is valid if it has been revoked by the later will.

    It sounds like you have an attorney and the case is on appeal therefore the probate is stayed until such time. If there is not a Personal Representative over the estate, the assets should be protected and safeguarded and court could appoint someone to do that or if there are only cash assets, they can be frozen until the appellate courts make a decision, which could be a year or more.

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  • Am i considered common law married?

    Me and Randy have lived together in the same house for almost 1 yr now liking a week, He works i don't, we share the same house, The house is in his name only, my car is in his and my name, he makes all the payments, house, car, insurance, water, ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Under Alabama law, common law marriage is a question of fact. If you hold yourselves out to the public as married (tell people you are married, have joint debts, tax returns, receive mail as Mr. and Mrs., etc) you could be married. It all depends on intent of both of you and both of you have to consent to the marriage. Stating on the deed or purchase of property qualify as a legal common law marriage, but you have to look at the totatlity of facts.
    you should have an agreement regarding the property you own together and other assets or just have ceremonial marriage.

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  • After my mother in laws' passing, we (husband and I) have received a final bill of around 10 thousand. We have P.O.A. Will we be

    expected to pay this? No money is left in her (M-I-L's) account. She did however leave a home free and clear of debt.

    Douglas’s Answer

    Neither you nor your mother would be liable for any debts of your mother in law if you signed as POA. You were simply acting on her behalf and anythng you or your husband signed as POA was for her benefit and she woudl be liable and not the POA.

    The estate, if there are any probate assets (solely titled in her name), would be liable for the debt if they file a claim against the estate. If there are no probate assets (all are titled JTWROS) then there is no esate nd the debt is not paid.

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  • I deposited estate funds with a Florida attorney who was suspended. How can I retrieve these funds on behalf of the estate?

    I understand that the suspended attorney's accounts were frozen.

    Douglas’s Answer

    You should contact the FL Bar and the local county bar assocition and see who is in charge of the attroney's practice and if there is a Bar recovery fund for misappropriation of any client funds.

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  • How can we get a estate audit in alabama if we feel estate is being misused?

    Cousin dead three years ago left a will. Two children stayed with grandma and the other two stayed with father. Children are 20, 18, 18, and 13. Grandmother doesn't want to give money to two.I want to see if see misused it.and all money is count...

    Douglas’s Answer

    if the will has been probated, you can have an attorney request the Executor to give you an accounting of the assets of the estate along with the income and expenses. Since several beneficiaries are minors, a Guardian ad Litem (an attorney appointed by the court to represent the minors), will be appointed.

    Under Alabama law, an Executor is required to give a yearly accounting, so see a probate attorney and make that request.

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  • Can my husband make a new will and select a new beneficiary without notifying me? Do we need to register them at the courthouse?

    Our lawyer said we didn't need to register them. Would that help keep him from making new one without me knowing I wasn't beneficiary anymore?

    Douglas’s Answer

    I agree with the other answers. A will cannot be filed for Probate until 5 days after the death of the Testator (person who made the will). It must be the LAST Will and Testament and it is private so no one can go and see if they are left out of a will or if it is changed.

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  • What kind of lawyer can help with a complicated situation between a bank pension & estate in probate?

    My late father worked for a Bank for 20+ years and has a pension with them that we were originally granted access to but was then retracted due to issues with the accuracy of his social security earnings, which is admittedly the Bank's fault. Yet,...

    Douglas’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answer and your first step is to get an estate open and try to get information using your appointment from the Probate Court. Once you find out the information, you will probably need to get a Tax Attorney to assist wtih the other matters.

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  • How is a probate attorney paid?

    Do I pay the attorney up front out of the estate or when the estate is closed? Is there a retainer or is it usually flat fee?

    Douglas’s Answer

    Typicallty, an attorney will be paid a flat fee for a standard estate, however if there are contested matters in the estate, challenges to claims, etc, you could be charged hourly. Some states have statutory fees based on a percentage of the estate.

    You should find out from your attorney at the initial consultatoin and before you hire one.

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  • What can my mom's sister do ? Please answer.

    My aunt has a daughter that is 18 years old . Which is my cousin , the daughter wants to leave the state of Alabama. Her friend that is 25 year old male wants to drive her out of the state of Alabama into another state so that way she won't be a ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    The legal age in Ala is 19, your cousin could petition the court to be emancipated or have the Disabilities of Nonage removed. As a practical matter, since your cousin is close to legal age and will be of legal age in a few months, it will be difficult to legally prevent her from living on her own wherever she wants.

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  • What needs to be done to secure a deceased individuals real estate and possessions?

    My father in law recently passed and my wife is trying to prevent a girlfriend of her fathers from not only destroying the home he owned, but also destroying family possessions. My father in law owned his home outright, with no other person listed...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Someone will need to file an estate as soon as possible. If he didn't have a will, you will have to find someone in Alabama to be named as the Administrator over the estate. You should contact a Probate attorney in Cullman County immediatley

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