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C L Huddleston
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C Huddleston’s Answers

1,240 total


  • What exactly, is a Living revocable Trust, and where can I get appropriate forms for one if I want it?

    In what ways is this better than a traditional Will ?

    C’s Answer

    I agree with one of my two colleagues. The reason these "revocable inter-vivos trusts" are called "living trusts" is because they contain provisions for taking care of you while you are living. The biggest challenge in modern estate planning is not "what happens when I die?" Rather, the challenge is "what happens when I don't die?" We are living longer, often through prolonged periods of aging, declining capacity or incapacity. It is one thing to have resources. It is entirely another to have a plan in place that instructs and empowers someone else to manage you and your financial affairs while you are alive. Doing this yourself without expert professional help is penny-wise and pound foolish, for there has never been a document that jumped out of a drawer to help an individual or family when someone becomes incapacitated or dies. There are many books about the advantages of living trust planning, and a few that argue against trusts, but I have never seen one that properly explains the lifetime advantages of proper living trust planning. Don't try this yourself.

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  • I need help with probate papers

    I am doing full admin. in a ohio estate i need help with some forms

    C’s Answer

    This forum is for general advice and assistance, not specific legal work on a specific case. Courts vary from county to county, but if you don't want to hire a lawyer (which I submit is a grave error especially if there are income taxes due, creditors to be considered or any beneficiaries other than yourself) you should visit your local probate court and see if they will counsel you.

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  • How long can I stay in my deceased mother's home?

    My mother recently passes. I helped her with shopping and general care. She passed with no will and debt. The mortgage is tied into her bankruptcy. All utilities are in her name. How long do I have to find a place to live. Is there anything I can...

    C’s Answer

    From a probate standpoint, there is no fixed amount of time. It can often take several months form someone to get appointed to handle the estate, whether as Executor (with a Will) or Administrator (with no Will). In addition, you have some rights under landlord/tenant law and if you assert those rights you would need to be evicted through separate eviction proceedings. In 22 years of estate practice I have never handled an estate where the decedent was in bankruptcy at the time of the death, so am not sure about the interplay between the probate processes and the bankruptcy processes. Hopefully, there is someone on this forum who can address that particular problem. It may be that if you were appointed administrator of the estate of an insolvent or bankruptcy decedent, your Administrator fee would have a higher priority than the bankruptcy trustee's claim. In the meantime, I suggest you check with your mother's bankruptcy attorney or repost this question in the bankrupcy and debtor/creditor sections of Avvo.

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  • If anything happens to me, my wish is to be DNR. How can I go about this? Do I need a living will?

    I do not want no one to make decisions. For example, dying at a car crash. I want no cpr. Not by medics nor the good Samaritan.

    C’s Answer

    If you want your health care decisions to be made in accordance with your wishes, you need to have those wishes written down in a manner tha will be legally binding ... and findable if something happens to you and you cannot speak for yourself. So ... at a minimum you need to have an Ohio Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care that states your wishes, and best if you register your documents with DocuBank or Advanced Directives (companies that will give you a wallet-sized card to carry with you. If you want even more stringent restrictions than those in the newest version of the standard Ohio documents, you can have your wishes custom-drafted. As an aside, the newist edition of the Ohio standard documents are confusingly formatted and I do not encourage anyone to fill these out without help from an expert estate planning or elder law attorney.

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  • My Father's will has gone to probate, but my Mom may have a new Will. I question her ability as executor. Can I contest probate

    My Dad died 4/2013 in Ohio. His will was made when we were small ( 3 of us) naming her as beneficiary of everything unless something happened to her w/i 30 days, then we were to inherit 3 ways with me as executor (I am the eldest). She may alread...

    C’s Answer

    Your situation contains so many issues and so many unkowns, it will not be possible to provide all the answers you are seeking.

    You say your dad died in 2013, but you are just now getting a Notice of Probate of Will form. That delay, in and of itself, suggests your mother is not up to the task. In that paperwork she is applying to be appointed as Executor. The chldren have the right to oppose her appointment due to her lack of fitness to discharge the responsibilities, and seek appointment of the contingent executor named in the Will. Of course, the risk is that, if she has the capacity to make a new Will, she may decide to disinherit anyone who challenges her. If she is truly not capable of doing the job, it is time for a family meeting and for someone to suggest to her that she not seek appointment.

    I don't understand your concern about whether or not she has already done a new Will. Her Will has no effect on your father's Will, but of course once she inherits from him, she can do anything she wishes. Are you concerned that she has cut your or someone else out? I'm unclear as to our issue here.

    If the 3 children are all on the same page about your mother's condition, the best thing you can do is ask for a conference with the lawyer who has filed the probate papers; or if you don't trust the lawyer, get an opinon from an expert probate attorney. If you are the only child concerned about what your mother is doing, you are between a rock and a hard place, and should definitely take the probate papers to an expert probate attorney to review and advise you about your options. Don't delay. There is a time limit on the papers you have received.

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  • Is a husband entitled to my daughters inheritance she lives in Florida

    we dont want her husband to get any of my daughters inheritance

    C’s Answer

    Under Ohio law, an inheritance can be protected from divorce and kept in the bloodline. Expert estate planning attorneys know how to help you do that. General practitioners mostly do not. It is the most important goal of many of our clients, so your concern is not unusual. There are many Cleveland-area estate planning specialists who can help you.

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  • What happens if she sells the home for more/less than appraised value? Or isshe stays in the home? How do I get my money?

    My father died intestate and my stepmother resides in the home. She is administrator of his estate. The real estate is in my dads name only. I reviewed the asset sheet from probate court and the real estate is the only entry listed. Appraisal valu...

    C’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Chamberlain. If the house is all your father had, it is possible that the combination of estate expenses and his wife's "elective share" rights may exhaust the assets, leaving nothing for anyone else. The only way you are going to know for sure is to pay an expert probate lawyer to review the court filings and advise you. If you have confidence in the stepmother's attorney, you may be able to get him or her to explain it all to you.

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  • In my mom WILL she made my Aunt the executor of her belongings I was under age. Is she still the executor since I'm an adult?

    The Will was done in the 70's. We don't know if she has an updated Will either.

    C’s Answer

    This is another example of the fact that wills need to be re-visited and re-done every so often. The Will controls. If your aunt doesn't want the job and if you are financially responsible, she could decline and you could petition the court to appoint you, but everything depends on (a) exactly what the will says and (b) your family and financial circumstances. If you and your aunt are on good terms, it might be helpful to visit an expert probate laywer together.

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  • What does it mean if a will mentions leaving residuary estate to the executor, but says nothing about money or bank accounts?

    ...meaning, nothing in the will was mentioned about money, bank accounts, etc. What happens to the money? If money isn't mentioned in the will, does that mean the living heir gets it?

    C’s Answer

    Wills sometimes contain specific bequests, such as a house or an account or a car or a painting. When those are completed "all the rest and residue" (i.e. the "residuary estate") goes to a person or persons, usually equally. You'll need a good probate lawyer to look at the Will and answer your question with certainty.

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  • Can medical poa be challenged if the one appointed is not always present?

    My Uncle is a stroke patient and unable to speak. The oldest child says he has been granted both medical and financial poa. I am unsure if its legitimate. However, he is now in a nursing home whose care and responses to his needs are questionable....

    C’s Answer

    I don't know that there is any mechanism by which to challenge the Medical POA. Agent under the POA (oldest child) does not need to be present to discharge decision-making authority. If, however, patient is suffering and one wishes to do something about it, the alternative in Ohio is an involuntary guardianship application, seeking to name someone other than the oldest child as "Guardian of the Person" whose authority would override that of the child. The problems are (a) cos, (b) bureaucratic aggravation and (c) the permanent poisoning of any family relationships with the offending child and those who may agree with him.

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