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David Hershel Lefton
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David Lefton’s Answers

12 total


  • I need help filling out guardianship papers

    not sure on how to fill out guardianship papers

    David’s Answer

    You have provided very limited facts and it is difficult to give you advice without knowing the nature of the situation, who you want to apply for and why. I recommend that you contact an attorney in your community to discuss the situation in detail and get the advice you need.

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  • Can I get help from a probate lawer

    I am one of five siblings who have ownership of a property that was left by my parents passing away. My oldest sister has taken complete control of everthing and wont let anyone see or do anthing about the house. She has caused the house to go int...

    David’s Answer

    Various options might be available based on the status. Are you and your siblings the current owners or is it still in your parents name? It is not clear from your scenario. If you and your siblings own the property, contact a lawyer to discuss your options. If title is still in one of your parents name, has a probate matter been opened? If so, was your sister appointed Executor/Administrator? If so, I would contact an attorney for assitance on how to resolve your conflict. If it can't be resolved, you might have to file a motion to have her removed. If your sister has not been appointed your or another sibling can apply and if appointed as Administrator by the Court, you can gain control of the property.

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  • Do I need a real estate attorney?

    I had an LLC that owned a number of rental properties. Two of them were foreclosed on about 6 years ago, and unbeknownst to me, the notes were sold and resold and no bank has taken title to the properties. The LLC has now been charged in housin...

    David’s Answer

    This is a complicated matter for which you will need an attorney. Most City/County Bar Associations have a lawyer referral list that have contain attorneys charging affordable rates. I recommend that you contact a Bar Association in your area and explore this as an option to obtaining counsel you might be able to afford.

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  • The deed to my home is just in my name .i want to get my husband added on the deed, is this something i can do ?

    ....

    David’s Answer

    One of the reasons to put your husband's name on the deed is to avoid the probate of your home if something happens to one of you. To accomplish this, the deed must be in Joint name with Rights of Survivorship form. There a number of options available to avoid the probate of an asset, including your home. I agree with my collegue that you should consult with an estate planning attorney to discuss this further and to make sure whatever method is chosen, that it is done correctly. Feel free to contact me if you need further assistance.

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  • Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney

    I have both of the above, but my first contact has passed away. The other two have had their phone numbers changed. Do I need to make out a New Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney or can I just cross out the phone numbers and write in t...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues answer. You need to execute new documents. You do not want to be in a position of having a third party, whether it is a hospital, doctor or other health care provider, reject your document due to changes you made by hand.

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  • What is the name of the trust to avoid probate costs

    I think this is called a family trust, my bank says they cannot do this-does it have to be set up by a lawyer? i just want to protect my 22 year old son if we both die so that money does not need to be lost on court fees

    David’s Answer

    My colleagues are correct. From your desription, what you are asking for is a Revocable Living Trust Agreement. I also recommend you contact an attorney to learn about which alternative is best for you and your goals.

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  • Would like to inquire if it is legal for me to sell a car in husband's title while still married?

    Husband and I both own a business together that is not doing well. Our marriage is also failing because of the stress involved. We own two cars and have payment on two more. The newest of which is the most expensive. It makes sense to sell the car...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the answers my colleagues provided, but would add if your husband gave you a General Power of Attorney that would likely provide you with authority to sell the vehicle. If there is a General Power of Attorney, I would recommend you get advice form a lawyer in your city.

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  • How do I transfer my parent's property which are mortgage free in OH to a single LLC that I created?

    The LLC is registered in PA. He is currently ill and unable to travel to OH.

    David’s Answer

    I also agree with my colleagues, but add that there are a host of estate planning issues that you should discuss with an estate planning attorney that relate to competency (since he is ill), gift taxes, possibly making use of the unified credit in lieu of gift tax, medicaid issues and if you are not the only child or your siblings are not members of your LLC, such a transfer could create family issues. I recommend you contact an estate planning attorney to discuss all the ramifications further.

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  • I am considering opening a trust account for myself.

    Basically, I will be dealing with a very large amount of money and do not want that sitting in my bank account. I want to be able to have a trust account that I can draw from. Examples would be purchase a house in cash, use money for a family trip...

    David’s Answer

    In order to open an account in the name of a Trust, I recommend you establish a Trust. Trusts come in many "flavors," they can be simple or complex, and serve a variety of legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. Based on your questions, I believe the type of Trust you are looking for is a Revocable Grantor Trust, aka Revocable Living Trust. At the most basic level, a Revocable Grantor Trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary. Oftentimes, all three parties are represented by one person. Thus, in the case of a Revocable Grantor Trust, you could be the person creates the trust (the trust-maker), sevre as current Trustee (trust managers) who manages the trust assets for their own benefit (trust beneficiary).

    After you create and execute your Trust, you would go to your bank or other financial institution to open and account in the name of the trust and transfer your assets to it. For tax purposes you would use your social security number so there would not generally be a change as far as reporting income taxes. Depending on the nature of your other assets, it may be advisable to transfer those to your Trust as well.

    With a Revocable Grantor Trust, you would be able to do all the things you asked about. There are a number of benefits to having this type of trust. To many for me to list in the space provided for me to answer. A few benefits are that the assets transfered to the trust avoid probate and insure privacy and reduce the risk of having to apply to probate court for a guardian should you become incompetent. Trusts cost more to establish versus a simple will. There is more drafting required by the lawyer and there is additional work involved with transferring assets to the trust. Typically, upon the death of the trust-maker, the adminstration costs are much less than would be involved than Probate if you did a simple will. Most view this as a pro, but initially it might be a con for some depending the amount of assets.

    I recommend you engage an attorney should you decide to execute a trust. My office is in Cincinnati. Feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance.

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  • My father passed away, was still married to my stepmother that left him 20 years ago. Is she entitled to my fathers property?

    My father bought property before he married my stepmother , he never added her name to the deed. I read that in Ohio there is a separate marital property law. Is this true? If so, is she entitled to any money from the sale if the property. Th...

    David’s Answer

    Ohio law grants surviving spouses various statutory rights and these would all be applicable under your fact scenario. Ohio Revised Code 2105.06 (C) provides that when a person dies intestate (without a Will), if there is a spouse and one child of the decedent or the child’s lineal descendants surviving and the surviving spouse is not the natural or adoptive parent of the decedent’s child, the first twenty thousand dollars plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate to the spouse and the remainder to the child or the child’s lineal descendants, per stirpes. The surviving spouse also has a number of other rights that include, but are not limited to, a family allowance, right to two automobiles that combined do not exceed $40,000 etc... Whether you will inherit any of your fathers property depends on the size of his estate. If your father had assets that exceeded what a surviving spouse is entitled to, then you would also be a beneficiary of his estate. I would advise you to engage legal counsel to protect any rights you may have. The seperate property law you are referring to applies in a divorce, but not in probate.

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