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Francis N. Soave

Francis Soave’s Answers

85 total

  • My vehicle has never been repo since 2004 can i license it but no title

    the law firm filled a no prejudice against me

    Francis’s Answer

    Are you saying that you defaulted on an auto loan, but the car was not repossessed? Did the lender sue you instead? Did they collect the judment, or dismiss the case, or settle with you?

    Are you having a problem renewing the registration and getting license plates? You shouldn't have a problem doing that. You would not be able to sell the car however, without a termination statement from the lender releasing the lien.

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  • If I have a copy of the will and trust and I want to know the assets in the estate and Im a heir of the trust, can I get info?

    The relation ship with the personal representative is null and void. If the personal representative is not cooperative with the heirs and beneficiaries of the Trust/Estate, and will not give you information on the estate, what can I do, to get in...

    Francis’s Answer

    If the estate closed without being fully administered, you should be able to petition to have it re-opened. Ask the court to appoint you as the PR. Then ask for a discovery order. Serve subpoenas for deposition and requests for production of documents on the former PR, the attorney for the former PR, the trustee, and all the other interested persons you can identify. This should provide you with the opportunity to find out everything you want to know, under oath. In attorney time it wil cost about $5,000 or more to do this, depending on the hourly rate, and how thoroughly it is done, and how many people there are. You may find an attorney who will do it on contingency, but I wouldn't if you asked me.

    I hope this answers your question(s). This is as straightforward as I can make the answer.

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  • What are the pros and cons of putting the title of my car in a trust---or is that even necessary in California?

    My question is, should I put the title of my car in a trust? Couldn't I just have the title of the trust changed to read ---""Jane Doe (and/or) John Doe""---and accomplish the same thing in California?

    Francis’s Answer

    I routinely advise my clients to title each car in the name of the person who most frequently drives that car. In Michigan It isn't terribly difficult to transfer a vehicle after death. So keeping the vehicle in an individual name isn't an issue here. Check with your DMV to see if they have a simple out-of-court procedure to transfer a vehicle to a surviving spouse or heir.

    There are risks involved with joint names on vehicles. It can put the non-driver co-owner in the position of being a defendant in an injury lawsuit. If the driver is the only owner, then he/she will be the sole defendant. If other assets, like real estate, are title jointly with the spouse (tenants by the entireties) they could be protected from execution on judgment. That is the law here in Michigan. Check with an attorney in your state.

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  • Can I sell a property that is currently under Chapter 13 plan?

    I have a house that's under Chapter 13 payment plan. I was told that I cannot refinance or sell it while it's under the 5-year plan and have to wait until the plan completes. Is that true? If so, are there any exceptions to this rule?

    Francis’s Answer

    You arenot prohibited from refinancing or selling while under the plan. However, you must obtain a court order to do so. Filing a motion for court permission to either one is a fairly standard affair. If you are represented by an attorney in your case, it shouldn't be a difficult matter for them to attend to.

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  • When a Will is in place of an deceased person. Who notifies you that the person has a will in place.

    The question I was asking is because, my father past away 12 years ago and I never knew about a trust of will. I looked in my grandfather probate file and I saw a form in there, that stated the courts or the attorney mail a letter to the benefici...

    Francis’s Answer

    The personal representative is responsible for notifying the beneficiaries.

    Based on the many questions in this forum which seem as though they may all have been posted by you over the last couple days (or else there is an amazing coincidence of people with old estates who didn't get notice).

    One of the things to keep in mind with probate is that it is still somewhat of a party-initiative forum. By that I mean that it is up to heirs, devisees (interested persons) to come forward and object, or to file claims, or seek redress against a fiduciary (personal representative) who is not acting appropriately.

    In extreme cases a PR can be an absolute scoundrel. He/she can open the estate merely to obtain letters of authority, files false documents in terms of the identities and/or addresses of interested persons, and distributes all the assets to him/herself. If no interested person makes a timely appearance, requests the court replace the scoundrel, and moves to legally recover the assets, the opportunity could be lost.

    If this is the situation you are describing, you might want to look into reporting it as a crime. It could very well establish the crime of embezzlement, or conversion. However, there may be statute of limitation problems with a criminal prosecution as well.

    One of your posts brought up inheritance tax issues. If there were returns due, and they were not filed, the PR may still remain liable for failing to file the returns, and failing to pay the taxes. This may not result in any distribution to you, but it could be the only means of acheiving any justice, inasmuch as these issue may remain open for the appropriate tax enforcement authority to pursue.

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  • How long does the law give you to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.?

    I located my father will iin his probate files. I discovered I was one of the beneficiary of his estate. I found in the probate file a inheritance tax order. What does Gross Value of Estate per inheritance tax return mean? Gross Value of Estat...

    Francis’s Answer

    You should make photocopies of the papers in the court's probate file. Take them to an attorney who has been practicing primarily probate law in Wayne County actively, and continously for at least 25 years, and see him/her for a consultation to go over the file with you.

    This situation is too dated, and too complicated, for you to get satisfactory answers on-line.

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  • Probate file

    I have located some probate files about an order for interim payment of michigan inheritance tax. On the form there is a statement that is requesting for extension of time to file a michigan inheritance tax return. Checked under the statement w...

    Francis’s Answer

    You should definitely see an attorney about this.

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  • Can I get information about the estate if a bank and attorney was the Successor Co-Personal Representative of an estate.

    In my father will is states that he had a attorney and a bank as the estate successor co-personal Representative of his estate. Where would I get information about the estate? Is the probate file the only source of information about my fathers e...

    Francis’s Answer

    Client confidentiality may prevent the attorney from being able to share information in the file with you. If there was no probate estate, but your father owned real estate, you might find some leads in the real property records at the register of deeds. If you see how the real estate was transfered, and to whom, this might be a starting point for you.

    If you believe there were assets that should have gone through a probate estate, but didn't, you might be able to open a probate estate, then list the assets in the inventory. Once you have done that, you could file suit against the persons in possession of such assets to turn them over to the probate estate. Then they would have to be distributed to the heirs, or devisees in the will. This type of approach might be speculative, and a law firm could ask for a substantial retainer to commence it.

    Only if there has been an estate opened can you attack what a personal representative did in administering the estate.

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  • My Brother that I have not seen in years died, I do not have the money to bury him, whom is responsabile, for the buriel?

    Am I the one who pays because he had no assets and no burial plans?

    Francis’s Answer

    You are not responsible for the cost of burial.

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  • My sister died unexpectedly. She has no will and no assets other than a truck (paid for). She does have a large amount of debt.

    Do we need to sell the truck to pay a little on the debt? How do we handle the debtor's inquiries? What do we need to be concerned with other than the truck? She also was named on the deed to our house, but each person listed states "rights t...

    Francis’s Answer

    You can transfer the truck to the next of kin at any Secretary of State office. The only representation that you have to make to do that is that there is not, and will not be, a probate proceeding for her estate. The SOS will inquire into the value of the vehicle and will prevent the transfer if the value exceeds the allowable limit (it is high). From the facts you presented, it doesn't appear to be an issue in your case.

    Once you transfer the vehicle, there will be no other assets, hence no estate to probate. You may advise the creditors of this. Heirs are not liable for a decedents debts, only the probate estate, and possibly a living trust, would be.

    The real estate already belongs to the surviving co-owners, if the deed is worded as you describe. To make it a public record, the death certificate must be recorded at the register of deeds (not the court). This may, or may not be in your county courthouse, but it is not a function of the court. The Register of Deeds is a separate office. There is a fee, I believe it is $14, to record a death certificate. Call first, or check their website.

    This isn't a complicated situation.

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