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James P. Frederick

James Frederick’s Answers

13,771 total


  • What are the steps to file objection to an accounting?Are there forms to be filed or is a written objection submitted at hearing

    Annual accounting is due and I have some questions about the accounting and wish to file an objection to the accounting. What are the steps I need to take?

    James’s Answer

    I agree with what has been said already. You at least need to have an attorney review the facts with you. What you are objecting to may not be a problem for the judge at all. In fact, your objecting without valid reason might serve only to get the judge upset with you. The same thing is true if you do not follow the proper procedures, even if your objections are valid.

    There is no specific form you would use to file your objections. It is actually not necessary to object in writing at all. You can simply show up at the hearing to object, if there is a hearing. If there is not, (and the accounting has not been filed with the court), then you will need to file written objections, in order to get a hearing set up. You should have an attorney do this for you, if you determine that your concerns are worth pursuing.

    James Frederick

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  • Co conservator + co guardian question/ Wayne County Michigan Probate Court

    “My sister and I are co conservator and co guardian to our older legally mentally incapacitated brother. My sister and I live 40 miles apart. Do we as "co" have to go together to handle financial matters at banks,cu's. We did this as I am a snow b...

    James’s Answer

    Most banks will allow you to act independently. Of course, both of you are responsible for making sure your brother is protected. So you will both need to keep careful records and keep track of what each of you is doing. Online banking may help.

    James Frederick

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  • My husband just passed away and only his name was on our car and the loan. what rights do I have as the surviving spouse.

    The loan company told me I had 3 days to pay the note or surrender the car. people have told me to request a copy of the contract and hire a lawyer. Do I have any rights that they would not tell me. do I need a lawyer. would they disclose any ...

    James’s Answer

    I suspect that what they are telling you is that the Note on the car accelerated, upon the death of your husband. While it is true that lenders typically do not care, as long as payments are maintained "current," this particular lender may be within its rights to terminate the contract and repossess the vehicle. If you have the ability to do so, refinancing the car would provide a solution to this issue. You do not state the balance of the loan, the value of the car or your ability to pay off the loan or get a new one. For these reasons, it is impossible to provide additional guidance on what you *should* do.

    I am very sorry for your loss and wish you the best of luck in resolving this issue.

    James Frederick

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  • Can a person holding power of attorney for someone else be held personally financially responsible?

    Elderly parent received financial responsibility letter for a traffic incident. Threat of garnishment directly from bank account. On fixed income just meeting monthly bills. State of Michigan will not speak to a representative on her behalf unles...

    James’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Haelewyn. You generally would have no liability in these cases, but you need to be careful to sign all documents in your capacity as agent under the POA. If you agree to be the "responsible person," then you could potentially be held liable. Do not sign any documents along these lines unless it is very clear what they are asking you to agree to.

    James Frederick

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  • Discovered fraud on a deed- now what?

    My brother in law has forged his deceased mother's signature on a deed in 2010. She passed in 2005. He was named personal representative of her estate, and his rights have been revoked due to negligence on his part. He has taken much of her estate...

    James’s Answer

    I agree with Mr Townley's answer and would add only a couple of points. Proving your allegations I court court could be difficult. Assuming you can get over that hurdle, however, it is possible that you could win I court, only to discover your brother may have spent all the money and he is not collectible.

    Assuming that it's NOT the case, you may be able to pursue treble damages for conversion.

    James Frederick

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  • We have an lawyer, should he have informed us?

    3 brothers inharet 155 acers, there's a garage and house on 1.9 of the acers that was estimated at 55.000, does the one brother have to pay the whole 55.000 or can he buy out the other 2 brothers for 18.300?

    James’s Answer

    Your situation is not entirely clear.i am not sure what your brother should have informed you about. Dealing directly with your question about what your brother needs to pay, it depends on what he is buying. Usually in cases like this, estimates do not work. Any time the personal representative or any of the beneficiaries want to buy estate assets or take them as part of their shares of three estate, an appraisal from a licensed appraiser is needed. Once value is established, then if there it's agreement about what should happen, it can go forward. If there is not agreement, it it's better for the property to be sold.

    Because you say you have a lawyer, that it's the person you should direct your questions to, because your lawyer has all the facts. It is impossible to give you good information without all of the facts at our disposal.

    James Frederick

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  • My brother has my late mom will. He will not give me or my other brother a copy or tell me anything about what lawyer he used.

    My mom made a will a couple of years ago. All my siblings have that will. My brother told me that he had mom make a new will. The new will was made a week before her death. She had brain cancer. She was in my opinion not sound mind at all. So woul...

    James’s Answer

    You have some red flags, but there it's not enough information to determine whether you need a lawyer, yet. How were all three assets titled? If everything passed by joint ownership of beneficiary designations, then the Wills, new and old, are not relevant. The only way for wills to be legally effective is for admittance to probate. Once that is done, you will receive copies. No assets can be transferred under the Wills until probate is opened. If your brother delays in opening probate and you think he's taking advantage, you can open a estate yourself, but I would wait to see what he does, first.

    Once you have an idea what is going on, you can decide whether or not to hire a lawyer.

    James Frederick

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  • I want to buy a house from someone that keeps changing his mind about selling the house. Today he text me. "Changed my mind "

    Then 2 hours later he tells me he still wants to sell me his house. I was all set with a real estate agent and a title company to write up a purchase agreement when he changed his mind. So called it off. Now he says that he is sure that he wants ...

    James’s Answer

    Once you have a signed purchase agreement, he cannot change his mind without breaching the contract. At that point, your agreement gives you rights as a result of his breach. You may either be able to seek monetary damages or compel specific performance. Given that he apparently has little in the way of money, I would make sure that your contract provides for specific performance. Make sure you discuss this with your realtor, ahead of time.

    James Frederick

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  • Co-trustee&grantor has dementia does the successor trustee step in

    My co trustee has dementia they have successor in place.do they step in now or at death

    James’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The terms of the trust govern. Normally, there is a provision that once the grantor is deemed to be incapacitated, then the successor trustee takes over. If you are co-trustee, the trust MAY provide that you would be the sole trustee, in that event. Having dementia does not automatically disqualify someone to act as trustee. It depends on the extent of the incapacity. Normally, two physicians would certify that the grantor is no longer capable of handling financial matters, at which point, he or she would be deemed to have resigned as trustee.

    It is a delicate undertaking and should be handled with care.

    James Frederick

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  • At what point do I have to disclose trust info to contingent beneficiaries of an incompetent parents trust as the co-trustee

    I am co-trustee with a parent who is know incompetent and the sole beneficiary of his trust but the contingent beneficiaries want details of the trust. I was under the impression to only disclose info after the death of the grantor.

    James’s Answer

    Contingent beneficiaries are not entitled to anything, at this point. That does not mean you should not communicate, to the extent you can. You also want to make sure you document everything you do and keep very good records. Hiring an attorney might also help give you some peace of mind, as well as providing you a buffer from the beneficiaries.

    James Frederick

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