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Donald B. Lawrence Jr.

Donald Lawrence’s Answers

326 total


  • Inheritance of a house

    I will be inheriting a house from my mother who has passed away. Half goes to me and half goes to my brother. If I took the money that I make on this (around $ 110,000) and bought some investment property and rented it out. Would this give me a t...

    Donald’s Answer

    If your name was not on the title before your mother's death and you will be receiving the proceeds of a sale of the property made by the estate, you should have minimal tax consequences since the property will be transferred to you at its value as of death or you will just be receiving the proceeds. If you invest the proceeds in a rental property, that income generated by rent will be offset by the real estate and income taxes and other expenses that you incur in the rental process. It would be a good idea to consult with a lawyer and/or an accountant and more fully explain the details and your concerns.

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  • Father is competent and mother is not. Father does not have POA or conservator yet. Is there a way to get a trust for father?

    Father is competent and mother is not. Father does not have POA or conservator yet. Is there a way to get a trust for father before having court involvement? If father was to do his own trust, without POA or conservator over mother, can he stil...

    Donald’s Answer

    Father can make his own arrangements and can in those provide for mother's care. A trust is likely to be the best vehicle along with a will directing non trust assets into the trust at his death. He should also execute durable powers of attorney for general and healthcare purposes. Property owned jointly with wife cannot be transferred without assistance from the probate court appointing both a guardian and a conservator for the purposes of seeking permission to convey jointly owned real property into the trust. Other personal assets, including bank accounts may be transferred into the trust as long as they are not classified as owned as tenants by the entireties since that type of ownership requires competent action by both spouses. Since you mother is not competent, you will need to seek authorization for such action through the Probate Court in the County in which they reside. Unfortunately, this will not be a simple process and you will need assistance by an attorney who has experience in the process and with the Court.

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  • Hello, If we don't sign the form what happens and what are our options?

    I live in the state of Michigan and I have a question about ownership of real estate. My father passed and there are 3 surviving children including myself. He had no will on the house and there is a mortgage on it. My brother and I were living in ...

    Donald’s Answer

    Given your brother,s interest in staying in the home and in not paying out the shares to others, it is likely that you will want to be represented by counsel to ask that he make a decision as to either buying the property or selling it and dividing the proceeds. You will want to be represented by counsel.

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  • Auto contract doesn't state terms after repossession. Who has the rights?

    I bought a car from a small dealer who hand printed a payment agreement on his letterhead. In the agreement, it states, '.... balance of $3,352.80, to be paid in $300 monthly payments. If payments are not made according to this, (dealer) reserves ...

    Donald’s Answer

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    You agreed to pay the balance for the car but the vehicle is security for the car (the right to repossess if it is not paid for under the terms of the contract) and gives him the right to repossess and sell the car. He has the incentive to get as much as possible for the car but he will be able to hold you responsible for any shortfall and any expenses he incurred, i.e. towing, damage repair, sale expense, etc. You may want to see what you can get for the car to know what kind of deficiency it will indicate and then see if you can voluntarily surrender the car to him and work out a payment arrangement with him for the deficiency. You are in a tough situation but it will not improve over time so you should act as soon as possible. You may be able to avoid being sued for a deficiency if you can get an agreement in advance. Good luck.

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  • Estate plan?-will? trust?- how to leave money to handicapped kid?

    2nd wife, not my sons mom. Son in section 8 housing due to 100% mental bipolar schizo mental disorder . My assets are $300k pd for home and $300k condo with $175k mortgage rental. My 401 k $100k. I feel obligated to provide a home for Son because ...

    Donald’s Answer

    There are a lot of issues raised in your question. Some relate to your situation as a married man whose wife is not the mother of the child. To the extent that you have jointly owned property, you may have difficulty transferring property to a trust that provides for your son. You have not indicated if your son receives benefits due to his diagnosed condition. If you gift to him, you could disqualify him from receiving such public benefits. You need to consult an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning and be prepared to put all the facts forward and be sure that you know what your objectives are .

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  • Do we need an estate planning attorney?

    Elderly parents, only mother is aware enough to sign any documents and has POA for dad and subsequent POA from eldest sibling on down. There is a will and moderate to substantial savings/investments and the house is paid for. What would help keep...

    Donald’s Answer

    A trust could be part of an answer but could be unnecessary depending on the facts. As stated, you should contact a lawyer and set out all the facts. Then an answer specific to your parents can be given.

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  • Can a Sister be evicted from Mom's home if she isn't paying for heating or electric bill? Her name is also on the deed w/me&mom

    Mom is not living in the house, just my sister. Sister has no job but has savings. Sister refuses to pay for utilities. She is saving her money for an apartment and storage unit. She says she is trying to get a job. She says she is leaving ...

    Donald’s Answer

    You do need to discuss the details with an attorney. The title to the home being in the three names does create a problem as to being able to move her out but the issue you have focused on is her refusal to pay the utilities. You may want to consider waiting until better weather arrives but if your mother discontinues paying the utilities one of two things will happen, they will be turned off or you sister will pay them if she wants to continue to live there. Maybe setting a deadline will work. That still leaves you with the title issues. You need to consult an attorney with expertise in real estate law.

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  • Is it okay to switch my dad's deed to a lady bird deed AFTER Michigan medicaid acceptance for nursing home?

    My father's deed had to be taken out of the trust and put just in his name for approval for Medicaid for a nursing home. I then switched it to a lady bird deed. is it ok that it was switched to a lady bird deed after medicaid (Michigan) acceptance?

    Donald’s Answer

    You definitely should consult with counsel familiar with Medicaid requirements. There are facts left unstated in your question. Who made the transfer? Did you do it under a DPOA? It will be seen as a divestment by Medicaid. You might be able to soften the impact if you acknowledged in the document of transfer that the transfer was potentially subject to a lien for Medicare expenses if other assets were inadequate. If the purpose was to preserve the property, you might be able to divest it provided it was for fair market value. Definitely see an attorney who specializes in this area of law.

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  • Do i have a case if the funeral cant find my moms ashes.

    My mom died in 2008. The funeral said my moms ashes could remain at the funeral until my dad past away. My dad past on Dec. 15, 2014. She was going to presented at my dads funeral, but they cant find her ashes. now they wont take my calls or thei...

    Donald’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If there is a contract, the funeral home may be in breach of it. A contract is enforceable between the parties to it. You will have to read the contract to determine what it says and who has the right to enforce its terms. If you mother's estate went to your father (as would be normal if they were married at the time of her death), the personal representative of his estate may be able to enforce any contract rights. You will likely need to retain a lawyer to achieve any results. Good luck.

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  • Getting a will with a ppo order

    can one get a copy of a will of a person who is not a relative but a relative of a person who has served you with a ppo order. I would like to see what the will states about the beneficiary's personal relationship in order for the beneficiary to ...

    Donald’s Answer

    The only circumstance where you may be able to obtain a copy of a will is if the person has died and the will has been filed with the Probate Court in the County in which the decedent lived unless the person who made the will voluntarily makes it available.

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