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Marlaine C. Teahan

Marlaine Teahan’s Answers

4 total

  • Do we really need a ASPCA form if there was a living trust ?

    My husband's father and brother passed 2 yrs ago . There is a remaining bank account that he didn't access . There was a living trust set up - husband is trustee . He is sole heir , etc . . . ( since brother and mother predeceased father ...

    Marlaine’s Answer

    If, as it seems from your stated facts, that the account was more than $21,000 (the cost of living adjusted amount for a small probate for someone dying in 2013) and if there was no joint owner, no pay on death or transfer on death beneficiary, and if the account was not owned by your father-in-law's trustee, then a probate would be in order. What I mean is that the probate code's various procedures for small estates may not work in this situation and what I usually call a "full-blown probate" will be necessary.

    The bank's suggestion, however, that your husband utilize Michigan form PC 598 suggests that they think the account is under the statutory amount and that by using that form, your husband could access the funds. Using this form would allow your husband to check a box indicating he is a devisee under a will. If your father-in-law had a "pourover will" (explained in another answer), and if your husband is the only devisee as the named successor trustee in the will, he could check this box and have the assets come to him as trustee of the trust. The form can be filled out in several ways and it is difficult in an answer format like this to convey to you all your options; for example, another responder mentioned your brother-in-law's children might get assets using this form. I agree -- depending on how you complete the form. As the other responders correctly point out, you should discuss your case with an experienced probate attorney, providing them with information about the bank account, other assets in your father-in-law's name alone, his will and his trust and any amendments.

    A probate register in my local court once told me that small estates are the trickiest ones to handle not only because there are several ways to handle them but also because each case has its own unique quirks. For example, using PC 598, you can add to the $21,000 the estate's liens and encumbrances, resulting in a higher number. If, on the other hand, you utilize PC 556, Petition and Order for Assignment, you can add in funeral and burial expenses to make that number higher. As you can see, there are many issues that should be considered by you with the help and assistance of an experience probate attorney. Good luck! Marlaine Teahan

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  • Is a wife entitled to her husbands belongings and assets when he dies?

    My mothers husband has passed away about 12 days ago,we are just finding this out,he has been buried and his family did not notify me.My mother and her husband live i seperate homes due to his past and they dont contact each other often. I need t...

    Marlaine’s Answer

    Assuming your mother is legally determined to be the surviving spouse of her husband, she has many rights under the probate code. Under some circumstances, a surviving spouse, by definition, may be determined by a court to not be entitled to all rights typically given to a surviving spouse. Given that, the specific facts would have to be carefully evaluated to see if your mother fit within the statutory definition of a "surviving spouse".

    Generally speaking....Rights of a surviving spouse may be modified by a will or trust, if any, of the person who died. If a person dies without a will and a probate of his or her estate is necessary, unless the surviving spouse is disqualified to serve, the surviving spouse has priority to serve as the personal representative (executor) of the estate above the priority given the children of the person who died. In addition, when there is no will, the surviving spouse receives a certain percentage of the estate that is higher than that given to the deceased's children -- the amount received is called the "intestate share". Finally, there are certain allowances a surviving spouse may receive (depending on the facts) which may include a homestead, family, and exempt property allowances which for 2013 all total up to $71,000.

    Your mother should seek counsel from a probate attorney to see which of these things might apply to her in her particular fact situation. Good luck! Marlaine Teahan

    DISCLAIMER: This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. This response is intended only to provide general information and relates to a general discussion of Michigan law. Attorneys cannot evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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  • How can i put my name on my deceased mother property in Detroit Michigan? After my brother has abandon me and the property & tax

    My Mother pasted in 2008 and I been living in the property. I have a brother that lives in Los Angeles. We have been to probate court and the judge gave me control over the estate and told me to sale the house. However, at that my mother had a l...

    Marlaine’s Answer

    It sounds as if the Court appointed you as the Personal Representative (what Michigan calls the executor). If you are ready to close the estate and make distributions, you can prepare a proposed distribution schedule that states how the probate assets will be divided. This must be sent to your brother (and any other interested person). If your brother does not object within 28 days, he is deemed to have consented to the proposed distribution schedule. This is a technical rule and I suggest you consult with an attorney to accomplish this. Of course, there may be other factors to consider -- again -- consulting with an attorney will help you determine the exact plan that will work for you. Good luck! Marlaine Teahan

    DISCLAIMER: This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. This response is intended only to provide general information. Attorneys cannot evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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  • Can my sister who is a consevator keep the house that my parents own? one is deceassed and one is incomptent by the state.

    my father passed away and my sister is trying to get power over all money, assets, property, ect. she already moved into my mothers home which there is a will stating apon my mas death the house is to be divided equally among the siblings.can she ...

    Marlaine’s Answer

    As a conservator, your sister is a fiduciary and is required to act in the best interest of the ward (your Mom), and not in her own best interests. Don't worry, your sister cannot change your mother's will; however, that doesn't mean that she may not try to improperly influence your Mom in changing her Will or other governing instruments (such as deeds and beneficiary designations). There probably are many other factors at play here that will impact what you can do to protect your mother and to ensure that her wishes are carried out at her death. You may want to consider consulting with a lawyer to provide all the facts and to learn more about your rights and your sister's obligations.

    Good luck to you! Marlaine Teahan

    DISCLAIMER: This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. This response is intended only to provide general information. Attorneys cannot evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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