JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert’s Answers

JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert

Alexandria Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 7
  1. How can I get my son back from my sister?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    1 lawyer answer

    When you signed the power of attorney, you relinquished no legal rights to your sister. Was the agreement you mentioned in writing? That may have some bearing on your current rights to your son. Have an attorney prepare a demand letter and/or discuss any other options you may have to gain the return of your son. Your sister would need to petition the family court for custody in order to establish any legal rights to your son. That is an expensive process. You need some good legal advice...

  2. Do joint accounts, Payable on Death accounts, and beneficiaries of specific accounts override a will in all cases?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    2. Henry Daniel Lively
    2 lawyer answers

    You may wish to consult a lawyer of your choosing on this issue, as you have separate legal rights as a devisee of a Will. As a general rule, joint accounts, assets like CDs and retirement accounts which have beneficiaries named, will not be governed by the Will because they are 'non-probate' assets, i.e. assets that are not governed by probate and therefore not covered by the Will. However, sometimes such assets (other than joint accounts) have no beneficiary or have 'the estate' named as...

  3. Do i need a probate attorney if I am mentioned in a will but after 2-1/2 months have yet to see a copy of it?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    2. Catherine Hammond
    2 lawyer answers

    You should contact the probate court of the county in which your significant other resided. If a probate has been initiated, they would have a copy of the Will, and you can ask them for a copy (there may be a small fee). If they have the Will, also ask if the personal representative has filed any other papers yet, and request a copy of those as well. The papers will tell you who the attorney is for the personal representative, so that you have another person to call about the status of the...

  4. In minn ,my father has passed and my brother is exc of dads life insurance.im a beneficuary the insurance is in the bank.

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    1 lawyer answer

    If the insurance company has not released the funds to your brother and you are a named beneficiary of the life insurance policy, you should contact the insurance company, and they will instruct you about how to obtain your share of the funds directly from them. If your brother as Executor (in Minnesota the proper term is "personal representative") has already been able to collect the funds from the life insurance company and has deposited those funds in a bank, then you will have no ability...

  5. How do I protect the family cabin from being involved in son's possible divorce, so that both sons can keep it after I die?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    2. William A. Swendson II
    3. Richard Eugene Ehrlich
    3 lawyer answers

    If you set up a trust and name your sons (and possibly their heirs) as future beneficiaries of the trust, then this should provide adequate protection for the family cabin. On your death, you may also want to fund the trust with life insurance funds to help maintain it after your death. One of the problems that comes up in divorces is when the spouse is able to claim that she and her husband (for example your son) contributed marital funds to maintaining and improving the cabin during the...

  6. Balloon payment may be due before I can get probate tied up. Cant seem to get my hands on funds can I get them to wait?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    1 lawyer answer

    If you are interested in purchasing the property (buying out the other 3 owners), then enter into a purchase agreement with the personal representative of the estate, and then apply for your own financing. Perhaps you can get that done before the balloon payment is due. If not, I would think the decedent's bank would work with you in order to close the deal. Have you spoken with the personal representative about refinancing the loan on the property or to negotiate with the lender directly...

  7. Can i discharge my mom from nursing home

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    2. Susan Lynne AlexanderMyers
    2 lawyer answers

    You should contact an elder law attorney in your state who is knowledgeable about medicare benefits and also about patient rights issues. Before she leaves the nursing home, I would suggest that your mother needs advice about how any of her government benefits will be affected by a decision to change her living situation.

  8. I have grandparents that are elderly and one of them needs to be in a nursing home. Can they gift money to there heirs?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Karl D. Warden
    2. JoEllen Pfeifle Doebbert
    3. Geraldine Anne Brown
    3 lawyer answers

    The answer has a lot to do with whether your grandparents are able to privately pay for their care during the "look back period," generally 5 years. If they cannot, then gifting is not a good idea because it will likely make them ineligible for government paid care ("medicaid" or "medical assistance" -- it is called different things in different states). Your grandparents should contact a Wisconsin elder law attorney for advice before they make any gifts.