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Charles Alan Amen

Charles Amen’s Answers

45 total


  • Can I put a minor in the place of my prime beneficiary? He is 12.

    I need to know the answer to a question I don't know the answer to please help.!!.!.!.

    Charles’s Answer

    A minor can be named as a beneficiary in a will, life insurance beneficiary, ira beneficiary, payable on death account, etc. BUT it is a bad idea, because someone under 18 years old cannot inherit and the funds will be placed into a conservatorship with the court in control until they reach the age of 18.
    The best practice is to leave the inheritance into a trust for the minor (either a revocable trust or a testamentary trust, which would require a will). You should consult an estate planning lawyer and not try to do this by yourself.

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  • Can the houses be sold without my consent?

    Hello and Thanks In Advance. My Sister sent me this. (To dissolve the Trust, we must 'deed the assets' to the heirs - we four.) There are 2 houses, does that mean all 4 beneficiaries would have to approve the sale of the house? Or could the tr...

    Charles’s Answer

    If the houses are titled to the trust, the Trustee should be able to sell the houses without the consent of anybody (unless she wanted to buy them for herself, then she would need consent from the other beneficiaries). If as per your question, she wanted to close the trust by deeding the houses to all four of you, then the houses would be owned by all four of you and each of you would have to consent to the sale and sign the deed to sell. As a general rule, if the houses are going to be sold, its better to have the Trustee sell the houses and divide up the proceeds 4 ways rather than have 4 people with equal ownership rights sell the house together. Its better to have one chief and three Indians rather than four chiefs and no Indians when you are trying to get something done..

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  • My father is executor of my Uncle's estate, probate is up Feb 2016. Can he gift us each $14,000 before Dec 31 and again in Feb?

    My uncle HAD no debts. And left something to one charity, which has been paid.

    Charles’s Answer

    From your question I think you are confusing annual gifting rules (for lifetime gifts) with estate inheritance rules. If you are a beneficiary of your uncle's estate, you can inherit from him whatever amount he left you. It is not a gift and has no $14,000 limitations.
    If your father inherited the money and wants to share it with his children, your father would be making the gift and the $14,000 annual gifting limits apply (even though the annual gifting limits mean nothing until he gifts 5.4 million dollars.) The $14,000 limit is per calendar year per child.
    I don't think you need an attorney, but if your father is trying to be executor of the estate without an attorney, that is a mistake on his part.

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  • Do I need to file my mother's will through probate?

    My mother recently passed leaving 2 adult children. She lived with me and I am joint owner of her bank accounts. Her only owned possession is car valued at $2000 with a clear title. Her will stipulates that everything is to be split 50/50. Does th...

    Charles’s Answer

    The only asset that would have to go to probate is the car. A joint bank account goes to the surviving joint owner. Your brother could try and claim that the joint account was really in a constructive trust for both of you, but he would have to do a lot to prove that. The car usually can be handled in a small estate administration, but would be divided between you and your brother.

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  • Can the state take my grandfathers life insurance when my Grandmother is the owner and beneficiary of the policy.

    My grandfather had alzheimer's for nearly 20 years, He was cared for at home up until the last 2 years. His insurance was medicare and the state. He had a large life insurance policy that he was the owner of. Appx 2 years ago the state social work...

    Charles’s Answer

    It is unclear from your question, but if your grandfather was on Medicaid in a long term care facility, he could not have gone on Medicaid owning a life insurance policy that had cash surrender value. The worker told grandmother to change the owner to her (within perhaps the spousal division of assets) and she could own the policy if it did not create a situation that grandmother had too much of her assets after a division of asssets. It seems that the state knew about the policy and told her to take ownership of it, so I guess that everything was done within the limits allowed.
    If that is the case, the death benefits to grandmother are hers, without the state asking for a recovery on it.
    If she didn't change the owner, and the owner was still grandfather, then the state might want a share for Medicaid recovery, if they find out about it.

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  • Mother had no will, no estate - what about her remaining debts?

    My mother passed away a few weeks ago. She had no will. She has under $400 in her checking account, owns a 15 year old car, and basically just had her personal belongings. She rented. I understand that due to the size of her estate, we could just ...

    Charles’s Answer

    If all she has is $400 you could get that released to you in a creditor claim for paying for the funeral. The funeral creditor gets paid first before anybody else. As for her creditors, they will try to get you to pay, and send bills and collection letters. Tell them that "she is dead, she has no money, there is no probate, go away". Creditor letters can be marked "deceased, return to sender". You do not have any legal obligation to pay for your mother's debts.

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  • Can a wife change her will after her husband's death if her current will leaves assets to his children?

    The husband gave his wife money to remodel her house (hers by clear title) but a clause was added to both their wills to give that money back to his children upon the sale of the house. The wife is now destitute and needs a reverse mortgage, but ...

    Charles’s Answer

    It is extremely unlikely that she would have a clause in her will or a separate contract with her husband that would prohibit her from changing her will. She could revoke her will by tearing it up. The reason couples do trusts that some parts become irrevocable and unable to change after one of them dies is to keep the spouse from changing her mind. In this case, she's not changing her mind about his children getting some money, she needs the money to live on. If she spends the money how can the children sue her estate after her death? She should see an attorney about her will, and if it doesn't say by some contractual agreement with her deceased husband that she can't change it, she should change it. Its her money.

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  • Estate accounts - funding an estate

    If an executor closes an estate (bank) account and distributes checks but then later has to do an accounting, which means hiring an accountant, how will the accountant be paid? What does that typically even cost?

    Charles’s Answer

    If an executor has to pay for something after he has distributed all of the money and closed the estate, he'll have to pay for it out of his own money, unless he can get the beneficiaries to give some money back. Good luck with that!
    That is why the executor needs to make sure everything is done and paid for, before he distributes the final amounts.

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  • Do I have pay taxes on an inheritance on property sold from my parents estate

    The executor to the estate sold for 340 k it will be divided by 13 .my dad owned taxes on it. Mines her cut n the realities cut can I give a gift to my kids so I'll can avoid the taxes on the little amount I'll probably get?

    Charles’s Answer

    The taxes your father owed on the real property will get paid at closing on the property. You will inherit the percentage of the net proceeds after expenses. If your father's estate was under 5.4 million dollars, there is no estate taxes to pay. Unless the property went up in value from the date of death until the sale date, there is no income taxes to pay on the inheritance. People mistakenly think that they have to pay tax on inheritances. Unless the assets had deferred income (like savings bonds, annuities, or IRAs) they come tax free (its happy birthday, merry Christmas money).

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  • Pod account question

    My friend died in early 2014. He left me as pod on a brokerage account with about 50k. I believe he had another account with no pod. I was health care surrogate. Before he died I asked if he wanted my help making will or located family he hadn't ...

    Charles’s Answer

    It is possible that a creditor has asked that probate be opened (maybe to collect on the deficiency of the mortgage loan from the foreclosure sale). The money that you received as a POD is a non-probate transfer, and the personal representative of the estate can try and collect the non-probate transfer assets to pay the probate claims. If you paid for the funeral, you of course would also be a creditor and the estate would pay you back for that. I don't think that this will happen, most creditors just get what they can get from the probate assets and not try and find out about the non-probate assets. If the personal representative asks you for the money back to pay the debts, you may want to get help from an attorney. You should not volunteer any information to anyone about the POD account, short of a court order requiring you to provide the information. Make them work for it..

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