Howard Todd Whatley’s Answers

Howard Todd Whatley

Fayetteville Elder Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Is it possible to get a copy of a will from the county where it was written?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Scott Allen Scholl
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    3 lawyer answers

    Being licensed in Arkansas (and growing up in Benton by the way) I think the first question is, "Do you need her will?":. I have seen many couples probate an estate for no reason when the first spouse dies. Was there any property that was owned solely by your wife and did not have a beneficiary designation? If not, then you do not need to probate. Since your wills were done in 1982, I would assume that most, if not all, of your assets had both of your names on them. If so, you as the...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Being an executor

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Scott Allen Scholl
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    3 lawyer answers

    Sadly, your father was not correct in giving you that piece of legal advice. You as the executor can only do what the Last Will and Testament says to do. Your father should have put his wishes in writing by using a Codicil which is a legal modification of the Will. You can always try to convince a Judge to allow you to vary from the Will, but that is very difficult to do. A judge will (and should) assume that what a person puts in writing is what they really wanted and then follow that...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Can a transfer of a residence be used as repayment of debt?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Susanne Ruiz Rodriguez
    2. Kelly Scott Davis
    3. Diane L Gruber
    4. Howard Todd Whatley
    4 lawyer answers

    As a Certified Elder Law Attorney in Arkansas (Springdale and Bentonville) the answer is yes, you can do something. I just won a case against the State of Arkansas allowing this very thing when the State said "no, you can't do it like this". We will have to have good documentation but it can be done. I do suggest that you call our office to set up an appointment to do this correctly. 750-1101

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  4. How can one be forced to show a handwritten "will" without us having to hire an attorney?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Harry J Lenaburg
    2 lawyer answers

    I am assuming this is an Arkansas question. Anyone can open a probate. Therefore, you may want to open the probate and then you allege that there is a Last Will and Testament and you state who has it. The court will then force that person to disclose the will. Regarding the burial spots, that will be something that you have to get the judge to answer. You really are going to have to hire an attorney unless you want to try to file this paperwork yourself, and it will be a little confusing...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  5. Can I file a "Domestic Lein" ?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    1 lawyer answer

    You need to look to the terms of the trust. Were the assets in the trust and if so, who was the trustee? Generally your partner would have been the trustee and there should be language in there stating who is the successor trustee. Once your partner is deemed to be incapacitated by the physician, then the successor trustee steps in but this is very specific to the trust language. If the assets were not in the trust, then the power of attorney would be the person who would be able to take...

  6. Can i contest a will that has only been changed in the last four years.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    2 lawyer answers

    Yes, you can contest the will. You can find out if the probate has been filed by calling the county clerk in the county where he lived or where he died. You can then see how old the will is and possibly check to see if there were any outside forces to encourage him to change his will. I would try to call the attorney that did the will to see if they have any information that lead to why it was written the way it was. That attorney may not talk to you though due to client confidentiality...

  7. Need advice on probate and why wasn't will filed by attorney who drafted it and is handling probate with my aunt who is the exec

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Theodore W. Robinson
    3. Janet Lee Brewer
    3 lawyer answers

    Sounds to me that you need an attorney. If you have a will for the person who died, it should be submitted to the court. An attorney opens a probate without a will apparently thinking that there is not a will. If the attorney drafted the will and then opened the probate without the will, the attorney may know that the will drafted in 2000 has been revoked by destroying it or signing a document that says the will is revoked. The attorney should tell you that the will has been revoked but he...

  8. My father who is now deceased, gave us some items that were his moms two years ago. Can they be removed from our home?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    1 lawyer answer

    I am licensed in Arkansas and have an office in Springdale. The answer is no, they can not come into your house and take these items. They need to file a lawsuit in order to do so. They will have to convince a Judge with something in writing that says that they have ownership in the property. You would be served with notice of the lawsuit if that were to happen.

  9. My father in-law is getting old how can my wife put him in a nursing home?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Amanda L. Wieckowicz
    2. Howard Todd Whatley
    2 lawyer answers

    My first approach would be to talk to him and see if he is willing to go to the facility. You may be surprised that he would be willing to go. I would also elicit the help of the physician. People will generally listen to and take the advice of their physician if he truly needs to go to a facility. If none of this works, I would then you would need to seek a guardianship as stated in the previous answer. I just prefer to use a guardianship as a last resort. Good luck.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  10. Does a nursing home have the right to send a patient out of his state to another nursing home?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Howard Todd Whatley
    2. Jerry E Shiles
    2 lawyer answers

    This is really a Federal Law question and I will answer based on that. I am sure there are some state law components as to which I cannot answer since I am not licensed in your state. However, federal law says that a facility can only involuntarily discharge a resident for a limited number of circumstances. One of those circumstances is the inability to adequately care for the resident. I don't see how elopement is a good reason. That is something that nursing homes should be able to...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer