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Howard Todd Whatley
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Howard Whatley’s Answers

44 total


  • Should I sign this waiver of notice and entry of appearance for my father and it from my deceased grandmother

    I don't no if she left any thing for me land or money

    Howard’s Answer

    A waiver is allowing the case to proceed without you (or your father) being advised of the procedures going on in court. Many times if the case is uncontested and everyone pretty much knows what is going to happen, then everyone signs a waiver to help speed up the process and allow the attorney to work with less hours involved. When you do not sign the waiver, you will be sent notices of all court dates and there may actually have to be court dates when there would not be if all the heirs signed the waiver. Usually, the case is more expensive and more time consuming when you do not sign the waivers. However, if you want to know what is going on, don't sign the waiver.

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  • Is Medicaid eligibility based on household or individual income level in Arkansas ?

    I am 53 year old unemployed with no property/savings ==> eligible for Medicaid. Will I still be eligible if my daughter claims me as a dependent on her tax forms ? Is Medicaid eligibility based on household or individual income level ? I know that...

    Howard’s Answer

    I am not as familiar with this type of Medicaid as I am with long term care Medicaid. I would suggest you go to the local Department of Human Services office and sit down and talk to them. They are pretty good when dealing with issues like this. I do know for long term care (nursing home Medicaid) they only look at the income of the person going onto Medicaid. However, you are asking about the expansion part of it and those rules are so new, that I am not familiar with it. However, the local caseworkers are usually pretty good and should be able to help you. Good luck.

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  • My father and step-mom had a living will and trust. My father passed away and now she is getting remarried.

    What happens to the living will and trust now?

    Howard’s Answer

    You really have to see a copy of the trust. If you are a beneficiary of the trust you should be able to get a copy. The key thing you should look for is if the trust becomes irrevocable at the time of your dad's death or if it remains revocable.

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  • How do I get a copy?

    How do I get a copy of my great grandpas last will and testament? His daughters have it but they will not give or let me see it? So I wonder if they left something to me that they don't want me to get.

    Howard’s Answer

    Your suspicions are most likely correct. Not producing something is usually a sign something is up. You will need to file a probate and claim that either there is no will or that you know who has the will and the judge will then possibly require that they produce it. However, you will have to front all of the costs to open the estate which can be significant. Once the case is open, then a judge will help you get to the bottom of the situation. You will need to find an attorney that does Probate and that is willing to litigate.

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  • My mother sold her home in another state divided the money between her kids.

    How hard will it be to put her in a nursing home because of her health is going down fast. She lives with her son and his wife.

    Howard’s Answer

    As an attorney in Arkansas, I will tell you this is a problem. Gifting money always causes problems. However, since she is now living with her children, there are some exemptions to the gifting rules that may apply. Therefore, I suggest you meet with an experienced Elder Law Attorney in the state where your mom may be seeking benefits to get good advice as to the rules in that that state and see if any of the exemptions apply.

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  • While my mother sold her home divided up the money but with parkinson sundowners and Alzheimer's.

    I am wanting to know if Medicaid will help pay. For it. She is getting to the point if she falls my wife would have to call 911 because she has had one back surgery and getting ready to have another one.

    Howard’s Answer

    If your mom gave away the money, that's going to be a problem. You do need to meet with an experienced elder law attorney who can work to reduce the penalty or look for any exception that may apply so a penalty is not assessed.

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  • On average, how long does it take for an estate attorney to finalize paperwork to make distribution?

    The trustee sent in the paperwork to be finalized two weeks ago to the estate attorney and it does NOT have to be court approved. I understand that the process takes time and also depends on how many other case loads he/she has. Just curious what ...

    Howard’s Answer

    First, I'm not sure what the attorney has to do with it. The trustee is the one with the power to make the distributions. The trustee may be using the attorney simply for guidance. I think the guidance required should not take long. The trustee needs to call the office of the attorney and ask when this task will be completed. If the answer is not satisfactory, then the trustee is free to contact someone else to help them distribute the funds of the trust. As far as a timeline, I think the Trustee should hear from the attorney within a week to 10 days at the most. The further distributions are strictly based on the terms of the trust. They could be immediate or they could take a lifetime if the asset produces income that length of time.

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  • I was sick and relatives moved me to Arkansas. They put my money in accounts that I cannot access. Do I have any recourse?

    I am 64 and have not signed any documents to give them power of attorney and am not mentally disabled. I'm sure there is a paper trail to show where the funds came from. I feel that I am capable of living on my own again but they are only giving ...

    Howard’s Answer

    You honestly need to call an attorney. Take as much documentation as you can with you. There are many more facts that you did not mention in this question that will need to be determined in a meeting with an attorney.

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  • Need an attorney in Dallas area who will represent son of mother who has dementia. Extreme case involving "Showtiming".

    Need a free consultation to determine if attorney is well versed in all aspects of dementia/Alzheimer's, specifically "Showtiming". Woman as eluded all legal channels to get much needed help such as, police, adult protective services, judges and ...

    Howard’s Answer

    Do you mean "Sundowning"? I've never heard of the term you used. There is a legitimate term called Sundowning where a person is good during the day but as the day progresses and particularly in late evening (when the sun goes down) their dementia intensifies and they become very difficult to handle. You will need to get the advice of an attorney that knows this and knows how to work with that condition. I would suggest you start with NELF.org so that you can find a Certified Elder Law Attorney. If you cannot find anyone close that way, then go to NAELA.org and find an attorney that lists himself as an elder law attorney. You may not find one offering a free consultation but it really sounds like you need help and you will have to pay for such help. I would NOT suggest you just flip through the phone book. You need a specialist that knows this area very well.

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  • How do I make someone produce a will

    I have a will done by my father in 1990s but since then he got remarried and new wife claims there is a new will but haven't seen it. He passed away in January and according to my will I get his money, my family inheritance. How do I make his new ...

    Howard’s Answer

    You will need to open a probate and produce the Will that you have. You will need to give notice to the spouse and she will then have to produce the Will she has. You will then be able to look at it and with the help of your attorney, be able to decide if the new will is valid or not. A judge will then decide which Will to follow.

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