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Karen L Brady

Karen Brady’s Answers

60 total


  • My grandfather passed away leaving land that is still in his name, his ex-wife wants to sell it but he has 8 living children?

    My grandfather passed away leaving land that is still in his name. He has 8 children living which are the heirs of the land. His 2nd wife vacates the property and is wanting the children to sign the deed over so she can sell it. Is there a way to ...

    Karen’s Answer

    I urge you to contact an attorney locally to help you determine the appropriate route to transfer title of your grandfather's land.

    Under Texas law, sometimes the assets owned by the decedent may not need to go through the probate process. Generally, these alternatives are most appropriate when the estate consists primarily of real estate and the decedent did not have any debt at the time of death, except possibly debts secured by real estate.

    The Affidavit of Heirship is generally used when someone died without a Will and left only real estate. The heirs can record their ownership by filing the Affidavit of Heirship in the deed records of the county where the decedent owned real estate.

    The Affidavit must be signed by two witnesses who knew the Decedent and his/her family history but do not stand to gain anything from the estate. In the Affidavit, those witnesses must swear under oath to the following:

    * They knew the Decedent
    * The Decedent's date of death and county where the decedent died
    * The identity of the Decedent’s family members and heirs
    * A statement that the Decedent did not owe any debts at the time of his death
    * A statement that the witnesses do not stand to gain financially from the Estate.

    Once the Affidavit has been signed and recorded in the deed records of the County, the chain of title will show the real estate to pass to the heirs.

    I am not licensed to practice law in Texas and provide this for informational purposes only.

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  • Will I get in trouble with the IRS for taking mortgage interest off a house in a living trust?

    In 1995, my mother and I bought a house jointly. In 2001, she transferred it into a living trust with her will's stating I still had the right to inherit the house. I continued to pay mortgage interest and take it off my taxes, along with the pr...

    Karen’s Answer

    I strongly urge you to contact a tax attorney in your area and your mother may wish to contact an elder law attorney. There are many facts in your question that need to be fleshed out. You say that you and your mother owned the property jointly but that she transferred the property to the trust. Yet she can't have transferred your interest in the property, so do you still own part of it? An attorney can help to determine that, which will guide the answers to your other questions.

    Good luck.

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  • Can my parents give me their home?

    My dad and mom want to give me their home. When my mom dies, Medicare will take the home, so they want to give it to me, but continue to live in it until they die. It is worth about $100,000, I think. My wife and I have three kids (two are unde...

    Karen’s Answer

    I would like to clarify one part of the previous answer. If your parents are only on Medicare, their home is not at risk when they die. Their assets have no relationship with their Medicare eligibility.

    If they are on MediCal (the California version of Medicaid), which is a government program for persons with limited assets and income, then Medical may have lien which allows Medical to claim the home when they die. If they give the home to you there may have consequences for their Medical eligibilty even when they are alive.

    If they are on Medical, it will be particularly important for them to contact an elder law attorney in their area. Even if they are not on Medical, contacting an elder law or estate planning attorney will help protect their eligibility if they need to be on it in the future and will make sure that any gift tax or capital gains tax issues are taken into consideration when they make the gift.

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  • My grandfather past away, how do i find out if he left me a will?

    I need to know the steps I have to take to find this info out. My family are estranged.

    Karen’s Answer

    You should check with the court in the county where your grandfather lived. If a will was probated there, a copy will be in the court records. There will most likely also be a procedure where you can ask to be notified if a will is probated in the future. If you are provided for in other ways, such as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, the court will not know about that and you may need to wait until you are notified by the holder of the asset.

    If there is no will, you may not be an heir to the estate. Generally, grandchildren are not heirs where there is no will unless their parent has predeceased.

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  • What should a person do if the spouse passes and has property in his name and also has a child under 16--I am his guardian

    Husband passed, I am stepmother. He has two properties, 1 income and 1 residential where I live with his son who is under 16 and whom I take care of. I understand that his will needs to be probated and his assets to include the properties and his ...

    Karen’s Answer

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    The number of questions you have, and the other questions that are raised by your situation, cannot be answered on a free legal forum. You really need to contact a probate attorney in your area right away. Once the probate proceeding is started and you are appointed executor or personal representative, you will then have authority to collect rents and pay bills, etc. If you pay reasonable expenses from your own funds that are for the benefit of the estate you can seek reimbursement. The bank accounts in both names may or may not be part of the estate, depending on how they are titled, i.e. tenants in common or joint tenancy.

    I know this sounds like a lot of ifs and maybes, but that's why it's important to contact a local attorney who can address all of your questions.

    Good luck.

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  • Non compete agreements

    are they enforceable if deemed territorial and excessive time frame for someone to earn a living in a specialized profession? For example if a contract stated that employee agrees not to work with or pursue employers clients based in Maricopa Coun...

    Karen’s Answer

    I am not licensed to practice law in Arizona. You should consult with an employment law attorney locally. General research indicates that restricting a noncompete to one county may be found reasonable if the employer's client base comes from the entire county. In other cases the one year time frame has been found to be reasonable. It will depend on whether the employer can show that the time frame is reasonably necessary to protect his/her business interests as a result of the employee's departure.

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  • When a sick parent lives with an adult child and dies without a will who has the right to distribute or keep their belongings?

    My mother lived with me and died without a will she told me to keep what I want and give out what I want. Is it legal. My aunt wants the china and I say no, am I right?

    Karen’s Answer

    I am not licensed to practice in New York. For that reason, you should consult with a New York probate attorney. However, from general probate principles it is unlikely that it will matter that your mother lived with you, since you acknowledge that the china was hers and not yours. However, general rules of intestacy (the rules that apply when someone dies without a will) would not give your aunt any claim to your mother's property since your mother left at least one surviving child (you). If your mother was married or had other children, her spouse or your siblings may have a claim to your mother's property.

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  • 5 year lookback...what is the impact on nominal gifts...

    Christmas or Birthday gifts for children or grandchildren?

    Karen’s Answer

    When applying for Medicaid, you must disclose all gifts made in the previous five years. There is no set amount where a gift is too small to be considered when deciding your eligibility. However, if the total amount of the gifts doesn't equal one month of nursing home care, the gifts may not affect eligibility because the penalty for the gifts may not be large enough to deny eligibility for Medicaid.

    I am not licensed to practice law in New Jersey. This answer is for informational purposes and not for legal advice. I strongly recommend that you consult with an elder law attorney in New Jersey if you are concerned about Medicaid eligibility.

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  • What can I get that is stronger than a general power of attorney

    I have general power of attorney for both of my parents. Is there a legal instrument that would have more weight with banks & other businesses so I would not have all the hoops to jump through as with the G.P.of A. to get things done & taken car...

    Karen’s Answer

    You don't indicate whether your parents are capable of executing new legal documents. If they are, they might want to consider a living trust which names you as a trustee or co-trustee of the trust. Once they have executed a living trust they can then transfer the accounts and other assets to the living trust. As a trustee or co-trustee of the trust, it is my experience you will have less resistance from banks and other institutions than you have found as agent under a power of attorney.

    If your parents aren't capable of executing a living trust, you may have to petition a court to be appointed conservator for both of them. That will give you legal authority over their assets and be backed by the authority of the court.

    In either instance, I urge you to contact an estate planning attorney licensed where your parents live so you can determine the right approach and have competent assistance in carrying it out.

    Good luck.

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  • Do you have to let a personal rep know about you being a beneficary on a life insurance policy that they were not listed on?

    If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy but not the personal representative to the estate, do you have to let the representative know if you received a payout on a life insurance policy? Can you divide what you have received from the...

    Karen’s Answer

    I'm not going to try to answer all the questions you posed. From the question posed, you haven't given any facts that would indicate you have to wait until the probate of the estate is over to distribute the proceeds of the life insurance any way you see fit. However, when you give the proceeds of the life insurance to anyone else, you are making a gift that may have tax consequences. Generally, if you give less than $13,000 to a person over the course of a calendar year, you won't have to worry about gift tax. If you contemplate giving more, it's best to consult with an attorney.

    Telling the personal representative about the life insurance is trickier. The personal representative has to evaluate whether an estate tax return is required, and the amount of the life insurance may factor into that evaluation. If you are certain that the estate was not large enough to require an estate tax return, then the personal representative likely does not need to know about the insurance. An estate tax return may be required if the estate was larger than $1,000,000, depending on the year of the death.

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