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Michael A Kirtland
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Michael Kirtland’s Answers

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  • My mother wrote her will before she remarried and left everything to her kids, is the will still valid if he's not mentioned ?

    My step father and sister tried to hide my mother's will and tried to disinherit my brother and i by claiming finacial abuse which the court rejected. He tried to apply for letters administration but was stopped when i presented a copy of my mothe...

    Michael’s Answer

    The will is still valid. However, her widower has certain rights as a spouse to elect against the will and potentially other rights as a pretermitted spouse. You'll need to check with an attorney.

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  • When a will is read doesn't the lawyer have to be the one to read it?

    certain family member is saying he doesn't need to read the will until he does other things that were requested from the deceased and that no lawyer needs to be involved

    Michael’s Answer

    First off , there is no longer a "reading" of the will. The named executor in the will is responsible to open the probate and follow the terms of the will and state law to settle the decedent's estate. Anyone named in the will and certain heirs who would take if there were no will are entitled to a copy of the will.

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  • As Power of Attorney, can I appoint the Executor of an estate if the person is mentally incapable & there is no will?

    The second part of the question is that if there is an appointed executor, as Power of Attorney, can I change who the executor is (like to a lawyer or some the party) to ensure proper handling of the estate? Again, my father is mentally incapable ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Powers of attorney end at the death of the principal. If you were Agent during the principal's lifetime under the power of attorney, that does not give you any authority to act after the principal's death.

    However, you seem to indicate your father is still alive.. But, even in this case, being agent under a power of attorney does not give you the right to change his will. Then you go on to say your father has no will, in which case there is nothing for you to change. Only after your father dies can an executor (actually an administrator or personal representative ) be appointed. Once your father passes away, you can petition to be appointed his personal representative.

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  • If I pay off the lien on my deceased parents home, can I sell it if there's no will and the value is less than $10,000?

    Probate hasn't been started,I have two sisters and the house was recently damaged by fire.

    Michael’s Answer

    NO, simply paying the loan off does not give you the right to the property. You must have real property transferred according to law, through the probate proceedings.

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  • My dad died april 13 2015 he left $994. to my aunt the credit union bank will not release the money to her .

    I have bank statement says the money was withdrawn on 6/6/2015 .but they never deposited it into my aunts account. they told her they put it into his savings but he does not have one because hes dead.she has been in demanding the money and the won...

    Michael’s Answer

    $994 is within the small estate procedure limit. She should file a small estate affidavit to obtain the funds.

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  • My husband passed away. there is no will. am I responsible for his medical bills

    My husband was in the hospital and accumulated quite a few bills. He passed away in the hospital. He did not name me as authorized to receive any medical information. There was no will. Am I responsible for his bills after the insurance pays i...

    Michael’s Answer

    If he left a will, his estate is responsible for the bills. If he did not, you may still be liable under the "necessities" doctrine, which would require payment for things that were necessary for him, such as medical care. You need to speak with an attorney. Don't voluntarily communicate with any creditors until you have done so.

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  • When a trust is left to multiple individuals&one of them can't be located, how long must search go on before others divvy share?

    All other recipients have received their shares already.

    Michael’s Answer

    The others don't get to "divvy" anything. If the individual cannot be found, the trustee can go to court to have him declared deceased, in which event the terms of the trust determines who gets that share. If you do not wish him declared deceased, then his share is either held in trust until he is found, or can be turned over to the unclaimed property division of the Secretary of State's office.

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  • We are buying a condo in Florida and would like to set up a trust for the purchase.

    Does it matter whether we use a Florida lawyer or local lawyer to draw up the trust?

    Michael’s Answer

    You can use either a New Jersey lawyer or a Florida lawyer. Typically, you use a lawyer in the jurisdiction where you live.

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  • Can a home that was in a revocable trust be taken away once the deed has been put in my name?

    My mother died on January 10, 2015. My sister was listed as the grantor of the revocable trust that mom set up for my house and my son's house. My sister signed the papers listing me as the grantee and the paperwork was notarized on February 2, ...

    Michael’s Answer

    First, your sister was not the grantor of your mother's revocable trust, your mother was. Once your mother died, the trust became irrevocable and your sister the trustee. Once she executes deeds transferring property to your name, she cannot sign later paperwork taking back the property.

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  • My sister is trustee of an irrovable trust. She has done shady things in the past. I need advice

    I asked her to give this to the lawyer she is trying to hire in Pennsylvania, however the lawyer claims she does not have to speak to me. To Whom It May Concern, I completely understanding my sisters wanting to hire an attorney to make sur...

    Michael’s Answer

    If your sister is trustee and not you, then you don't get to decide whether or not she hires an attorney. As trustee she can seek legal advice as to how to administer the trust.

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