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Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Sinclair’s Answers

8,014 total


  • Creditor threatening judgment

    I am a retired NC state employee. I'm living off of my retirement check. My husband passed away suddenly. I'm now receiving his S'S check as well as a small VA widows benefit check. I have enrolled in a debt relief program with a company called Fr...

    Paula’s Answer

    You describe bankruptcy as "not an option at my age," but it is experienced bankruptcy counsel who can gather the needed facts and perform the proper analysis to help you make the wisest choice. It is very possible that you are "collection-proof," meaning that you have nothing a judgment creditor can take therefore able to ignore existing unsecured debt without the protection of a bankruptcy discharge. While we can provide general information about the law and legal procedure on this public forum, it is ill-suited to provide advice in specific cases. Without delay, contact local experienced bankruptcy counsel. Many will provide an initial consultation at no-charge/no-obligation.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • My soon to be ex wife will not let me see my children what are my rights?

    She filed for a divorce and found a new man who wants to step in and take my place as a dad

    Paula’s Answer

    You are participating in this divorce, yes? And you have wisely retained counsel to insure your rights are respected. If not, do so immediately, This public forum can provide general information about the law and legal procedure, but it is ill-suited to advising strategy in a specific case. We can say that either party can file a motion for temporary custody orders. How successful that will be in your case is something to discuss with your flesh-and-blood attorney.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Does a power of attorney take presidence over trustee when a person passes away?

    what has more power the trustee of an estate or the power of attorney?

    Paula’s Answer

    A power of attorney expires upon the death of the principal, and the agent has no further power. After death management of the decedent's estate is carried out by the Personal Representative (sometimes still called "Executor") or the trustee of an existing trust.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • I purchased old desk at estate sale. I found hidden compartments with an array of stock certificates. What are my legal options.

    After finding the stock certificates I went back to the estate sale and asked if there are any living relatives I could contact about the desk. The only answer I got was the owner of the desk passed away 5 years ago. The desk with the hidden st...

    Paula’s Answer

    As a general rule, the contents of an object sold in the manner described are considered part of the sale, and there is no legal obligation to return the contents, even if concealed and not apparent to buyer or seller. Finding stock certificates, however, is not like finding diamonds or coins. The certificates themselves have no value (except in rare cases old enough to sell as ephemera); they merely document ownership, and the owners are almost certainly the heirs and/or beneficiaries of the estate of the decedent. Typically stock ownership is registered with the corporate secretary or transfer agent, and the certificates themselves are not negotiable. A wise strategy would be to search local court records to find the probate action and contact the Personal Representative or counsel. Another issue will be whether the corporations even continue to exist. If not, the shares may be worthless.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Does a Prenuptial have to be reviewed by separate attorney for each party getting married or is Notarized valid in CA Court ?

    Checking to see if I can use CA Prenup from Web, and if I notarized Prenup, is it valid in CA court ??? Or, does Prenup have to be written by separate attorneys to be recognized in CA court ???

    Paula’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Most respectfully, you are missing the point.

    While a marital agreement can be written by anyone (or even originate as a plain vanilla or cheap one-size-fits-all form) the key to enforceability is independent representation for both parties. Further, the term "notarized" is non-specific. Likely a CA marital agreement must be acknowledged (as is the case in the state where I practice) but a prudent party would rely on the advice of experienced family counsel for proper execution of such an important document.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best asnwer.

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  • 2nd time applying, got approved for Social Security Disability, but was told will not be getting any back pay.

    I originally applied June 2010 but was denied. did not appeal, went back to work only lasting sometimes weeks to months at each job, the longest I lasted at 1 job was 8 months in 2013 to 2014. Don't know why I am not approved for back pay, at leas...

    Paula’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    To clarify Mr. Pham's response, one of the important "findings" in you decision will be your disability onset date. Following that date, there will be a period of five full calendar months, called the "waiting period," during which no Social Security disability benefits are payable. The first month after the "waiting period" will be your first month in pay status. You may have claimed a disability onset date back in 2010, but it would be unusual for the evaluator to ignore months of work activity after that date.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Do I ned a living wil

    Hi Avvo, Got a question What is a living will? I read something about Mesopotamias believing that death is like being dragged slowly into the underworld. So if I wright a will of the living department, will I be able to save myself from this e...

    Paula’s Answer

    A living will is a statement of medical care that you wish to have or not have under certain "end-of-life" conditions. You do not NEED one, but you may well WANT one. The proper professionals to discuss your end-of-life care concerns with you are your doctor and an elder law lawyer.

    Regarding your church and spiritual advisor, if you feel threatened by the "evil underworld" they describe, remember that you are not required to adopt their beliefs (which, by the way, would be rejected by many).

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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