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Michael S. Haslam
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Michael Haslam’s Answers

10 total

  • If something were to happen to me, what would happen to my 5 y/o? Could a relative adopt her?

    I have a five year old daughter. Tragically, her father passed away three years ago and I have not remarried. If I were to pass away, what would happen to my daughter? Could my parents adopt her? Would the state of Utah take her into custody until...

    Michael’s Answer

    If you are not able to care for your child the State of Utah has authority to temporarily decide where you child will go until the court can appoint a new guardian. Every parent should nominate a guardian for their children in the event they can't be there for them. It is also important to nominate a medical power of attorney for your child in case you are temporarily incapacitated and your child experiences a medical emergency (like a car wreck). We also have our clients appoint a temporary guardian to be with their child until until the permanent guardian can be their. This document also makes less likely the state of Utah ever takes your child into custody. That is just the guardianship question you also need the proper documents explaining what happens to the financial resources left behind and how those are used for your child. Just naming guardians in a will only addresses a few of these issues. You should have several documents in place to correctly protect your child. Reach out to a estate planning attorney for more details.

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  • Does Utah recognize third party special needs trusts?

    Grandparents would like to create a trust for a grandchild with special needs and would like it to be a third party special needs trust rather than a self-settled special needs trust so medicaid is not required to be reimbursed after the grandchil...

    Michael’s Answer

    The previous answer is correct. Utah does allow third party special need trusts. One additional item to consider with this type of trust is selecting a great trustee. The trustee usually acts for a longer time period and has more rules to follow so it's important to have a great person take on that role.

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  • How can we revoke a durable POA from one person, and give it to another without going to court?

    I am a trustee over a family trust. Our father has become incapacitated. A few years ago, another family member got a durable POA, and has taken over the complete care of him. Before Dad was incapacitated this person drew up a new trust, but re...

    Michael’s Answer

    Justin's answer is correct, as Trustee you may demand a copy of the Trust and take action from their. If you suspect the POA is committing financial abuse you also have a duty to report them to Adult Protective Services. This agency has limits in its powers to investigate and may not be able to successfully find out the answers you are looking for. If they do find evidence of abuse they will take additional action. Because of the complexity of the situation it will be very difficult to proceed without an attorney. Your best option is to get professional help. Best of luck.

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  • May State of Utah take and sell estate (home and land) as medicaid recovery, where joint tenant survives the medicaid recipient?

    Medicaid recipient and survivor were joint tenants, since 1992. Recipient may have Quit Claimed her estate to survivor, by September of 1992. Alternatively, survivor held a joint ownership interest in the subject estate, until Recipient's passin...

    Michael’s Answer

    Utah usually takes the position that the surviving joint tenant is entitled to half the value of the home. Meaning the lien should only apply to half the equity in the home. There may be some additional arguments that the entire home is excluded from recovery as mentioned in the previous answer. It is best to work with an attorney on this issue so they can appropriately negotiate with ORS and the state.

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  • Will I receive anything from this trust in a divorce?

    There is a home in a trust. The trust document states that the property is to be transferred to my wife (and if she's deceased, our children). It also states that no property will be transferred to a divorced spouse. A document exists that states ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Trusts can be set up in many ways. They can be very technical documents. From the brief description that you have provided, it seems like it will take a deep read into the trust to determine whether or not it is possible for you to receive anything. I would definitely seek legal counsel to review the situation in depth if you are considering taking action because an asset as significant as a home is definitely worth being sure on.

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  • I hired an attorney to help with guardianship for my grandson. I paid for the petition and it was filed in December.

    I have called for updates on the guardianship but can get no answers. The paralegal always tells me they will call me but they never do. Should the processs take this long?

    Michael’s Answer

    One thing that a lot of clients do realize is that they have the ability to "fire" their attorney if they do not feel they are receiving adequate representation. In this instance, it certainly appears that your case is being neglected.

    With a matter that is as important as a guardianship, it would definitely be worth while to find a new legal counsel that will accelerate the process. Before doing that though, give the firm another call and let them know that you plan to do so if there is no action. If you still don't do back, find a new attorney and have him call the old one to get an update and takeover.

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  • MY PARENTS ARE BOTH DECEASED. THEY HAD A WILL DRAWN EITHER LATE 1990 OR BEGININNING TO 2000. THE ATTORNEY HAS RETIRED.

    WHERE CAN WE (CHILDREN) GET OR REQUEST COPY OF THE WILL? MY PARENTS LIVED IN TEXAS. I LIVE IN UTAH. PLEASE HELP ME BE ABLE TO GET A COPY OF THEIR WILL.

    Michael’s Answer

    It sounds like you are in quite the predicament. Generally, the attorney that drafted the will would have a copy, but that is not always the case. Since the attorney is retired, it is not likely that you will be able to get a copy from him. Wills are not public record until they have been probated.

    I am not familiar with Texas state law as I am with Utah. In Utah though, only originals of the will are accepted. So, that may also be the case in Texas. Primary places that my clients have stashed their their wills include safety deposit boxes, a safe in their home, or with a child.

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  • Should my grandparents prepare a "will" or a "trust"?

    My grandparents asked me to look into preparing a will for them. They have a house and some stock, but nothing big (the total value of everything is probably less than $200,000 or $300,000). I understand there is a difference between a will and ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Most likely a trust would be best for your grandparents assuming one of their main goals is to avoid probate. A trust could also be used to help in event either of them are incapacitated. The estate tax issues should not effect whether they use a trust or will. It would be a good idea to consult an attorney to help prepare their plan.

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  • Can a co-trustee evict the other co-trustee who is squatting in the house?

    I am co-trustee with my sister. After my mother passed away and my father was in an assisted living facility, she moved in at my parent's house. She visited my father in an assisted living facility. I am out of state, so my contribution was to ...

    Michael’s Answer

    The trust document itself would outline the terms of the trustees powers, so it would be difficult to be absolutely sure without reviewing the trust. The trust may allow for a discounted sale of the home or for a single signature even though there are co-trustees. A good thing to keep in mind is the trustee has a fiduciary duty and it wouldn't be in the best interest of the beneficiaries to sell the home at a discounted rate or have a trustee living in the home without paying rent. Your next step is to have an attorney review the trust document. Your sister may be in breach of her duties as a trustee.

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  • My wife and I have no real estate. Several cars, IRA's and Investments approx 125000.00. Living Will, living trust or both.

    Want to leave to our three adult sons, using the eldest a the administrator.

    Michael’s Answer

    In addition to determining whether a will or trust is right for your planning, you should look into which ancillary documents are appropriate, like a power of attorney or healthcare directive. All of these documents should compliment each other as you work on your estate plan.

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