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Thomas J Bouman

Thomas Bouman’s Answers

39 total

  • A revocable trust will be made before a large inheritance is received. Does another trust have to be formed for the inheritance?

    Is there proper wording that can be included in the trust when made next month to include the inheritance, or does another trust have to be made once the inheritance is received?

    Thomas’s Answer

    The answer to your question is no, provided the document calls for outright distribution.

    But the person who established the revocable trust might choose to leave the inheritance to a separate trust for a beneficiary. This "inheritance trust" would be irrevocable and serves the purpose of protecting or restricting the assets.

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  • My fathers house is in his name only,my mothers name is on the deed,who passed away yrs.ago.

    When my dad remarried he never changed the deed into his new wifes name,he left the same with my mom's name on the deed.What we would like to know is what happens to the house when he passes on.Does it go into probate? Will his wife get the house?...

    Thomas’s Answer

    The most likely answer is that If Dad dies, the property will be subject to probate because he is the last surviving owner on the deed. There are different levels of probate, depending on many factors including the amount of equity in the property.

    In order to determine the heir, I would need to know whether the original deed included a "right of survivorship" clause or not. Whether your stepmother inherits the property depends on the provisions of Dad's Will. If he doesn't leave a Will, then the default is 1/2 to stepmother and 1/2 in equal shares to the descendants of Dad. See ARS 14-2102 and page 100 of my published book.

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  • Is my Estate responsible to repay expenses for family members to attend funeral?

    My husband passed away and left a small insurance policy ($50,000) and 75% of his pension to me as beneficiary. Am I responsible to repay family member expenses to attend the funeral? I have a son who is causing a real family problem over this i...

    Thomas’s Answer

    It's certainly your choice; not mandatory. If your son is causing trouble over this minor issue, I suggest you make the effort to prepare a rock-solid estate plan for yourself.

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  • Is there a way to dispose of furnishings and personal effects to avoid probate?

    I live in Arizona. I want to avoid probabate entirely. I have set up all my bank. brokerage, and retirement accounts as POD. For my house I have a TOD deed and for my car a TOD title/registration. All that is left in my will are the furnishings...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I also suggest the use of a living trust. In some cases, however, I would suggest the use of a LLC to hold title to a specific asset that is causing the value to go above $50,000. For example, an expensive piece of artwork. The LLC can avoid probate, although it has its own set-up costs of course.

    I should point out that the car TOD title/registration you refer to only works if the total value of your personal property is less than $50,000. This is a little quirk in the law, which can be confirmed by reading the form itself. See ARS 28-2055(B). So if your furnishings and personal effects exceed $50,000 in value, then the car would also go through probate.

    Besides the trust, perhaps a simpler solution is to gift the valuable things to your beneficiary during your lifetime.

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  • Are there any attorneys willing to look over wills, living trusts, etc. that have been prepared with kits?

    A couple of years ago I prepared documents using Suze Orman's kit. I funded the revocable trust, had all the documents notarized etc. I'd like to make sure there are no problems with the documents under Arizona law, but the two firms that I called...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Yes, I will do it. I am very familiar with the Suze Orman kit and will give my honest assessment. See my website below for contact information.

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  • How much does an estate lwayer cost per hour

    I need to know what are the average rates for an estate lawyer per hour

    Thomas’s Answer

    Many probate and estate administration matters are billed at fixed fees, rather than the traditional hourly rate method. For example, many estate lawyers in Tucson, including myself, will charge a fixed fee of several thousand dollars for a simple, informal probate.

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  • My father died in 2007, mother in 2008, my mother had no will made

    my mother had no will, there is a unit and money left from the Estate, the unit is been rented out my brother recieves all the rent. I actually have not seen my fathers will my brother refuses to read it. How do i stand on this matter. there are t...

    Thomas’s Answer

    In order to transfer the property out of your mother's name, you will likely have to petition the probate court for appointment of a personal representative. The best option is for the three children to agree on who should be appointed. This person can then proceed to collect the property, pay any outstanding debts, and then distribute the property. If your mother did not have a will, then the three children will likely inherit the estate in equal shares under Arizona law.

    If your brother is not legally entitled to receive sole ownership of the unit, then you may need to negotiate a deal to offset the loss of income you may have been entitled to.

    The wording in the title of the unit and of the account where money is located is critical. If you consult with an attorney, be prepared to show documentation with this information.

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  • Should I will my son my house or let him buy the house from me?

    I am 80 years old, and I want to find out what would be a better option, to will my son my home or to just let him pay it off and put it in his name.

    Thomas’s Answer

    I would suggest giving the home to your son by will, trust, or beneficiary deed. If you don't have substantial assets, then the beneficiary deed is probably best.

    Don't forget the capital gains tax. Your home receives a step-up in basis for tax purposes when you die. You would lose this benefit if you gift it during your lifetime. (on the other hand, if your home is worth less than what you paid for it, which is possible these days of course, then this is a non-issue.)

    I'm a Tucson estate attorney -- contact me if you want to learn more.

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  • How to put deed in my name without probate

    Parents died with no will and there are 9 children living. We want to put the properties in our names without having to go to probate. Properties have no liens all taxes are paid.

    Thomas’s Answer

    For a situation of this nature, an informal probate is most likely necessary and appropriate. There are some procedures available to simplify the process, but I assume they are unavailable due to the fact there are multiple properties referred to here and there are no liens. Hopefully the children can all agree on who should be appointed personal representative (executor) so that person can complete the probate with minimal interference. I would suggest looking for an estate attorney who will agree to a fixed fee for the project. The probate may not cost as much as you think.

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  • Power of attorney for a friend who needs help.

    My friend has limited transportation issues due to her drivers license being suspended. We need to know how to get a power of attorney and can it be limited to just this issue.

    Thomas’s Answer

    Any adult in Arizona can give someone else a power of attorney, provided they are competent to do so. The document must adhere to specific requirements of course. A power of attorney can be drafted to cover a wide range of financial matters (aka general) or to address one specific issue (aka limited). Although general powers of attorney are best drafted by estate planning attorneys, a limited power of attorney of this nature may be drafted by a general practice attorneys.

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