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Michael Leo Potter
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Michael Potter’s Answers

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  • My sister is the trustee of my mothers trust.. The only outstanding element is the house..

    Her distribution to me is grossly inadequate.. I have asked for ( through certified letters) for a complete copy.. She has yet to give me one. I've also asked for a accounting and she refuses to do that. I'm in Nevada but the trust and property is...

    Michael’s Answer

    I concur with both of my esteemed colleagues. The trustee has a Fiduciary Duty to provide you with both a copy of the Trust AND asset inventory AND a yearly Accounting of the Trust in accordance with the form specified in the California Probate Code until it is closed. If she fails to do so, have a Trust attorney in the County where the Trust is being administered file a Motion to Compel a Complete Fiduciary Accounting and Complete Inventory of Trust Assets and a Motion to Replace the Trustee for Breach of Fiduciary Duty. Good Luck.

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  • Small estate affidavit

    What does it involve. There are three of us, and our mother didn't have a will. All that is involved is a insurance check made out to her estate. Do we all need to go to the court house, appear in front of a clerk. All we want is for one of us to ...

    Michael’s Answer

    I concur with my colleagues. This is good advice and you should follow it.

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  • Escrow accounts in estate planning

    in going through probate, my fathers estate lawyer has directed me to make some checks payable directly to debtors and others to his atty escrow account. Why some directly and others via his escrow? seems fishy.

    Michael’s Answer

    I concur. The debts should be paid from an Estate account.

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  • Inherited property in San Francisco, CA. Is it legal to "disclaim" rather than sell half to avoid reassessment?

    Parents house in trust equally divided between 2 heirs. Sister is keeping house and taking out a loan to pay brother half the appraised value. Lender is requiring an "agreement" stating that the property will be deeded to the sister when the broth...

    Michael’s Answer

    Disclaimers can be a minefield if not done properly. Consult an experienced Estate Planning attorney before proceeding. See Avvo.com under the link 'Find-A-Lawyer'. Good Luck.

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  • Trusts? Wills?

    I am in the middle of divorce. What type of Trust, a will or any other documents/options that I can make (in case of my death) to ensure all my portion of assets goes to my children and family members other than my so-to be ex during divorce? Sim...

    Michael’s Answer

    Divorce proceedings usually have a temporary order which precludes the transfer of assets (by either one of you). When the Divorce is final the best way to go is a Living Trust Estate Plan with a Pour-Over Will. You want to benefit your children, so you'll work with an experienced Estate Planning attorney. Good Luck.

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  • Picking between a Last will and testament or a Living Trust

    I want to make sure all of my assets go to who I have listed as watching over my things, House, insurance, cars, everything I own.

    Michael’s Answer

    Best Answer: Use a Living Trust Estate Plan with a Pour Over Will, Power of Attorney for Health Care, Springing Durable General Power of Attorney, a Physician's Directive on Artificial Life Support, Trustee's Instructions, HIPAA Instructions etc. See Avvo.com under 'Find-A-Lawyer'. Good Luck.

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  • Can a spouse have a will or trust made regarding the couple's community properties, etc without the knowledge of other?

    Can a spouse make out a trust or will without the other person knowing regarding their personal property?

    Michael’s Answer

    Both my colleagues are correct. But the violation of the TRO is a serious matter if indeed a divorce has been filed. Sit down with an attorney and map out a strategy that accomplishes your goals without violating a court order. Good Luck.

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  • My 17+ year old daughter is named in a trust from my mother. My ex-wife wants to sue the trust. What are my daughters rights?

    My mother's will explicitly disinherited my ex-wife and set up a small trust ($25K) for my daughters (17 1/2, 15) they will get when they are 21. My ex who has legal custody is threatening to sue the trust. Nothing has been filed yet. AFAIK the su...

    Michael’s Answer

    I concur. This could be costly to sue for such a measly amount. You may want to have your daughters attorney contact the opposing party and see what can be negotiated. Good Luck.

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  • What is the statute on how often I should get trust statements

    My father created a marital trust for his second wife. I am the beneficiary on her passing. The funds are with a small investment firm. There is no document governing the trust. By statute, how often must the trustee provide me statements listing ...

    Michael’s Answer

    All states provide for Fiduciary Accounting to be rendered by the Trustee to the vested beneficiaries. Until your step-mother's demise that would be her unless the Trust document provides otherwise. In most states the requirement is a minimum of once a year until the Trust document provides otherwise. So your step-mother would receive the accounting. After her death, the Successor Trustee would have the responsibility and the duty of providing for the accounting.

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  • How can l get guardian ship of my older sister ( first stage of Alzheimer ) my sister is in Albuquerque with cousin has guardia

    lm concerned about my sister well been. l dont think the cousin is taking proper care of her and my sister's children dont care about her well been. please help. Sincerely , Reynalda

    Michael’s Answer

    I concur with my colleague Dara. First you should discuss care options with the Guardian. Second, you need to explore the legal options. See Avvo.com under the link 'Find-a=Lawyer'. Good Luck.

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