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Ronald Edward Ostrin
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Ronald Ostrin’s Answers

13 total


  • How do I change power of attorney from my Mother's sister to me?

    I live in San Francisco and my mother lived in Los Angeles, California. My mother's sister also lives in Los Angeles and got power of attorney when my mother came down with dementia. I want power of attorney to put my mother in rehabilitative care...

    Ronald’s Answer

    The foregoing two answers are correct, but I think a little further explication may be helpful. The question is what your mom wants and what she can understand. The durable power of attorney she previously executed stands in for that if she has now lost the capacity to understand what she is signing. However, the loss of capacity is not a black and white situation, as someone could have dementia, but may have the capacity to understand what a power of attorney and to express a preference. Therefore if you mother was at the beginnings of dementia, and still was able to sign a document understanding what she was signing, then she can easily revoke the previous power of attorney and sign a new one naming you as the agent in fact. However, if the dementia has progressed and in fact your aunt is operating under powers granted by the durable power of attorney based on a doctor's affidavit, then this option is not likely viable. Therefore, unless your mother's estate documents name you as a successor trustee/agent in fact and your aunt is willing to defer to you, then a petition to have a conservator appointed is your only option and that should be based on your belief that your aunt is not working the best interests of your mother. If you have a copy of her estate documents, I suggest you have an attorney review them to explain your options. If you are named as a successor trustee or agent in fact in those documents, and your aunt was willing, she could withdraw in your favor, which is a easier option then a conservatorship proceeding. The one thing I would counsel is see if you can work collaboratively with your Aunt for the benefit of your mother, as that is the best possible scenario.

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  • How do I put a house into a family trust?

    my grandparents want to go into assisted living and sign their house to me. there's still a mortgage on it and with the drop in value I'm unable to purchase it yet so the mortgage will have to stay in their name for now. We want to put the house ...

    Ronald’s Answer

    If your grandparents were here in California, I would advise them to have a trust prepared, (along with a pour over will, durable power of attorney for finances and an advanced health care directive.) When those documents were done, I would prepare a quitclaim or grant deed to the grandparents, as trustees of their trust, and then have the deed recorded. This is the basic estate plan that is the minimum everyone should have who owns property or has children.

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  • My bank charges late fees when they "receive" a late mortgage payment of mine. My question is is the payment date the date they

    x

    Ronald’s Answer

    Always mail your payment in as soon as possible and send it by return receipt or federal express a few times if you think they are marking it late when it is not. The date they received is the date on which to determine if it is late or not.

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  • What do I do after the first collection call by debt collection law firm?

    I have 13k in debt in Amex card, and recently I received a call from one of the collector agent identified from Zwicker & Associate. I told the agent I'm unable to come up with the amount he requested (about 2k upfront and monthly afterward). At t...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Always keep a log of who calls you, date and time. Ask them for the spelling of their name and tell to call your attorney, if you have one. One of the main purposes of filing bankruptcy is to obtain the automatic stay, and if the calls continue after you file, they may be subject to sanctions for its violation.

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  • CAN I TRANSFER A CAR WHICH IS MY NAME TO MY DAUGHTER

    ABOUT 2 1/2 YEARS AGO I BOUGHT MY DAUGHTER A CAR. WE PAID CASH AND I KEPT IT IN MY NAME. NOW THINGS ARE GETTING VERY TUFF AND I MAY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO DECLARE BK. WOULD THERE BE ANYTHING WRONG WITH TRANSFERING INTO HER NAME NOW AS SHE HAS ALWAY...

    Ronald’s Answer

    The first three rules of bankruptcy is disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. Any transaction, especially to a relative, that is done close to bankruptcy is subject to scrutiny and will have to pass the smell test. Unless you can prove that it was transferred for fair value, you not only have the prospect of the transaction or transfer being set aside as a fraudulent conveyance, but if so found that could prevent your discharge in its entirety. If I was representing you, I would want to see a paper trail showing what your daughter paid for the car, and if it was less than fair value I would make her pay you the difference and then the whole transaction would have to be disclosed in your bankruptcy petition. Unless you can show you were merely holding it in trust for her, I would not take the chance and see if you could exempt the car, unless of course you needed your exemptions for your own car. Proceed cautiously and get competent attorney advice.

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  • The bank that lent me the money for my mortgage filed for bankruptcy. Can they assign to another bank while in bankruptcy?

    I got my mortgage from Lehman Bank in 2007. They filed for Ch. 11 in 2008, and now the bank they re-assigned to is auctioning off its assets. I wanted to know if Lehman had the right to assign my mortgage while under bankruptcy protection, and h...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Yes they can, and they might seek an omnibus order allowing them to do that as a regular course of business.

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  • Two years ago I agreed to lend a family member money that was to be repaid in 6 months. That was two years ago .

    I've only been repaid a small portion of the loan thus far.How do I collect the ballance in a timely way?

    Ronald’s Answer

    I speak as a California attorney, so the answer may change depending on the state. In California, the statute of limitations for an oral contract is two years, so the answer is file a lawsuit, right away so your claim is not barred by the statute of limitations. Often when the statute begins to accrue is an issue that is subject to debate, so the basic guidelines I use is that prefer to sue within two years of the date the agreement was made, so that it would not be time barred, but I would go as far as two years from the date last paid, as the last payment is in effect an acknowledgment of the contract. In California, if the amount is less or close to $5,000.00 I would recommend small claims court, otherwise hire an attorney.

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  • Can I make bankruptcy?

    My ex wife make Bankruptcy when we seperated.Now finally have I the divorced the judce ordered I paid the half of the money $20 000!!. plus the her attorney fees...

    Ronald’s Answer

    The answer is maybe. Marital obligations are often not dischargeable, such as child support, alimony, etc. I recommend as the previous attorney suggested that you have a bankruptcy lawyer carefully look at all of the facts and to specifically analyze in reference thereto Bankruptcy Code section 523(a)(15), to see if a bankruptcy would be worthwhile or futile for your purposes.

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  • I received an amended request to a modification which my ex filed with no proof of service. Is that allowed and ...

    Can I object to the motion on procedural basis for not receiving a proof of service? It was hand delivered to a PO Box service and not signed for. Thank you

    Ronald’s Answer

    Yes you can object, but the question is what is the likelihood of the objection being sustained. If you can show real prejudice, such as this was not where your pleadings showed as the place for you to be served, and you got it very late, that might be sufficient. I think you have show to show prejudice. However, if you got it timely, then you should object to the place served, but make your substantive arguments, as you don't want to irritate the judge with non-substantive arguments. You are entitled to due process, adequate and timely notice, but if you regularly received your mail at the p.o. box, the court might find the argument frivolous. A lot depends on your own credibility.

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  • I turned 18 in nov. and my father told me that I had a trust for 4 years of college.now he said i have only

    $50,000 which only covers one year of the colleges I applied for. He wont even let me see the trust and now he says that it is in his name and that if I act he will remove me. I found the documents, trust and distribution document on line at the c...

    Ronald’s Answer

    I would proceed cautiously as you might end up alienating your father, and if he is the trustor of a revocable trust, he could simply revoke or amend you out of the trust. Your question leave too many open questions, but I can at least touch on some of the issues.

    First off a trust has to have someone who set up the trust, called either a settlor or trustor. Who was that? Was it a grandparent or other relative who is now not living? In that case you might have vested rights and your father may be the trustee, but not the settlor and the settlor's terms and not your father's would control. It also might be that the trust was set up in a will and therefore would be a testamentary trust, and therefore might be made a matter of public record if the person who made the trust had passed away and his will was probated. but otherwise it would probably not be.

    On the other hand, the trust could likely be set up by your father and if he is still alive it is also likely it is still revocable and therefore I would not push it. I would proceed cautiously as your father likely could have segregated $50,000.00 which a few years ago would have been likely to be worth four years of education at a public university, but with the recent raises in tuition would not nearly go so far. Proceed cautiously and ask your father nicely what kind o trust was it, and I would proceed cautiously and get a lawyer, rather than proceed like a bull in a China shop. You may have rights if it is a trust set up by someone else other than your father, and that person has died, if so, request a copy of the trust and have a lawyer analyze it before you do anything that might alienate your father.

    Consider this a lesson in life and diplomacy.

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