Skip to main content
Marlene Sue Seltzer

Marlene Seltzer’s Answers

55 total


  • Elder Law Question about In Home Support Services in California.

    I have been caretaking for both of my parents for around 10 total years. My one remaining parent is afraid to sign a release that allows MedICAL to file a lien on the home I share with them were they to pass before me. Both of our names are on the...

    Marlene’s Answer

    Just have your parents transfer the house to you NOW. This will avoid the Medi-Cal recovery after their death. - No cost

    You can also go to court and have the house transferred to you to avoid the Medi-Cal recovery should your parents be unable to transfer the house to you. Transferring the house AVOID the recovery problem.

    See question 
  • How to estimate the value of an estate

    Mom is an heir in her brother's probate. She passed away and a I started a petition for probate for her. Her present estate has zero value until the distribution of her brother estate is completed. What value should be noted in her probate petiti...

    Marlene’s Answer

    I would list her brother's estate name and case number with "unknown". The basic bond is $6,000.00 and costs about $100.00 per year. That will suffice with the court until you have more information.

    Good luck

    Marlene

    See question 
  • How to review a layer and qualifications before hiring for living trust?

    Any extra advice?

    Marlene’s Answer

    Hand Holding & Availability. The most important qualifications should be how he/she relates to you and how available he/she is to answer your questions. Many attorneys see you for a short time then turn you over to a paralegal. The most brilliant attorney with loads of credentials may talk and prepare complex documents that you do not need or understand. Ask for a free consultation (over the telephone or in person)to see if there is a fit. If not, go elsewhere. You don't want to be rail roading into a generic trust that fails to accomplish what you want.

    See question 
  • How does Probate in CA deal with possible Heirs(with issues) who die before and/or after decedent.

    John died in 2006 intestate. His predeceased brother had no issue. His sister died intestate in 2010 with 2 issues (my sister & I). Probate for John started late in 2009. I am the pers. rep in pro per. Court asked for a probate for John's siste...

    Marlene’s Answer

    Absolutely. You may petition to be appointed Personal Rep in John's sister's probate. The reason for the second probate is that when John died, his sister was an heir. Since she died after John and before the estate was distributed, her share needs to go to her estate. Thus the second probate.

    Do not cancel and start from scratch as each petition will require new fees and publication. You need an attorney to assist you in providing the court with the appropriate paperwork and giving notice to the heirs at law.

    See question 
  • Am I entitled to a copy of a trusts accountings?

    The settlor of the trust is permanently incapacitated. I am one of the beneficiaries of the trust. Can I receive a copy of the accountings of the trust from the time the settlor has been incapacitated thru to the present, from the trustee. I am no...

    Marlene’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I practice in CA. In CA the terms of the Trust specific who is entitled to an accounting and when. Under CA law, a beneficiary is not usually entitled to an accounting while the Settlor is alive. However, under the circumstances, you may hire an attorney in Beaufort to request the accounting and file a petition with the court to compel the accounting IF you have some proof of the mishandling. Generally, you can't use the court to "fish" for evidence. You have to show some evidence of misconduct first.

    See question 
  • What do we need to prove that my deceased brother was defrauded out of his share of the family farm before he passed?

    (this take place in the late 80'- - early 90's) My brother was taking mind altering meds (he had epilepsy) at the time he QC deeded his portion (40 acres) of the family farm to his wife - of 2 months. Unfortunately, my brother drowned while...

    Marlene’s Answer

    You have an uphill battle. First, why did your wait so long? Fraud/Undue Influence have a statute of limitations. Second, IF you can overcome the statute of limitations, you would need a doctor to claim AT THE TIME HE DEEDED the land, he was incompetent or under the influence of drugs. Third, you would need a handwriting expert to confirm the signature shows he was that of a drugged person.

    IMMEDIATELY get thee to an attorney in Pensacola.

    See question 
  • Does someone has the right to change locks on the deceased home before it goes into probate?

    My sister is the executor of the will and my brother has changed the locks on my mother home keeping us from entering into to take care of my mother business affairs. Nothing has gone into probate at this point.

    Marlene’s Answer

    I practice law in CA. An executor of a will in CA has NO AUTHORITY until the probate is opened and the executor is appointed and Letters are issue giving the executor authority (full or limited). Check with a local attorney in Tacoma.

    See question 
  • My mothers request is to be creamated. but one of three sisters will not sign the form.how can we get around this.

    My mother is terminally ill and living in a nursing home with not much time left. She has me looking into funeral homes and wishes to be cremated. My sisters and I haven't really talk or had anything to do with her over the past 18 yrs. I've mad...

    Marlene’s Answer

    I practice in CA. In CA, I would recommend that your mother sign the self form with two witnesses or a notary confirming that she was competent. It is and should be her decision, not your sister's.

    See question 
  • Am I a beneficiary of a trust?

    Gramma is an incapacitated settlor of her trust. Sent a letter requesting the trust documents from the trustee. The trustee response was "the trust limits disclosure to current beneficiaries". It is my understanding under SC trust laws that since ...

    Marlene’s Answer

    I am licensed in CA. Trust laws are state specific. You need to ask a local attorney if SC trust laws allow beneficiaries to have a copy of the trust, documents or accounting from the Trust while the Settlor is alive. In CA, the Probate court usually handles Trust matters. Find a local attorney.

    See question 
  • How do I get a copy of our family trust when sibling refuses sister to read it or have copy of it?

    My mom died in 2007. My undiagnosed bipolar sister who was homeless came into my fathers house, lived there and stole the trust from my dads desk. She refused to reveal it to him as he lay dying and now refuses me to read it, see the trust, or h...

    Marlene’s Answer

    Immediately hire a local Trust attorney. If you are a beneficiary of your mother's Trust, you have rights. I am concerned about the Reverse Mortgage being called as most have clauses that the reverse mortgage must be paid back within 6 mos - 1 year of mom's death.

    See question