Skip to main content
Steven Keith Brumer
Avvo
Pro

Steven Brumer’s Answers

67 total


  • Dismissing chapter 7 to start over

    My attorney ended up being a complete jerk and screaming at me on the phone. I had worked out a payment plan. It was fourth of July, the attorney had my payment info, never charged me, then called me screaming. I said, 'I gave you the info ove...

    Steven’s Answer

    I'm sorry you had this experience with a colleague of ours but please try again. Call a local attorney. Tell him or her what's going on and see what you can do. Filing your own bankruptcy is not advisable for most people. You will have questions along the way and nobody to answer them. You should talk to another attorney.

    See question 
  • I have been named in a trust as beneficiary, do I need to retain a Lawyer?

    I am named in a trust and have received notice. I also have asked for copy of trust, and have received.

    Steven’s Answer

    Unfortunately, the answer is "that depends". As a beneficiary, you have certain rights. It sounds like you're referring to a decedent's (dead person's) trust where you will receive some distribution. If you want to be sure that you are receiving everything to which you are entitled and that the successor trustee is doing that which he is required to do, it wouldn't hurt to have an attorney review the trust and oversee the successor trustee's duties. It would not be particularly expensive to hire an attorney to advise you on this, especially if you expect to receive a distribution. It's literally a small price to pay.

    See question 
  • Is the Executor of a Trust able to distribute funds he does not think are 'fair' to other family members in the trust?

    This is a Revocable Living Trust in California. Upon our Mother's death, he thinks as Executor that he can 'divvy' up funds that are set in the trust for a church to receive 15% of the estate, if the other family members are okay with it.

    Steven’s Answer

    The successor trustee of a revocable living trust ("executors" are in charge of probate estates; not trusts) must follow the instructions for distribution set forth in the trust document. The trustee should be following the advice of an attorney who represents the trustee (not the beneficiaries). You as a beneficiary may need counsel to advise you about your rights as a beneficiary. I'd advise you to meet with an attorney for a brief consultation. Many attorneys offer a consultation free of charge to determine if you need to hire an attorney.

    See question 
  • What does it cost to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy

    I am in debt about $80,000

    Steven’s Answer

    1. Search on Avvo for a well-respected attorney in your area who will offer a free consultation.
    2. Call that attorney and ask a few basic questions. If you can't get an attorney on the phone at that time, call someone else.
    3. Meet with that attorney for about an hour free of charge. If there's a charge for the consult, call someone else.

    As my colleagues have stated, the cost is not related to how much debt you have. Be wary of any attorney who charges a very low fee. In this business, you do get what you pay for.

    See question 
  • My sister resigned as trustee. Now I am the new trustee. Do I need to file anything to become the trustee?

    My parents left behind a trust. They died and several properties were in it. My sister was named the original trustee but now she wants to stop doing this. Now that I am the trustee do I need to file anything to notify the public that I am the ...

    Steven’s Answer

    A trust administration, while far less expensive than a formal probate, is not usually a do-it-yourself job. There are several requirements of successor trustees, especially where the original trustors (your parents) have died. You will not be able to sell any of the real estate unless your sister resigns as trustee and you accept that appointment but before you do that you need to open a formal trust administration. You should contact an attorney who handles this kind of work and discuss the least expensive means to get this done.

    See question 
  • What can I do when I can no longer pay my credit cards?

    I have fallen way behind paying my credit cards; I do not have any source of income as I have health issues that do not allow me to go to work, drive etc. I am barely making it. The credit card companies have started sending me letters to pay back...

    Steven’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. Bankruptcy may be an option but may not be the only option. You would be best served by contacting a competent, experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area for a free consultation. Most will meet with you for no charge to help you decide what's the best course of action. You need to take the first step, though. Just pick up the phone and make the call.

    See question 
  • File for BK7 questions?

    I am un-employment for the last four years. However, I owned two houses and that is my source of income and I am barely make it each month. On the paper, the two houses have equity - but I have a lot of deferred maintenances. One of the house is ...

    Steven’s Answer

    The bankruptcy law provides several exemptions that allow the individual to retain property. You would need to sit down with an attorney to discuss what property you would be able to protect in your Chapter 7 case. If you cannot keep the property in a Chapter 7 then a Chapter 13 case may be right for you. Either way, you are going to need to talk to an attorney. Many attorneys like myself, who practice in this area, offer a free consultation in order to determine if they can help you.

    See question 
  • Why do my children need an attorney when I am the beneficiary of a trust left by my grandparents. Do I need an attorney also.

    Its a family trust started many years ago and is irrevocable since my grandparents are both deceased.

    Steven’s Answer

    Need? No. Advisable? Yes. As a beneficiary you have rights and you may not understand them completely without competent counsel. Your children may or may not need counsel because your question doesn't indicate that they are beneficiaries. As a beneficiary, however, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that you are receiving what you are entitled to receive and that the trustee is doing his or her job properly.

    See question 
  • What forms do I use to response back to being served with form SUM-100 and CM-010 in a Civil case regarding debt owed?

    I was sued by a creditor for a uncollateralized personal loan

    Steven’s Answer

    It is very important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You have a limited time during which to file and serve your response. If you don't then the creditor could win by default. An attorney can file a response and start the negotiation process. You've been sued. You should contact a lawyer.

    See question 
  • I need to make a simple will, living will and medical directives.

    Hi, I need to make a simple will, living will and medical directives. Are there forms I can fill out and have them notarized and have a legal document? I really don't want a lot of complex legal jargon. Can I do this without an attorney? I am in C...

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes, of course you can do this yourself. The problem is that with most do-it-yourself projects, there's "wiggle room" if you make a mistake. Don't like the color you painted your room? You can re-do it. The problem here is that if you make a mistake, you won't know it (if you ever find out) until it's too late and the hospital won't accept or follow your directive or your will isn't valid and a probate judge decides to administer your estate as though you never had a will - likely differently than you wanted your estate administered.

    This is a case where it really does pay to talk to a lawyer. There are way too many questions that you don't even know need to be considered on drafting these documents. Do it once, do it right, and forget about it.

    See question