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Philip Palmer Lindsley
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Philip Lindsley’s Answers

57 total


  • My cousin in CA died intestate and there are six cousins that are legal heirs, Are shares equal or divided by three families?

    Confusing situation and we don't get much info from the Administrator (a cousin). First we were told we would receive equal shares and now we heard it may be split between the three families (my father and her father were brothers, they have anoth...

    Philip’s Answer

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    Under Califronia intestate succession, family members will take by "right of representation," which means one takes through te closest common family members. Shares are accordingly often unequal. The calculations are not easy. I strongly urge that your Administratior get a probate attorney to help them with this...if they don't have one already. They will calculate this precisesly, and make sure the administration keeps on track for prompt distribution. The attorney is paid an equal share as the administrator, which is set by law, and not paid until the end of the case when the beneficiaries get their money. Little downside there.

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  • My wife is named as beneficiary on accounts owned by her deceased father but the executor refuses to provide account information

    What can we do to obtain this information?

    Philip’s Answer

    If in fact your wife is a named beneficiary of the bank account, she doesn't need anyone's permission or cooperation. All she has to do is go to the bank and collect her share. She should have a certified copy of her father's death certificate and personal ID. If there is another issue, and she turns out not to be a named beneficiary of that specific bank account, she should consult a probate attorney in her area.

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  • What happens when all named executors renounce and no family member is willing to be administrator or executor ?

    My mother passed away a year ago in Pennsylvania. Beneficiaries are me, my brother & 4 sisters. My brother lived with my mother for yrs up to her passing. My brother refuses to move out of my mother's home making it impossible to settle th...

    Philip’s Answer

    There is another option: a family member could nominate a professional fiduciary to handle the estate. The fiduciary would be appointed as administrator, and would take the same statutory fee at the end of the case anyone else would be entitled to. They do this all the time, and would have no qualms about evicting your brother. Eviction would be far easier and economical than trying for a conservatorship for him....no certain thing in any event. Professional fiduciaries are usually a better choice than the public guardian...your only other option if no family member is willing to step up. Contact a Probate attorney, preferably as certified specialist, in your area. Avvo can help you pick the right one. The attorney should be able to help you find the professional fiduciary as well.

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  • My wife is a drug addict and has been involuntarily committed several times. Do I have a reasonable chance at full custody?

    Live in California. I am military professional, she was nurse fired for drug abuse. She was involuntarily committed several times for drug abuse. She is now in long term program. All I am looking for is full custody of kids so we can move states f...

    Philip’s Answer

    I have changed your practice area to child custody. You'll get much better and more relevant answers by those folks over there. Good luck!

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  • Iam the beneficiary of life insurance policy .. that family is contesting.. what lawyer is needed

    taking care of someone for several years. family has not been involved in his life. now realized a policy exist and i am the beneficiary . is contesting it. help

    Philip’s Answer

    Since you were a caregiver, they are likely to be proceeding to have the gift invalidated under certain provisions of the probate code concerning the "burden of proof" in "undue influence" cases involving certain caregivers. This is complex, and what you will need is a probate attorney who handles probate litigation. This will be more on point for you and the correct forum than an insurance attorney.

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  • How is a Disabled Permanent Parking Placard used?

    If the disabled person doesn't own or drive a car, but instead depends on someone else to drive them around (in different vehicles), how will a parking enforcement officer know the Placard is being used legally (or illegally)?

    Philip’s Answer

    Any time they see it, they will assume it is being used lawfully. Unless they actually witness a suspicious usage, and have reason to question it, you will be fine. No need to worry if your drivers are using it properly. You might consider keeping it with yourself, and providing to your driver as needed, if you have reason for concern about how they would use when you are not there.

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  • I am disinheriting myself from mom estate can I choose who my share goes to or would it be next in line per the trust?

    I am doing this to avoid issues with creditors so I want my share of things to go to my oldest son only with my youngest son being listed as a beneficiary?

    Philip’s Answer

    One doesn't "disinherit" themselves. You may be speaking of a "disclaimer." If that it the case, you cannot control where it goes. It goes as if you were pre-deceased. You could receive the property and "assign" it as you wish, or set it up in an irrevocable trust you had no interest in...but your creditors might attack such a transaction down the road.

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  • If there is a trust with no one contesting it are we required to get all the real estate appraised for estate tax purposes?

    Estate falls under the 5 million mark of the Federal Government and having this done is expensive so want to know if it is necessary for tax purposes.

    Philip’s Answer

    Based on what you say about the size of the estate, you are correct that Federal estate Tax may not be an issue. However, we often recommend that our clients, particularly if they plan on holding on to the property for a while, have appraisals done to set the taxable basis. This can help avoid any guess work or inflated claims by the taxing agencies down the road upon sale as to capital gains tax. So while it is not necessary, in many cases it is still advisable. Appraisals may also be helpful to avoid allegations that the trustee sold too low, or if there are transactions between heirs involving the property based on an assumed valuation.

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  • How can I object to administrator of probate?

    A judge appointed a relative of mine to be the administrator of an estate that I am an heir to (there are 5 heirs- the administrator, me, and 3 others). The deceased person (to whom we are all related) had no will, so according to succession, this...

    Philip’s Answer

    Did you file the declarations with the court? In San Diego, the court does not appoint someone at the first hearing if there is either someone who shows up and opposes, or informal opposition filed. Typically, the hearing is continued to give you the opportunity to file a competing petition and formal objections. It may be this was done, and no one followed through...or it may be the court wasn't aware of this, or no one showed up. There are many possibilities. I suggest you consult with a Probate attorney regarding the way forward. At a minimum, the court most likely required a bond to protect the heirs.

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  • Is this considered tortious interference with an expected inheritance?

    Recently my brother told his siblings that he was replacing my dad’s longtime private fiduciary as POA, and he also informed us that he had been “gifted” a house from our dad (I believe to be worth at least $200,000.) As my siblings and I ...

    Philip’s Answer

    As suggested, the first step is for the siblings to consult with an attorney regarding attacking the transfer of the house, or any other estate planning changes. Fraud, Undue Influence and elder abuse are all possible claims. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, but I'm sorry you are going through this. See a Probate attorney in your area.

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