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Paula Ann Clarkson

Paula Clarkson’s Answers

9 total

  • We need a probate attorney, ASAP, but cannot afford one. What can we do?

    My mother's little home was in process of short-sale when she died suddenly about 6 weeks ago. She was supposed to get money from the bank as part of deal for leaving home. She left no will nor living trust and my brother and I are her heirs. ...

    Paula’s Answer

    I'm sorry about your loss. You or your brother need to petition for probate or else you will not have authority to act on your mother's assets. If there is an emergency issue, the petition is filed along with an Ex Parte (emergency) petition. You should seek the assistance of a probate attorney in your area to make sure everything is done correctly and timely. Good luck.

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  • A house is in a Calif. revokable trust. When the owner dies does the prop. 13 die also?

    Moms house is in a Calif. revocable trust with six trustees. When she dies is the prop. 13 benefit dead too? What if one trustee moves in and pays on the note or if the trustees decide to rent it out? Basically looking to keep the house in the fam...

    Paula’s Answer

    There are specific exemptions to property tax reassessment when the property is transferred from a parent to a child/children. Whether the trustee is a child is irrelevant. Additionally, when the property is the parent's residence and all beneficiaires are children, 100% of the value of the property is subject to the reassessment exclusion. If there are further transfers, each of those transfers gets reviewed independently to see if there is a property tax reassessment exclusion available. There are no property tax reassessment exclusions for transfers between siblings or when the property is sold to a non-related party.

    You also described several other issues that may cause problems. First, having six trustees is usually not wise because it is hard to get everyone to agree. Also, the trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries so there can be issues if the trustee moves into the property. An option may be for your mother to appoint a private fiduciary to keep the emotion out of managing the property and to bypass some of these potential issues.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • Inheritance questions

    My wife was left $25,000 from her paternal grandmother, to be given to her when she turned 24 years of age. When she reached 24 years, the money was distributed from the trust in the form of a check, made out in her name. She was worried about ...

    Paula’s Answer

    It all depends on how the account was opened and the requirements that put on withdrawls. If the account is a trust joint tenant account then either party should be able to take out all of the money.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • Inheritance questions

    My wife was left $25,000 from her paternal grandmother, to be given to her when she turned 24 years of age. When she reached 24 years, the money was distributed from the trust in the form of a check, made out in her name. She was worried about ...

    Paula’s Answer

    It all depends on how the account was opened and the requirements that put on withdrawls. If the account is a trust joint tenant account then either party should be able to take out all of the money.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • Is a will valid if it is delivered to the beneficiaries, or the court, more than 60-days following the death of the testator?

    We the beneficiaries have requested of the trustee a copy of the will (pour over) that corresponds to the trust of the testator, but none has been provided. It has been over 120-days since the death of the testator and over 60-days following the p...

    Paula’s Answer

    The will and/or trust are not deemed invalid simply because an executor/trustee refuses to lodge the will or provide a copy of the trust to the beneficiaries. The executor/trustee does have a fiduciary due to lodge the will with the court within a specific period of time and to provide a copy of the trust upon request by a beneficiary. If the executor/trustee is failing to fulfill his or her fiduciary duty then the only option appears to petition the court for these documents and perhaps the removal of the exector/trustee for breach of fiduciary duty.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • Can the surviving Trustor amend their Trust to change the Successor Trustee?

    The Trust is irrevocable and un-amendable after the death of the first spouse. However, the surviving Trustee would like to appoint another Successor Trustee due to the fact that the Successor Trustee has come in to the home and removed personal i...

    Paula’s Answer

    It all depends on the terms of the Trust. Often when a first spouse dies and a trust becomes irrevocable, only a portion becomes irrevocable. If the trust was divided upon the death of the first spouse into two trusts with the decedent's portion becoming irrevocable and the surviving spouse's portion still being revocable, the surviving spouse should be able to amend his or her own trust (i.e. name a new trustee). Again, it all depends on the terms of the trust. I recommend that you speak with an attorney about the options available depending on the terms of the trust.

    This response does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • If my sister is my "trust" person in my folks will, can she just go ahead and give me my complete share?

    I am middle-aged, she was told she gets her portion, my other sister get hers and my sister in charge of the will can decide what to give me each month. Can she legally just give me the entire amount? It's unbelievable that I would have to answer ...

    Paula’s Answer

    Based on the terms, I am assuming that your parents had a trust and that your sister was named as trustee. If that is correct, then the trustee is required to administer the trust in accordance with its terms. The terms of the trust may provide for different distribution terms for different people with some beneficiaries receiving their interests outright and other receiving their interests periodically. It all depends on the terms of the trust. Depending on the situation, an option may be to petition the court for modification of the trust.

    This response does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • How do you find out who is the benifercary on deceased accounts and is the a statue of limitation time limit to do this in?

    Im not sure how to go about getting this information

    Paula’s Answer

    The best way is to contact the financial institution with a certified copy of the decedent's death certificate. If the person requesting the information is not the beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries of the account, then no information should be provided to that person. If the decedent has an estate that is going through probate or has a trust, the executor/administrator or trustee should be able to obtain the information with the proper documentation (Letters Testamentary or Trustee Certification of Trust). It is important to gather this information as soon as possible after the death to help determine if an estate tax return is required to be filed.

    This response does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

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  • Co-Trustees cannot agree and the Trust company names as alternate will not take it over, California

    My brother-in-law and I were named as co-trustees in a trust that represents our parents estate. Both have passed and we have assumed the role. We are unable to agree on how to best manage the remaining assets and I feel it may be placing me p...

    Paula’s Answer

    If the size of the Trust is such that a corporate trustee will not take over, an option may be to have a private fiduciary appointed. There are several independent fiduciaries that specialize in managing trusts of all sizes. Private fiduciaries are excellent options to preserve the trust assets and preserve the family relationships.

    Depending on the terms of the Trust, the trustees may need to petition the Court for appointment of a successor trustee. The terms of the Trust may allow the beneficiaries to appoint successor trustees if all trustees resign/decline to act.

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