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Zev Shalom Brooks

Zev Brooks’s Answers

8 total

  • How can my boyfriend go about getting legal gardianship of my 16 year old daughter without having to get both parents conscent?

    I have raised my daughter by myself for the past 16 years, her father does not have anything to do with her, he talks to her every now & then, & pays child support when ordered to or when his taxes are garnished & he lives in upstate NY & we live ...

    Zev’s Answer

    I don't practice in South Carolina, but if it is anything like California law, you will have to give the father notice and he certainly will have a right to object. However, since your daughter is 16 years old, she might have a say in the matter due to her advanced age and the Court could allow the adoption if she wants it. You might consider whether the adoption would sever her father's parental rights and his obligation, then, for child support.

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  • At what finanicial level does Probate become manditory? In California.

    A mobile home is (I believe) considered "personal property" ? OR is it? An automoble is "personal property"? A bank account and/or Savings acct.---"personal property" ? All of which have beneficiaries clearly noted------and with a "combined" (e...

    Zev’s Answer

    I just wanted you to know the CA assembly has passed legislation increasing the $100,000 cap to $200,000 and increasing the real property cap to $100,000. It is not law yet, but likely will be probably after January 1, 2012.

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  • If a trustee of a signs a deed of trust to a lender, but signs w/o the trustee designation, can they still bind the trust?

    The individual intended to bind her family trust and lender was aware of this fact, but the trustee only signed as her own name.

    Zev’s Answer

    I don't know from your questions whether it is to your advantage to have the trust bound by the Deed of Trust or not, but what you have here in essence is a contract question. Two parties intended to enter into an ecomomic relation. The lender provided money and the trust gave the lender a Deed of Trust to secure the loan. It seems to me if the lender and trustee had a meeting of the minds and especially if both understoood the authority of the signer was as trustee, tand that the trust had lien on it, not the individual personally then the loan and Deed of Trust is valid. I would be very cautious if you wanted to take the position that you obtained funds from a lender, but the lender had no valid Deed of Trust to protect the lender's interest.

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  • My mother deceased, she had no estate, a check came in for $250 which medicare said that as the sole relative I would be

    entitled to but I would need a next of kin or letter of testimony from the courts. How do I do this?

    Zev’s Answer

    Dear Beneficiary: You should first try to deposit the bank into an existing bank account of your mother. Chances are the bank will accept it for deposit. It would be different if you were trying to get money out of the account. Once it is in an account, you will need to present to the bank a declaration commonly used for small estates often referred to as a Section 13100 Declaration. This Declaration is used to get third parties to distribute assets without the need to initiate a formal probate because the estate is small. Find CA Probate code section 13100 and 13101 on line. 13101 tells you exactly what needs to be in the Declaration. You could prepare it yourself. With the Declaration and a Certified copy of the Death Certificate, the bank will deliver the proceeds of the account to you. Keep in mind you must wait 40 days until after death before you can present the Declaration. Also, if the bank won't allow you to deposit the check, the Declaration should allow you to cash it since you are the beneficiary of the funds of the check. Good luck!

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  • What is the best way to handle special instructions on distribution of funds?

    My mother left a trust/will for my two sisters and I. In it are special instructions that a specified amount of funds are to be given to her grandchildren (our children) from our portion (everything is divided 1/3). How do I guarantee that the fu...

    Zev’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Dear Beneficiary: I think the easiest solution to your problem is allocate from the trust itself an amount to be held for the benefit of the grandchildren or to distriubte it ourtight to them if they are adults. The remainder will be split equally by yourself and your siblings. In this manner, you each equally contribute to the grandchildren's gift. For example, if there is $900,000 to distribute and you each are to get $300,000, but from the $900,000 you allocate $150,000 to be managed and distributed to the grandkids equally, then you would have $750,000 for the 3 of you and you would each get $250,000 outright and know that you equally contributed $50,000 to the grandkids. How you give the grandkids money depends on their age. If they are minors, you could give each minor grandchild under the CA uniform gifts to minors act the funds to be managed by their parent until the grandchild reaches 18 (sometimes up to 25). A bank could help you establish an account for them. That way each parent could manage the funds for their particular child. That is probably the best solution. Then each grandkid could only blame their parent if the funds were squandered and not their uncle or aunt or you as trustee. Without knowing more details about the trust itself, that is the best advice I can give you. Also, if the estate is large, there may be some tax issues, so you might want to look into that. Those would only surface if the estate was so large that death taxes would have to be paid. Good luck!!

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  • Grandparents vistation rights in California...

    I am a guardian to a grandchild I have raised for 17 years she now has decided she doesn't want to visit her mother at her house or stay the weekend at her mothers. The mother has never had custody ever. But had two weekend vists. The mother filed...

    Zev’s Answer

    Dear Grandparent: California Family Code sections govern the visitation rights of a grandparent. If the mother does not want to let you see your grandchildren, you can file a petition in Court asking the Court to compell visitation. However, Family Law Code section 3104 (b) prevents your filing such a petition if the mother is married unless one of five exceptions is met. One of the exceptions is if the other child's parents consents to your petition. Another is if the parents are separated. California law favors parental rights over grandparents rights and therefore creates a presumption that visitation with a grandparent is not in the best interest of the child if the parents of that child agree the grandparent should not be visiting. You, however, can rebut that presumption with your letter and other evidence including evidence of the mother's retalitory condut. First, of course, you must make sure that you can bring a Petition under Family Law Code section 3104 in the first place. I would definately consult a lawyer on this if you can't come to terms with the mother. Good luck!!

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  • Filing for guardianship over estate for my daughter.

    I have had full legal and physical custody since the divorce in 2000. She is 11 yrs. old and entitled to get a monthly allowance from the retirement of her father who died in Nov. 08. She is not the designated beneficiary and the retirement com...

    Zev’s Answer

    Probate Code section 1511 deals with notice of the hearing on a Guardianship. 1511(c) (2)requires fifteen days notice by mail to all those listed in the GC-210 Petition which really refers to those relative listed on your GC-210A. Note that since you are only seeking guardianship over the estate, the statute allows the court to dispense with notice to those relatives if you have a good reason not to give them notice. 1511(c)(2). Typically, I use a rule of thum that says when in doubt, give notice unless you are concerned the person given notice would interfere and so you want to avoid notice if you legally can. Often, failure to give timely notice in legal proceedings creates unnecessary delays for attorneys and people representing themselves alike. Good luck.

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  • No will, few assets: California

    Mom had $300 in checking acct and no will when she died last month. No creditors. VA may pay accrued benefits posthumously, about 6 month from now, amount about $4000, if they pay it. Any need for filing anything with the state, like probate? ...

    Zev’s Answer

    California allows for the settlement of small estates whose probate assets are less than $100,000 by allowing the beneficiaries to deal directly with the third parties who hold assets of the decedent and request that those assets be turned over directly to the beneficiaries. Typically this is done with a written declaration and a death certificate and a will if there is one pursuant to Probate Code section 13100. In your case, since there is no will, the intestate beneficiaries will all need to sign the 13100 declaration. You will need to present the proper paperwork to each institution holding an asset of your Mother, but you should not need probate.

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