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Dwight Edward Tompkins

Dwight Tompkins’s Answers

48 total

  • Do I need to use informal probate or formal probate in CO to transfer real property?

    Do I need to open formal or informal probate I live in CO and am executor of my dad's estate? I have taken care of distribution of the small amount of assets and have paid all the debts owed all that is left to do is transfer my dad's mineral rig...

    Dwight’s Answer

    Every state has a trigger for a full probate. In California, it is $10,000 of real estate, or $100,000 of combined assets. Everything under those triggers goes through an informal process, we call a Small Estate Administration in California.

    Determine the value of the mineral rights, and then check the Colorado probate law for the trigger for a formal probate vs. an informal probate.

    The prior comment is worth pursuing. By contacting the company, they may settle with you informally.

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  • I wish to exclude my daughter in law ftom my will as she has refused me visiting rights to my grandchildren.

    She has not been respectful of me in any way and only contacts me when she wants money. We live in different countries and I can no longer travel but would not be welcome into her home. She is also disrespectful and frankly nasty with my son, b...

    Dwight’s Answer

    If you omit her from your will, be sure to expressly do so, as many states have an "omitted heir" statute. If you omit her without mentioning her, she can bring an "omitted heir" claim against your estate, contending that she is an heir and that your omission of her was mistake made by the attorney or your faulty memory. You will want to state in your will that you are expressly making no provision for her (name her by name) in your will.

    A qualified estate planning attorney in Ohio should be able to assist you with this, as this issue is very common in families.

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  • My mother just died and only had a $2,000 life policy with no will. I will become the personal rep because there is just my

    brother and I and he is mentally challenged. When funeral home contacted insurance co. re payment to them for expenses they were told neither of us was listed as a beneficiary. How do I find out who is?

    Dwight’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In addition to asking the insurance company about the beneficiary, you may also ask the funeral home to inquire for you as it seems the insurance company responded to them before.

    Also ask to make sure that a beneficiary was named. Sometimes people fail to name a beneficiary.

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  • Can I file for guardianship of a parent without a lawyer?

    How do I file for guardianship of a parent who has dimentia

    Dwight’s Answer

    Yes, all courts allow for a party to represent themselves. When acting as a party without counsel, you will be referred to a Pro Per or Pro Se party, depending on the jurisdiction. You may be able to find a self-help book on New York Guardianship by doing a search online.

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  • What do I need to do/or what forms to file to get Power of attorney of my sister who is in a Nursing Home in PA.

    PA Guardianship Assoc. in Lancaster,PA has Power of Attorney of my sister (46). She has a short term memory problem, but otherwise of sound mind. I want to get Power of Attorney to take care of her at home and give her some kind of real life, this...

    Dwight’s Answer

    A power of attorney is given by a person who generally known as the principal. In this case, your sister was the principal. The principal may revoke a power of attorney by executing a new one, however, the principal must have legal capacity to do so; otherwise it is legally ineffective. From the facts which you have given, it appears that your sister may be incapacitated.

    You should consult with her treating physician to ask whether she has capacity to make legal decisions. If she does not, then your only option is to file a guardianship (sometimes known as a conservatorship) case to have you named as your sister's guardian.

    If your sister has capacity as determined by her doctor, then your sister can execute a new power of attorney and revoke the previous POA.

    You should go online with the Pennsylvania Medical Association to see if they have a pre-printed fill in the blank form for a Power of Attorney for Health Care.

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  • My grandmother filed her husbands will in 2001. It states that I recieve everything after she dies. Can she change the will?

    The will states that upon both of their deaths that I am sole beneficary to their estate. Can she change this will?

    Dwight’s Answer

    The answer to your question may be found in the will itself. Whether a will may be amended and/or by whom may be stated in the will. If it does not contain any provision for amendment or revocation, then the general rule is that only the testator has the power to amend or revoke the will. If the testator was your grandmother's husband, then should not be subject to change because the person with power to change it is now deceased.

    It is unclear in your question if the will was joint will made by both your grandmother and her husband, or just by her husband.

    Some states allow a joint will, but here in California where I practice law, joint wills are frowned upon.

    I would have the will reviewed by a probate and estate planning attorney who practices in the state where the decedent's will was filed. It should be a simple and affordable task to have done.

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  • What to do when you find out your sister has illegally claimed to be the sole heir of your deceased mother

    Yes, my mother died in Novemeber 2004 and they are 5 sisters. However my youngest sister got everything she appointed herself as the executor of momas estate and moneys, bank account etc......well we just this month of December 2010 found out they...

    Dwight’s Answer

    Your question was posted in Orange, California; but your question ends with you stating that you live in North Carolina. You need to bring a challenge in the same Probate Court where your sister opened the case; bringing a case to remove her as executor, including a demand for an accounting, and asking the court to re-open the Probate so that all of the heirs are included and notified. It is unclear to me in the facts as presented where the Probate case took place. You should obtain legal counsel from an attorney who handles "contested probate" cases. Without more information, it is difficult to provide any more response.

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  • My father just passed away and he incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills is my mother responsible for them?

    my father had insurance but it didnt pay for anything , will the life insurance my father has be taken from my mother to pay these or other bills?

    Dwight’s Answer

    Your father's estate is responsible for the debts of your father. The general rule concerning life insurance is that if your father was the owner of the policy, then the insurance proceeds are considered part of his estate, even though they were paid to your mother by the insurance company. Also any joint accounts of money or property may be considered part of his estate. Here in California where I practice, married couples are governed by Community Property law, which makes spouses liable for the debts of other spouse. Ohio law does not include the community property aspect, but the "estate" is the substitute obligor for your father; and to the extent that your mother is in possession of estate assets, a creditor can go after those assets.

    Your mother should make sure she has tendered the invoices to any health insurance coverages that your father had, including medicare. Without more information, it is unclear whether your father would have qualified for medi-cal. I am not a bankruptcy attorney, but I think that it would valuable to speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your area to see if your mother could obtain relief through that legal process.

    A debt defense firm can be helpful in these kind of cases, as the amount of the debt can often be negotiated downward.

    Don't be afraid to contact local counsel, and ask if they provide a free initial consultation. You may wish to speak to a debt defense lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer, and a probate lawyer to get a variety of views. County bar associations often have referral services for lawyers in specific areas of practice.

    You should investigate as many avenues of legal help as you can.

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