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Susan AlexanderMyers’s Answers

96 total


  • What do i need to do

    my aunt may have to go to assited living. she owns two properties and has savings and some cds. The houses are willed to myself and my daughter. I believe her ssi and retirement money is enough to pay for it . But I am worried about the houses ...

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in WI, however, you need to remember that as long as your aunt is alive, her money and property is hers to be used as she sees fit. If you are a fiduciary for her and were appointed to make decisions for her, you must make decisions strictly in her best interest and not your own. Right now, you have an expectancy that you will inherit her houses, nothing more. She has the right to revoke the will, leave the houses to someone else, and sell them to pay for whatever she chooses.

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  • Can property where a parent retains a life estate transfer to children before parent passes away?

    My father retains a life estate on property deeded to his 3 children. He moved into a nursing home about a year ago and will not be moving back into his home. There are 3 parcels of land that are deeded one each to 3 children. Does the life estate...

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in NC, however, a life estate continues to exist until it is either transferred by the holder of the life estate or until he/she dies. There is no requirement that the holder of a life estate live on the property for it to be valid. If your father no longer wishes to retain a life estate, he should consult with an elder law attorney who can prepare a deed for him after comprehensive counseling as to the risks and consequences (especially tax) of what he wishes to do.

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  • Are quit claims deeds iron clad? Or can other family try to take the house given to me for caring for my parents?

    My mother added my brother with a quit claim deed, And found out he has terminal cancer. They both want to quit claim deed the house to me, however I am afraid a brother, sister or nieces and nephews may feel like they are owed something even tho...

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in your state. While they are entitled to make transfers to whom they wish, we all know that family politics and a sense of entitlement may trip up the easiest transactions. I recommend that your brother secure his own attorney to independently advise him of his rights, and have him a sign a statement that he has been so counseled. His family would have a much harder time contesting the quitclaiming of his property to someone else with such a statement in hand.

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  • How do you prove if a parent is incompetent, and take control of the estate?

    My mother has drinking problem and is becoming mentally incompetent. She has a family history of mental diabilities. How can I gain control of her estate?

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in your state. Prior to going to court, you may wish to have a licensed neuropsychologist evaluate your mother. While she apparently has a drinking problem, it is not automatic grounds for a court to strip her of her rights to manage her estate. A private evaluation will treat your mother with more dignity than hauling her into court as a first option. In addition, if you mother has existing estate planning documents, they should dictate how incapacity will be determined.

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  • What is the current "Look Back" period for Medi-Cal recovery?

    I've heard both three years and five. My mother is in a nursing facility and has just started receiving Medi-Cal benefits this month. She is a widow. Her only asset, her home, is in a trust established in June 2005. Thank you.

    Susan’s Answer

    While I agree with what the other attorneys stated, you need to know that there is a very real penalty under current law for transferring non-exempt assets. Families who attempt to help loved one's gift away property often find themselves facing a situation wherein mom or dad is now broke, the gifted money has been spent, and because it was all handled wrong, Medi-Cal won't pay. This is a very complex area of the law, and I strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced Medi-Cal planning attorney. You can find one in your area by consulting the website for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org.

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  • Estate question involving Medi-cal--- complicated :)

    My father suffered from a severe stroke and was paralyzed 3 years ago. After caring for him, a year in his home, My brother, and I decided that a nursing home was the best solution for his needs. He owns a home with a small mortgage. At the time...

    Susan’s Answer

    I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney and have the documents reviewed. Medi-Cal planning is very complex and it you really need to know with certainty what assets are protected and what are not. You can find a reputable lawyer in your area by looking at the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org.

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  • How do I found a good revokable trust lawyer if I don't know anyone in the area?

    I don't know how to find a good revokable trust lawyer because I don't know how to go about finding one. I don't have any friends here.

    Susan’s Answer

    There are a couple of ways that can help you try to pick someone reputable...visit wealthcounsel.com and select NC, then search by city. Wealthcounsel has very, very good estate planning attorneys. The only other suggestion I will make is to not make a decision based on price. Lower priced attorneys often cut corners on counseling clients and just give them a standard "package." People are not packages and there is no one size fits all document that works for everyone. Be sure to ask your lawyer about documents to protect you during your lifetime - solid powers of attorney and medical releases in case you are disabled or incapacitated. Finally, pick someone who you can relate to. In order for estate planning to be effective, you need to feel at ease to discuss some of the most important things and people in your life. Good luck to you!

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  • How do I get a person declared incompatent

    giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to political groups instead of leaving to his children.

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in your state. Giving money to political groups is not necessarily indicative of incompetence and children are not entitled to inherit money from their parents. Your parent may very well know exactly what he/she is doing and be happy with that. However, if you suspect that your parent is not competent, you can bring the matter to his/her doctor and ask if there might be a neurological problem. Neuropsychological testing may be in order. After extensive testing, the doctor will have an answer. If there is a lack of capacity to make financial decisions, your parent's lawyer can help determine the next step to take or you can petition a court for a conservatorship.

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  • Can we sue the nursing home for almost killing my grandmother

    My grandmother was in a nursing home to relearn how to walk, well now, sje has been in the hospital for 3 months going on four,because she got a colon infection that almost killed her she has lost 100 plus pounds good thing she was a big lady so c...

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in your state. You should consult with the Maryland nursing home ombudsman assigned to that facility to discuss your grandmother's care, then consult with a good civil or elder law attorney.

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  • Protect house from Medicare/Nursing home

    Is there a legal way I can protect my home from being attached by Medica/Nuring Home, if I was incapacitated, and didn't have the finances for care? I understand Living Trust does not safeguard from Medicare/nursing home. I want my son, (has MS)...

    Susan’s Answer

    I am not licensed in your state. Your primary residence may be exempt from being counted as part of your Medicaid estate should you need skilled nursing benefits. Thus, you may very well be able to retain it and still qualify, however, the state will almost certainly go after it after your death if you have not done Medicaid planning. Since your son has MS and may be receiving government benefits, you really need to consult with a reputable elder law attorney who is experienced in Medicaid planning. You can search for elder law attorneys in your state by visiting the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org.

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