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Eliz C A Johnson

Eliz Johnson’s Answers

2,100 total


  • Do you have to pay taxes for court settlement?

    if you win or settle your money out of court, do you have to pay taxes from amount of money you recieve

    Eliz’s Answer

    Indeed, just because you got the money from a settlement in court, that does not obviate your obligation to pay tax. It is "income from whatever source derived" and without more information, like it if is for personal physical injuries, it is hard to tell you if you will pay taxes. Chances are significant that the settlement agreement not only makes you solely liable for taxes paid but indemnifies the payer in the event the taxing agencies come to them to ask for it.

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  • We received a notice of defiency from the IRS. Now what can we do? And do I need a lawyer?

    Based on the IRS request, we provide backup for all our 2010 donations. We received a letter back from the IRS with their findings. The IRS disallowed almost all our cash contributions. We called the IRS 3 times within the 30 day period of the let...

    Eliz’s Answer

    As mentioned, the notice of deficiency starts the clock running and it is not FOR you; as stated above, depending on how much is at stake you may want to just pay it. If you cannot prove the cash donations, you will have a problem whether or not you hire an attorney. If the amount is significant, you should really race to a tax attorney today. Good luck.

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  • Do i need to report income from a source that is not 1099?

    Last year I had a solo law practice (not tax law) where I earned a modest 27k-28k total. However I only received 1099s totaling about $7,000. Do I need to report all the other money I received from clients in my 2011 tax returns? I assume the answ...

    Eliz’s Answer

    Of course the answer is yes. You earned the money irrespective of whether a 1099 was issued. Not to do so would be called 'moral turpitude' at a minimum.

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  • How do I remove sister's name from house

    My parents that are still alive have my sister and I a house. It is paid in full, however my sister refuses to pay her share of the utlities. Has helped very little and claims to be "broke". I know that is not true because she has money for her c...

    Eliz’s Answer

    In addition to the above, you may want to talk to your parents too and see if there is any step short of bringing an action against your own sister. They may convince her where you have not been able to do so.

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  • How can I disinherit children over the age of 24 in Louisiana? Is there a requirement, law?

    If you want to leave out of will, can child fight and get some of your property or is there a special statement you can put in will to prevent this?

    Eliz’s Answer

    Your children are "forced heirs" under Louisiana law and unless they are disinherited, will be eligible to inherit from you as long as they are 23 years old or younger, or incapable of taking care of their own affairs, at the time of your death.

    In Louisiana, the action for disinheriting a child is called "disinherison." The disinherison must be in the same form as required for a will. Louisiana Civil Code Article 1621 provides for eight specific reasons for disinherison, and those are the only causes available. All but one pertain to severe breaches in the parent-child relationship. The one exception is the seventh: "The child has been convicted of a crime for which the law provides that the punishment could be life imprisonment or death." The eighth is failure of an adult child to contact a parent for two years. Your question indicated that you do not think that any of these causes would apply in your case.

    If there is one forced heir, that heir is entitled to one-fourth of the property of the deceased. If there is more than one forced heir, those heirs share one-half of the property of the deceased. However, the "forced portion" may be placed in trust, or made subject to a usufruct in favor of a surviving spouse. I'm not sure if your question if being married would make a difference refers to you or the children. If you're referring to yourself, being married would allow you to make the forced portion subject to a usufruct in favor of a surviving spouse. (A "usufruct" allows the person who has been granted the usufruct to use the property and get the income from it, while the ownership remains with someone else.) Marital status does not affect whether or not someone is a forced heir.

    If you are interested in disinheriting your children, you need to contact an estate planning attorney to prepare an estate plan for you.

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  • Do we need to go through the probate process or will a small estate statue work?

    My sister recently passed away without a will & owns a townhome outright. She left life insurance for her child in his name as the beneficiary (5 years old). She has credit card bills, as well as medical and school bills/loans. Her total estate fi...

    Eliz’s Answer

    Small Estate Affidavits are used in Arizona to transfer assets from a deceased person to the heirs when the total value of the assets is below the minimum value requiring a traditional probate.

    Under Arizona law, the general rule is that if a deceased person owned more than $75,000 of equity in real estate, or more than $50,000 of personal property (including physical possessions and money), then a traditional probate is required to transfer the assets to the heirs. A Small Estate Affidavit may only be used when a traditional probate is not required.

    If the entire value of the deceased person’s equity interest in real estate is worth less than $75,000, then each property otherwise subject to traditional probate may be transferred using an Affidavit of Succession to Real Property.

    When determining the value of real estate for this purpose, the amount of equity interest is calculated by using the current year’s assessed value for property tax purposes less any outstanding debt. This amount is usually, but not always, substantially lower than the property’s fair market value. For example, the fair market value may be $250,000, but the assessed value for property tax purposes only $195,000.

    Filing the affidavit is a three step process. First, the affidavit is filed in the probate court in the county where the property is located, along with a certified copy of the death certificate, and the original will if there is one. Second, after the court returns a certified copy, the affidavit and a certified copy of the death certificate are published in a newspaper of general circulation in the same county. Third, the as-filed affidavit is recorded in the county where the property is located. The recording officially transfers the property to the person or persons identified in the affidavit.

    The typical mortgage document will state any transfer of the property will trigger a due-on-sale clause. Thus, the beneficiary of property subject to a mortgage should contact the lender before making a transfer using the Affidavit of Succession to Real Property. The mortgage lender does not have to agree to use of the affidavit procedure. It may prefer a traditional probate action in order to refinance the mortgage.

    The main drawback of using an Affidavit of Succession to Real Property is the person using the affidavit must wait six months after the owner’s death before filing it. Often the better approach – although more expensive – is to petition for informal probate anyway because it can be opened (and closed) before the six month waiting period would have ended. Using an informal probate will permit a faster closing than using the Small Estate Affidavit.

    When filing the affidavit, the signer must also verify that no estate taxes are due and that funeral expenses, expenses of last illness, and all unsecured debts of the owner have been paid. In some cases – where the home is basically the only substantial asset – this last item may prohibit the use of the Small Estate Affidavit because sale proceeds are needed to pay these expenses first.

    The counterpart to the Affidavit for Succession to Real Property is the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. It is a highly useful tool for closing out small accounts and transferring car titles without much hassle; provided the total value of personal property subject to probate is less than $50,000. Most financial institutions and the DMV will be eager to accept it.

    Unlike the six month waiting period applicable to the Affidavit for Succession to Real Property, the waiting period to use the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property is only 30 days after date of death.

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  • My mother died intestate and owned land in Oregon valued at about $120,000. Could it be handled as a simplified small estate?

    My sister hired an attorney in Oregon that is asking for $8,000 for handling my mother's probate which includes a $3,000 fee for my sister as administrator. The land was on the market for over 500 days and could not be sold even at half of the c...

    Eliz’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I answered your re-post. Time is ticking; get a referral today or you will be stuck with the result.

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  • Can land in Oregon valued at about $120,000 be considered a small estate and be handled with a small estate affidavit?

    My sister hired an attorney in Oregon that is asking for $8,000 for handling my mother's probate which includes a $3,000 fee for my sister as administrator. The land was on the market for over 500 days and could not be sold even at half of the cla...

    Eliz’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A small estate affidavit may be filed if the fair market value of the estate is $200,000 or less, and:
    A. Not more than $50,000 of the fair market value of the estate is from personal property,
    and
    B. Not more than $150,000 of the fair market value of the estate is from real property.

    Since you are on a time limit, you really need to actually GO to see an attorney with all the documents you have NOW. Time is running and we cannot possibly give answers here without more facts.

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  • Refinance Transaction - Grant Deed was signed by me and my 3 siblings. 2 received their portion of inheritance.

    I had a verbal agreement to lend my niece my portion, leaving her and my 1 sibling on title of my parents home. 8 yrs later I still haven't received my money. Can a Settlement Agreement be drawn up now to reflect the money my niece borrowed back ...

    Eliz’s Answer

    Well, verbal agreements are hard to enforce and you would have to enforce an agreement to compel payment. Your question is not really clear. Are you saying you "loaned" your niece your portion of the home? Of the money from its sale? If your niece and brother are the only ones on the Deed to your parents home, you have a big problem and will need to either work it out and get them to put it in writing this time or see an attorney to attempt to force the issue. What you may hear is it was a gift, never a loan, this long after. Waiting 8 years and doing nothing has also hurt your potential case.

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  • My grandmother left her fully owned home to me in 2005. Am I responsible for paying her past due property taxes?

    She left no cash or other assets. She lived and died in Texas.

    Eliz’s Answer

    The above answers are excellent. Unless there were a Will that said all expenses were to be paid and you were to be given this home without the attendant expense, you gain the property and related expenses. She was not obligated to provide you with the money to get this tax free and apparently did not. As to the issues of probate and title passing, that was already well covered above. The quick truth is failure of payment of property taxes can result in losing the property entirely in most states.

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