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Shirlene Bastar

Shirlene Bastar’s Answers

10 total

  • My father created his will and it has been stolen from our home. What steps fo we need to take?

    My father created his will and it has been stolen from our home. Can my father get a copy or create another will? As far as the missing will, can it be altered or changed by who ever stole it?

    Shirlene’s Answer

    I agree with the other comments that if your father has competence you can create a new Will. If he does create a new Will, this time be sure that you make multiple copies. If he does not, and your father had legal assistance in drafting the Will, you may want to go back to your father's attorney who may have kept a copy of the Will. It may also be possible that your father kept an electronic copy on his computer. Best of Luck.

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  • Who inherits the estate: nephews or first cousin?

    Please, answer me under California law: My uncle has died in summer 2014. His first cousin (a son of his father's brother) survive him. My uncle had not a spouse and he had not children. But, he has nephew and nieces, the children of his t...

    Shirlene’s Answer

    Assuming that your Uncle has no Will, no Trust and beneficiaries are not designated contractually, his estate would pass through intestate succession. If your Uncle died with no spouse and no children, the estate would first go to his parents. If his parents are also deceased, then the estate would go to the issue of the parents. (issue is the legal term for children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) If the decedent had brothers or sisters, they will inherit the estate. If there are deceased brothers and sisters, and they had issue, the issue will inherit the share of the estate that the deceased brother or sister would have inherited. If there are no brothers or sisters, the decedent's grandparents will inherit the estate. If there are no living grandparents, then the "issue of the grandparents" will inherit the estate. Generally, the oldest generation that has surviving issue will inherit, but if there are deceased issue in that generation, their issue will inherit their share.
    Therefore assuming I have the facts correct, if your Uncle's sisters died, their children should be entitled to the inherit the estate.

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  • Could we do our own will/living trust be ourselves? If we wrote it all out in long hand, I understand that is acceptable in CA.

    Needing to keep the fees low.

    Shirlene’s Answer

    Make an appointment to see an attorney regarding your estate. Most will give you an initial consultation at no cost. The problem for you is that you don't know what you don't know. You may need a Will or a Trust but there are other documents that are important for you as well, such as health care and financial powers of attorney. The savings to you in seeing an attorney will be far greater than the cost of doing it yourself not to mention potentially having an unintended outcome by trying to do it yourself.

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  • If i buy the assets of the store with the beer and wine license am i responsible for the previous owners debt

    like debt from distributors

    Shirlene’s Answer

    If you are buying the assets through an asset purchase agreement you generally will not be assuming the debt. If you purchase the stock and/or membership units then the company would remain liable for the debts. Purchase the assets only, get an assignment of the name of the prior company if you want to continue to do business under that name, and get an indemnity from the prior owner should anyone sue you anyway for the debts of the prior company. Complete your due diligence to insure that there are not current liens against the assets you are purchasing and you should have a qualified certified public accountant or a tax lawyer review the financials. You definitely need legal assistance because there are many other issues to be considered in an asset purchase.

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  • Should my residence go into a special needs trust for my son when I die?

    I have one child and he receives SSI. When I die, should my house be transferred to the special needs trust that is set up for him? Or should it go straight to him? Which is better? I believe that a house is exempt when qualifying for SSI. I just ...

    Shirlene’s Answer

    I would not recommend leaving it outright to your son. By doing so, even though the home is exempt, it will likely be subject to pay back provisions that a third party trust would not be. Since you have a special needs trust already in place the home should be transferred to that trust, but be sure that you have consulted with an attorney to insure that the special needs trust you set up is in compliance with current laws.

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  • Refinancing bank required home to be taken out of trust of single person but now 3 joint tenants on title. New trust needed?

    new Title will be one parent and married child with spouse. Want to assure no tax will be due on transfer of title. Can old Trust be altered or does it become void? All joint tenants will be liable on loan as it is the only way Bank will allow...

    Shirlene’s Answer

    You do not need a new trust, but you do need to determine what your intent would be on your death. Is your intent that the other two individuals on the loan inherit this property or that you can leave it through your trust to your heirs? If your intent is that the other two individuals would inherit, then perhaps it is acceptable to leave it as joint tenancy. If not, you should transfer your interest to your revocable trust. Either method can avoid a probate. You do need to be careful that you do not trigger a reassessment on the transfer to your trust if the property value has increased substantially since the original purchase. I recommend that you consult directly with an estate planning and/or real estate attorney in your area who can review this is more detail for you.

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  • How do you proceed with the administration of a living trust when one the amendments is missing?

    I am a trustee of a trust which contains five amendments. Amendment #1 is missing and cannot be located. The attorney who originally drafted the trust amendments is long deceased.

    Shirlene’s Answer

    First, you may want to review the subsequent amendments to see if any of those might have superseded the prior amendment. If this is the case, you can avoid having to locate the amendment because it would be irrelevant.

    Otherwise, there may be several options for locating the missing amendment. You could contact the office of the attorney to see if the files have been retained. If the office is no longer open or this was a solo practitioner, you may want to check with the local bar association and see if his cases were referred to another attorney. If you look at the notary block, often an attorney will have someone in their office notarize and you may be able to still locate that staff person who may know what happened to the attorney files.

    Often, individuals will give copies of their trust to title companies, investment advisors, or creditors when they are transferring assets to the trust. You may want to look at the assets that are contained in the trust and ascertain who may have been assisting the trustor with these type of transfers and contact them directly.

    I recommend that you get legal counsel involved to assist you with the administration of the trust, in any event, so that you are taking the appropriate steps required as Trustee.

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  • I want to get out of partnership but keep business name I created and move on. My partner will not sign off to dissolve it.

    Our small business was recently launched toward end of Oct 2012. My business partner took a full time job and didn't involve herself at all in the business for the past 2 1/2 months. I did her job and mine which is Design and Development for I inv...

    Shirlene’s Answer

    I would just add that you need to look to the partnership agreement if there is one to determine how the capital accounts are allocated and whether your contribution may dilute your partner's interest if you made a capital call and she did not contribute and equal amount. The outcome can be different depending on the agreement. If it provides that your partner's interest is reduced you could have majority interest and then be able to dissolve by a vote of majority interest, unless a greater percentage is specified in your articles or operating agreement. Otherwise, you would have to dissolve judicially and it is difficult to determine from your information above if that would be cost effective.

    You could start a new business but I would be concerned that if you did you might be in violation of your duty to the Company. I would suggest that you talk directly with an attorney given the information above to determine your best course of action.

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  • Upon the passing of my father, My step mom has a unsigned copy of my fathers will, He also had a Pre-Nump which was signed.

    Which document will be used to distribute his estate?

    Shirlene’s Answer

    The Will must be executed pursuant to state laws in which he resides to be valid. You may want to contact the estate planning attorney who drafted the Will to find out if they have a copy. If it is in your grandfather's handwriting, it may also qualify as a holographic Will dependent upon state law. Otherwise the estate would be passed pursuant to intestate law (statutory law). Although the prenuptial may be considered, generally a prenuptial agreement is a contract between the parties that may among other things state the minimum that must be devised to a spouse on death. The parties are free to leave additional property to their surviving spouse. The consideration of the Prenup will depend on the specific language in the Prenup and also depend on the state law in which they resided at the time the contract was drafted.

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  • I converted Roth IRA and deferred income to 2011 & 12. I move. Which state taxes the deferred income?

    I converted a traditional IRA to a Roth in 2010, deferring the taxable income to 2011 and 2012. I am moving from Michigan to North Carolina in 2011. Michigan does not tax conversions, but I believe North Carolina will. Can I allocate the income...

    Shirlene’s Answer

    In most states you are taxed on the federal adjusted income. So this means you will be taxed in the state that you live in at the time the income is reported. The 1099 may also include the state to which they are reporting the income. It is most likely that you will be taxed in North Carolina because you will be living there at the time the income is reported. I recommend that you employ a qualified tax preparer to assist with your return.

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