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Frederick M Okamura

Frederick Okamura’s Answers

5 total

  • Tortious interference with an inheritance...question

    My sister is trying very hard to convince my mother to leave her 60 percent of the farm to her tho 40 percent is in my fathers trust for me when mom dies my mothers will at present leaves me her 60 percent My sister has power of attorney ove...

    Frederick’s Answer

    The situation that you have described is certainly troubling. Seniors are protected by Oregon law by the Elderly and Disabled Person Abuse Prevention Act (ORS124.005), which creates a private right of action in situations of physical or financial abuse. An attorney would need more information to determine whether such abuse, as defined by the statute, is happening.

    Regardless, it sounds as though your mother is being seriously manipulated and you may want to consider taking steps to revoke the power of attorney, begin guardianship proceedings, and/or seek DHS assistance.

    Here is a link to the State of Oregon site with some information on additional resources Re: abuse and neglect:

    As the previous commentator suggested, should your mother actually change her will, you may contest the will on grounds of undue influence in a probate proceeding, after your mother passes away.

    Of course it can be a balancing act weighing the emotional and mental state of your loved one and the bad acts of your sibling.

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  • Are trustees transferable after death of the trustor

    my father died in Portland Oregon this past year, with his trust written in california, using a california lawyer/trustee. My kids each have money left in trust for them for college and this lawyer is difficult to contact and won't answer any ques...

    Frederick’s Answer

    The first step would be for you to have the trust document reviewed by an attorney to determine under what circumstances the trust itself provides for removal of the trustee. If the trust language does not give you sufficient authority to remove her, California law provides for the removal of a trustee where the trustee has committed a breach of the trust or where the trustee’s compensation is excessive, for example. In this latter scenario, you will have to hire a California attorney to file suit. However, if the trust provides a mechanism for appointment of a new trustee (which it should) you may be able to convince the trustee to resign and appoint a new trustee that the beneficiaries can agree upon.

    As for the merits of your situation, the trustee's conduct would be a serious breach of the trustee’s duty to keep the beneficiaries reasonably informed of the administration of the trust and to respond to information requests, under Oregon law. Obviously the trustee's conduct makes it impossible for your children to protect their interests. It may also indicate that there are more serious violations by the trustee.

    I would urge you to address this matter immediately.

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  • Can a surviving stepparent refuse to read the deceased spouses will?

    My dad passed away on 4/30/08 in Washington state. I know he left a will, leaving an inheritance for me and my three brothers. My stepmom has refused to read the will. She also has not put his ashes to rest, per his request. Can she do this? I do...

    Frederick’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your loss and continuing frustrations. While a will reading is not legally required, in Washington anyone having custody or control of a will is required to deliver it to either the court or the executor named in the will within 30 days. If your stepmother has your father's will and she is named the executor (AKA personal representative) she likewise must deliver the will to the court within 40 days. This 40 day clock would have started when your stepmother learned of your father's passing. Furthermore, Washington law provides that failure to comply with these requirements subjects the person to liability for any resulting damages.

    This sounds like a very difficult time for everyone involved. Perhaps the information above, presented in a helpful way, may encourage your stepmother to take care of the business at hand. Otherwise, if the situation proves more difficult, you may consider filing a probate action yourself, or along with your siblings. Dealing with your father's ashes may in all likelihood be a more delicate situation and require some patience.

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  • Verbal Contract

    in ORegon is a verbal contract enforsable in court?

    Frederick’s Answer

    As a general rule, yes, a writing is not necessary to form a valid contract.

    What is important is that the parties have both somehow communicated their intent to be bound by the terms of an agreement. That communication may be in writing, it may be verbal, or may even be done by the performance of some sort of action.

    Of course, there are important exceptions to this general rule and sometimes having something in writing is necessary. For example, agreements to sell property, to be responsible for someone else's debts, to purchase goods for a price of $500 or more, or to do something that will take longer than one year, and a number of other types of contracts, must be in writing in order to be enforceable.

    It is a good practice to commit all of your agreements to writing, and to ensure that the contract is drafted appropriately. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to enforce a contract it is best to contact an attorney for assistance.

    Be well.

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    Frederick’s Answer

    From my perspective, there seem to be three issues here.

    1) Do you have an ongoing relationship with this Agency that you want to maintain?

    2) What sort of leverage do you have? I.e. do you have a written contract? What are the terms?

    3) Were you really an independent contractor? (Just because the Agency told you that you were an independent contractor does not mean that you would be treated as such under the law.)

    You should have a conversation with an attorney so that you can flesh out your situation more fully and they can read your contract.

    It certainly sounds as though there is little justification for the Agency not to pay you. In this situation, one would think that a rational business person would respond positively to a demand letter explaining your situation. Nonetheless, if that is unsuccessful, you can get a copy of the Agency's statements through the discovery process that is available once a lawsuit is filed.

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