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Robert J Harris
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Robert Harris’s Answers

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  • Our Dad passed away in January, 2015. His widow is saying that we have to pay the 2014 taxes.

    They kept their accounts separate except they had a JOINT ACCOUNT to pay household bills. She kept all the money in the joint account upon his death. I would think she would have to pay the $1600.00 of taxes. She is saying the taxes came from u...

    Robert’s Answer

    I largely agree with the above answers. But what if his widow doesn't file a probate?
    In that case, there's no one to file the tax return. The IRS can then impose penatlies and interest if there are any unpaid taxes, and someone will have to deal with the problem, or perhaps the IRS tried to go after your fathers assets that went to his heirs. Which sounds like its his widow.
    Also, if he gave the funds to you while he was alive, it sounds like a gift to you. Unless there was an agreement when he gave you money that you'd pay the taxes, I don't know there is a legal basis to require you to pay the taxes. If there was such an agreement, then I suspect the personal representative of his estate can seek reimbursement for the tax expense.
    I think the bottom line here is, it may be difficult for her to force you to pay the taxes unless there was an agreement that you'd do so (maybe that's what taking out "a little more" was for?) AND she'd have to file a probate to obtain the power to enforce the agreement. Filing a probate would be more expensive than paying the taxes herself. But she may have to probate anyway if necessary to file tax returns.

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  • Do I need an attorney and will this misdemeanor appear on my record and affect my chance of getting a job?

    Hello, I wonder if you could help me in situation I got myself in yesterday. I live in The Dalles, Or and I was visiting friends in Eugene this past weekend. Monday afternoon I went shopping to Kohl's in Gateway Mall in Springfield and b...

    Robert’s Answer

    You should definitely get an experienced attorney to assist you. There are options available that may allow you to avoid a conviction on your record. If you can't afford an attorney, as for a court appointed attorney, they are very knowledgeable about your options.
    This is no time to worry about an attorney fee. If you can't pay for a private lawyer, get the public defender. Think about it. Does a few hundred dollars in attorney fees matter when you consider the impact a conviction will have on job options and housing options over the next several years?
    Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

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  • Oregon aggravated murder, post conviction jury poll - can it be done? Who do you complain to about a compromised trial?

    in this Murder trial the residing Judges daughter was murdered in very similar circumstances. The prosecution asked the jury to fill in the blanks and use their imagination to connect the dots.. Fact: they only proved the defendant knew her, had s...

    Robert’s Answer

    The defendant should ask their attorney about appeal rights, and also about post conviction relief (PCR). An appeal normally addresses issues related to the prosecutors or judges conduct and a PCR is a claim that the defense attorney was ineffective to the point that the defendant didn't receive a fair trial.
    There are time limits for filing both an appeal and a post conviction relief and sometimes you need to file the appeal before you can file the PCR.
    In Oregon, the State will provide appellate attorneys to handle appeals and the PCR, and the defendant or his attorney should contact the office of Public Defense to start the process.

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  • I sold my car signed it over and everything. Yet have not been paid. How can I either get my money or my car back?

    My brother in laws girlfriend wanted to buy my car. Not trusting her I signed it over to him. With the agreement it would be in his name. He put both their names on it anyway they are now breaking up and she wants to take the vehicle. I have yet t...

    Robert’s Answer

    Unfortunately unless you are the lien holder on the title of the vehicle, I don't think you're going to get the car back. You have no lien rights to enforce.
    So, that leaves you with bringing a lawsuit, getting a judgement, and hoping someone pays it.
    You could also ask your brother to sign his interest in the vehicle over to you, then she at least couldn't sell the car without you signing off. And I assume you wouldn't sign off without being paid. That doesn't get you paid immediately, but could at least give you some leverage in your discussions with he ex.
    Of course, you could also ask your brother to pay the loan off, and let him work out the financial details with his ex.

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  • My Mom put me on her house title to 'simplify' inheritance. How do we undo this and avoid excess cap gains tax after she passes?

    -House is in Oregon -She did this in 2011 -A Bargain and Sale Deed was used to add me, with no transfer of money. -Only her and I are on the title. -She is currently diagnosed with cancer -No wills are done yet -Would like to minimize capita...

    Robert’s Answer

    People often ask me if they need an attorney to undertake some legal task. I tell them...not if you do it right. In this case, I assume you didn't hire an attorney for advice, or to prepare the deed. (because the language in the deed appears like it doesn't include survivorship, so it didn't even simplify the inheritance issue). So I think it's wise of you to ask for some legal advice now.
    I can see a couple of issues here that could need to be addressed. It's not just capital gains, it's also potential gift tax, elder law planning considerations, and I'd want to know about liens or debts on the property.
    While I think its good that you asked the right initial question and understand that there are legal problems with the initial transaction, and now are seeking some legal advice, I strongly suggest that you and your mother buy an hour of time with an experienced real estate lawyer. I assume this property is worth well into the six figures so a modest investment in legal advice seems like a good business decision.

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  • In a MVA in New Mexico 6/26/14, but I live in Oregon. Do I have to have legal rep from New Mexico or can it be an OR attorney?

    I was injured in a MVA in New Mexico and was told that I cannot suit the ins company for damages because the vehicle was not mine and I was not on either of the two insurance policies covering the vehicle. Is this true? I was also told, if ...

    Robert’s Answer

    The benefit of hiring an Oregon lawyer is that you get to meet them face to face, visit their office, make sure s/he is someone you want to hire. But, if they're also less likely to know the value of a New Mexico case which could affect the value of any settlement. Also, if there are coverage issues then you may want someone who has some knowledge of Washington insurance policies, and an Oregon attorney is more likely to be familiar with that.
    The benefit of hiring the New Mexico based attorney is they will know the adjustors, case values, and what juries tend to award. But, you will be hiring them over the phone, sight unseen.
    So, I think it comes down to, how important is it to you to be able to sit down with your attorney face to face. Knowing that if the case doesn't settle, you may have to get a litigation attorney in New Mexico anyway.

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  • How much would it cost just to get help filling out our divorce papers?

    its an uncontested joint custody divorce . we both just want to come in with our co-petitioners packet and have someone local help us get our papers filled our correctly so we can file them. How much would you charge for that? anyone available to ...

    Robert’s Answer

    Ms. Reisman's answer is a good one. Since there are children involved, I'm going to suggest that you at the very least pay for a consultation with an experienced attorney. Frankly, most experienced attorneys will be reluctant to help you fill out forms you and your wife drafted because of the liability that entails. Let me explain. To really know if you and your wife agreed to everything, the attorney will have to review all your assets, figure out if they are all marital property, review the debts, determine whether your spouse can pay if they are given the debt's and talk at least a bit about the child support and overnights. Then, they have to advise you of all your options, not just the ones you and your wife came up with. If they don't do this, and something goes wrong, you as the client will have a legitimate complaint against the attorney for neglecting to do their job.
    However, you may have another option. Most courthouses have a family law facilitator. It's not an attorney, but someone who works at the courthouse, is a government employee, and assists in completing forms. I don't believe there is a cost to that service. However, they can't offer you legal advice. They will simply review the forms and make sure they are completed to the courts satisfaction. If that's all you think you need, then call the courthouse and ask for the family law facilitator.

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  • How do I get a living will established?

    Need advise and assistance to write up a will for a family of 4 with 2 kids (11 and 7).

    Robert’s Answer

    A modest estate plan in Oregon will consist of a Medical Directive - somtimes referred to as a living will and which appoints someone to make your health care decisions if you're not able - a durable power of attorney and a Will (which disposes of your assets).
    It is a complete plan for a young family such as yours. Many attorney will draft and finalize these documents for you for a flat fee. So you could call around and get some pricing. If it's a simple estate plan for you and your spouse, the process is fairly quick.
    I'd suggest you make a few phone calls, some attorneys will be happy to talk to you at no cost on the phone to figure out if they are a good fit for your needs.

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  • Removing Class A Marijuana Manufacturing Felony

    Convicted 8 years ago for growing marijuana, with maybe a misdemeanor traffic violation (Really unsure of this, however) a few months later. Time was served for the initial charge @ 2 months house arrest, 3 years probation. Then, for the mis. char...

    Robert’s Answer

    The statute is confusing. Even to attorneys not familiar with criminal law. An experienced attorney can actually run your record, review the court file and determine if you're eligible for an expungement. If this is a class A felony, you are likely not eligible. However often times these cases were reduced to a lesser offense. Also, the misdemeanor conviction can come into play since you have to have no other convictions for 3 years. So a second conviction can delay eligibility for 10 years.

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  • I have an s-corp set up in CA. Just relocated to OR. What are the correct legal steps in establishing my business here?

    Just moved to OR and am wondering what steps to take in order to move my photography business (business name is A Plus L Photo). Do I dissolve the business in CA and simply start a new one in OR? Or should I file as foreign in OR before ending thi...

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with all these answers. This is a situation where your CPA (if you have one), and an experienced business attorney should review your options and offer you some alternatives. There may be an obvious answer here, but without a more in depth review there's no way of telling you what that answer is.

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