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Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman’s Answers

1,923 total


  • Lawyer has provided a draft of a couple of estate planning documents but is vague on follow up.

    A lawyer that I chose to draw up my estate plan, not a very complicated one, has provided mw with drafts of the 2 trusts, again, not complicated. I asked where the other documents as in pour over will and advanced directive were and he said that i...

    Joanne’s Answer

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    I am sorry you are having a hard time. That is never good in an estate planning situation because you may have to rely on this attorney to work with your trustee or you family members later on, and if there isn't a good relationship now, the future doesn't like bright.

    That said, sometimes the problem is just poor communication. I don't know how much money you have tied up in this. I suppose you could try and call the attorney and see if a phone conversation will satisfy your concerns. But failing that, I would just find another attorney and get the job done and the deal with what you do or don't owe this attorney later. You next attorney can call this attorney and find out what was going on and tell you.

    Something that raises a red flag for me is your description of the situation as "not complicated" and yet there are two trusts. For me, as an attorney who has been doing estate planning over the course of 32 years, a simply will is what I would consider not complicated. Anything involving a trust, while not extremely difficult, is at a more complicated level. The very complicated level would be where there needs to be planning to avoid or mitigate estate taxes.

    I also don't understand why you would have two trusts? It sound like you are dealing with a revocable living trust, RVLT, which is only going to be one document, ie, one trust unless you are married, then there would need to be two sets of documents, one for each spouse. You are correct, that a pour-over will is standard with a RVLT. The advanced directive really has nothing to do with the RVLT or the Pour-over will. It is really a medical directive. That could have been done the day you were in the attorney's office. It is a common form that can be found on line and is included in every hospital admissions practice.

    That said, I don't think that just getting the Advanced Directive Form and filling it out is wise. The form has nuances that the average lay person is not going to understand. Ie, it looks simple but it really isn't. I have a sample as to how to fill it out that I explain and give to all my clients. We take care of this on the first visit and they are then left to fill out the form. I only ask that they send me a copy of the form for my file when it is complete.

    So back to your current dilemma, as I stated above, just get another attorney and get the job done. Don't try to force a round peg into a square hole. And if you went to this attorney because it was "cheap" maybe you now know that his really wasn't a good bargain. Spend what it takes to get a good job done and most importantly, pick an attorney you can work well with and who will be there for you and your family when you get sick or you pass away or you need them for whatever reason. I think that is a very important consideration in estate planning that some people fail to think about when they price shop.

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  • Can a child's father take away the phone their mother gave them?

    Parents are divorced. Dad has custody. Father smashed a phone the Mother had previously given to the child despite it not being able to work. The child is 14 years old.

    Joanne’s Answer

    Well, smashing the phone is inappropriate and much more than taking the phone away. The phone was mother's property or child's property and dad is liable for replacing it. So that is one issue. The other issue is just whether or not the child should have a phone to use while the child is with the father. On the one hand, being able to call your child while they are visiting the other parent, is reasonable within limits. But if the child is constantly on the phone and that is interfering with how dad wants things to be during his parenting time, then dad does have the right to set down limits on phone usage. So you really have two different issues her. You are either going to have to walk to dad and work this out between yourselves or you are going to have to go back to court and let a Judge arbitrate this and set some rules as part of your parenting plan. But the bottom line is - dad can set rules on phone use while the child is visiting but the rules have to include a set time when the child and check in with the other parent as well and that means talking to the other parent without dad listening in.

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  • What papers do we file or what do we do next

    We went to court on April 28th and just have the other party a 90day period to get my husband's kids working with counselor to prep them in to seeing me in the 90days. We got a 30day dismissal letter due to the party attorney never wrote up the pa...

    Joanne’s Answer

    If you don't have an attorney representing you then you are expected to do your on legal work and you can't rely on the attorney representing the other side to do the paper work, whether or not the Judge told them to do it. You just can't rely on them to do it - they don't represent you. So you have to either get an attorney to help you or you have to figure out what you need to do as an attorney would. Your best bet is to get your own attorney. You can try calling the Judge's clerk, NOT THE JUDGE, and tell the clerk that you were waiting for paperwork from the other attorney and it never came and now there is a dismissal notice you are worried about. That might trigger a call to the other attorney asking them if they are planning to submit something. But frankly, I think it is just risky not to get your own attorney and make sure this gets done right.

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  • Can I receive more money for pain and suffering from a car accident when the doctor cut me off of medicine due to a faulty u.a .

    I proved I was taking the prescribed medicine. The doctor then put me back on medication. During that time my pain level stayed at a 10, and I was so stressed I could not make my other appointments. She also told me several times it was impossibl...

    Joanne’s Answer

    This is a ridiculous conversation to by having on the internet where your disclosures could be possibly seen and connect to you even though your identity isn't expressly stated. I have spotted people I know posting on Avvo and because I knew the details of their cases I KNEW WHO THEY WERE. Run, don't walk, run, to get an attorney to help you with your accident case. If you already have an attorney go and talk to them - don't undermine their ability to help you by putting details of your case out on the internet. You simply don't want to discus as part of your settlement your problems with your doctor over pain medication. Just what little you have written here doesn't make you look like a person a jury would want to give money to. Quit while you are ahead - get an attorney and discuss this privately.

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  • Do I need a prenuptial agreement, if I have a will for separate property before I marry on Oregon?

    I was married for 45 years. I am a widow getting married. I have a will in place, and have my retirement accounts, savings, a home in California, and other arrangements in my will, left to my family.

    Joanne’s Answer

    A will only provides for the disposition of your property if you die, and under Oregon law, your future spouse can make an election against your will if it doesn't provide for him. You will does absolutely nothing to protect you if you get divorced. You will truly regret getting married without a prenuptial agreement. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to do and they can really save you if your marriage plans don't work out. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement can be amended or revoked later, if you don't like the way it is set up. Conversely, if you don't get a prenuptial agreement, you can't change your mind later. It's all or nothing in terms of getting a prenuptial agreement PRIOR to getting married. GET THE PRENUP!

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  • Is it legal for my spouse to file a claim for child support

    My spouse and I were divorced in 2008 the judge wrote in the divorce decree to pay the child support, my spouse never went to DHS and filed a child support claim now there's a chance he might want to do it now. Is that legal? The children are all...

    Joanne’s Answer

    It's not clear what type of claim your spouse is filing. If there was already a judgment ordering the payment of spousal support back in 2008, the spouse the money was owed to continues to have a right to collect all the payments that weren't paid but should have been paid. If child support was never ordered back in 2008, then the spouse may not be able to start a claim now that is retroactive to 2008, but there may be a claim for support starting now. Child support in Oregon cases, can go until children reach age 21, if they stay in school. But suffice it to say that a Judgment to pay child support is a valid judgement and starts when it is entered. Going to DHS is not required to make the Judgment due and payable.

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  • Foreclosure questions about an abandoned property.

    property has been abandoned for close to 10 yrs, no court records, court recording office shows 2 notice of default (2008) and both have been rescinded, they say it's not in foreclosure, trustee says it is in the foreclosure process but no sale da...

    Joanne’s Answer

    This question doesn't make any sense. You are assuming that property is abandoned - and you don't really define what you mean by that. Property in Oregon is owned by the person shown on the last title recorded in the county recorder's office where the property is found. You can't "abandon" it - it remains owned by the record owner until someone gains title through some new process - a court order, a foreclosure sale, etc. Just be a person doesn't actively interact with the property - that doesn't create a situation of abandonment, ie loss of ownership rights.

    It is possible that property can transfer and the transfer is not reflected in the deeds recorded in the recorder's office. For example, I can sell you a piece of property and sign a deed, but if you and I never take it down and record it, the rest of the world might not know about the sale. The sale is still a legal transfer of my property rights to you, but the final step of recording the deed is important, to you the buyer, to protect your rights. Because if your seller is a thief, the seller might sell the property a second time to a second buyer and take the money. The second buyer doesn't know you bought the property first, and the law says that the second buyer can rely on the the records in the recorders office - so you may just have lost your property because you didn't record the deed when you bought the property.

    Now, moving one, let's talk about the lender. The lender in a mortgage situation doesn't own the property. They just have a secured interest in the property. The lender can go through a foreclosure process to sell the property and take the money from the sale, if the buyer is in default. Many things can delay these types of foreclosure sales. Lawsuits, the lender having other problems (like maybe the lender went bankruptcy and no one has taken over the loan), or maybe someone is paying on the loan and you just aren't getting good information.

    In any case, we have no idea why you even care about this situation. It might be a lot easier to respond if you give more specific information. Or better yet, go and talk to an attorney. Then you can safely discuss all the facts of the situation. It is not safe to discuss the details of a legal problem on a publicly viewable website.

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  • I use medical marijuana in Oregon. I'm in a custody case in South Carolina a friend gave me a plant after the 4th of July 2015.

    I took a picture of it and sent the picture to my friend in North Carolina. My ex saw the photo and took it to the GAL and now that's being used against me. Even though medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal by state law; can that be held a...

    Joanne’s Answer

    You really need to explain in what manner this is being used against you. If you have a medical marijuana card I would assume that your ex already knows this. Oregon is not going to prosecute you for what Oregon considers legal possession. There are still Federal Laws making the use and possession of Marijuana illegal despite Oregon's changes in Oregon Law, but the Federal Government doesn't seem to by pushing any agenda to arrest people with small amounts for personal use. They are raiding people with large amounts and people selling Marijuana, even if the state has legally licensed the sale. But I really don't see what this has to do with a custody case in South Carolina, at least in terms of the legality of what you are doing in Oregon. However, the Judges in South Carolina are probably interested in the welfare and safety of the child or children and your use of Marijuana could be raised as an issue in the consideration of your fitness to be a custodial parent. You really need to talk to ant attorney in South Carolina to get an idea of how this issue is going to be regraded by the Judges in that court system. I am pretty sure people smoke Marijuana in South Carolina, so it's not going to be a big shock, but other States do have different opinions over the use and possession of Marijuana.

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  • Can justice be served? What can I do?

    Two police officers picked up my dad while he was drunk, took him to the park and left him there. They knew he was drunk, and it was a very hot which caused him to die an hour after he was dropped off. These officers did NOT do their job, and I ca...

    Joanne’s Answer

    This does sound like the officers failed to identify that there was a potential medical risk and leaver your father where he could be monitored safely by trained medical professionals. When did this happen? There are very strict deadlines as to when you need to send a special letter notifying the Police department of a potential lawsuit, and then additional deadlines for filing a lawsuit.

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  • Did my husband work until age 70 for nothing? Will I only get survivors benefits on what he would have gotten at age 66?

    My husband of 32 years recently passed away. He worked until age 70. I'm not 66 for another 17 months. Social Security tells me I am only eligible for 100% of what he would have had at his FRA of 66 and then only if I wait until my FRA at 66. I un...

    Joanne’s Answer

    My educated guess is the government pays more to those who wait as a gamble that some people won't make it so in the end, and for those that do make it to the later retirement age, they are closer to dying so there are less years left for them to collect. So really the bonus for waiting is a scheme where the government is using life expectancy tables and estimating that over all they will pay out less money. So your husband, by waiting, gave up getting the early payments and gambled that he would get more later, but died before he really could collect the bonus. Now think about it. If this is about a scheme where the government is saying, wait and you get more, but only if you stay alive, then if the bonus was owed to a spouse, it would defeat the entire scheme. It is all about gambling based on one's life expectancy and so it logically has to be tied to the life expectancy of the person that is gambling, ie, your husband. Did you ask if you will get a higher benefit if you wait until your are 70 to start drawing on your SS?. Again this is my educated guess. You should talk to an attorney that specializes in SS benefits if you want more precise information. Sometimes the people at the SS office do give you the wrong information. An attorney that specializes in SS benefits might be able to find a loophole or some other benefit that you don't know about.

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