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Peter Jay Visser

Peter Visser’s Answers

171 total


  • What more do I need to do to have power of attorney and durable power of attorney legally in effect for my mother now?

    Years ago, my mother designated me in notarized documents to have power of attorney and durable power of attorney to be effective when she becomes incapacitated. She now has memory loss and progressing dementia.

    Peter’s Answer

    First, read the power of attorney. Many of them that take effect only on disability require a doctor (usually her attending physician) to certify that your mother is incapable of handling her own affairs. If that is a requirement, then you should contact her attending physician to determine if he is ready to sign such a letter. If the physician is ready to do that, You should be good to go.

    Even if the Power of Attorney does not require this, it will probably still be necessary, because any banks you are dealing with will probably not take your word that your mother is incompetent. They will want to see some independent evidence that she is not able to handle her own affairs.

    Good Luck.

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  • How can I file insurance claim with my landlord insurance?

    Lost everything in house fire

    Peter’s Answer

    Do you have evidence that the fire was caused by negligence or fault of your landlord? If so, his insurance company may pay. If not, you may not be able to recover from your landlord. You could recover from your own insurance, if you had insurance. Otherwise you would be out of luck.

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  • Do we need an Affidavit of Property Value along with the Quit Claim Deed?

    My Mom bought a house outright. I rent/lease to own from her but she would like to add me to the title in case either of us pass away. Do we need an Affidavit of Property Value along with the Quit Claim Deed?

    Peter’s Answer

    If you are mostly worried about the consequences in case your mother dies, you could record a Transfer on Death deed from your mother to you. This deed only becomes effective on your mother's death. It also does not require an excise tax affidavit or a value affidavit.

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  • Is my will made during widowhood revoke able since I am now re-married in the community property state of Washington?

    I am remarried after becoming a widow. My will was made during my widowhood, while I was single. I have now remarried w/out a prenuptial. Is my will revocable if I die in Washington state? does the new marriage in a community property state re...

    Peter’s Answer

    Your old will would be treated as ineffective toward your new spouse. On your death, if your spouse survives you, your new spouse would be able to receive what he would have received if you had no will. You should consult an attorney and do a new will, so that your wishes control.

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  • Can programmers rent a home and work in it? If it violates zoning laws - consequences?

    We have a team of computer programmers who work from home. We'd like to find a place where they can get together and work. Normally, the maximum numbers would be 5 people and 4 cars. Most days the numbers would be more like 3 or 4 people and 2 or ...

    Peter’s Answer

    This will depend entirely on the laws of the city or county in which the house is located, especially their zoning laws. There are houses in commercial and industrial zones, which would likely allow such a use. The only way to be entirely certain would be to check with the city in which the house is located.

    You could also just rent the house and disclose to the landlord what you intend to use it for. Then, if you are contacted by the city, you could take the position that it's your landlord's problem, as he owns the house.

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  • Can programmers rent a home and work in it? If it violates zoning laws - consequences?

    We have a team of computer programmers who work from home. We'd like to find a place where they can get together and work. Normally, the maximum numbers would be 5 people and 4 cars. Most days the numbers would be more like 3 or 4 people and 2 o...

    Peter’s Answer

    The answer to your questions is going to depend completely on the zoning ordinances of the city in which the residence is located, and the zone the house is located in. Some cities allow "home occupations" in residential areas. Sometimes there are restrictions on how much traffic comes to the house.

    Some homes are located in commercial zones, so business would be allowed.

    You could find a place, let the owner know what you are planning to do. If he rents to you, then it's his problem if the use you make of the property doesn't fit the zoning. Be sure that the lease states that it allows you to do what you are planning to do.

    Or, you could check with the city to make certain your use fits the conditions of the zone the property is in.

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  • How or where do we go to check out who holds title to house . County info still shows my Mom as owner

    18 months ago my Mom passed away . Her estate is settled with myself and my siblings . Except for a couple items . The house and a water membership . The house is in one of those reverse mortgages . The membership we turned off and would like to s...

    Peter’s Answer

    You have inherited a house with a mortgage on it. Here is what you need to do:

    First, determine whether the house is worth more than the balance due on the mortgage? If not, then you don't want to do anything. You may find information an the balance owed in your mother's papers. However, if you contact the mortgage company, they may not talk to you about the balance until a probate is started. You would then need to determine whether you wanted to rake a chance on starting a probate to see if there was equity in the house.

    If the house is worth more than the mortgage balance, then you or one of your siblings need to start a probate of your mother's estate. The title isn't going to just miraculously be transferred into your names. See a local probate attorney immediately and get this resolved before the mortgage is foreclosed. Then it will be too late. Once the probate is started, the house can be sold, the mortgage paid, and the balance distributed to the heirs.

    Good luck.

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  • In Washington State is there a 41 day waiting period before assets can be distributed after a death?

    Also during the 41 days in Washington State, can an executor legally give one of the beneficiaries a key to the estate home and contents to freely come and go in and out of the home as they please unsupervised? Is there a RCW number I can referenc...

    Peter’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, there is no 41 day waiting period. If the estate is to be handled using a small estate affidavit, without a full probate, there is a 40 day waiting period. Since you mention that there is a house, the small estate affidavit procedure is probably not appropriate.

    Second, even if there is a will which "appoints" and executor (or as we now call them "personal representative"), that appointment needs to be confirmed by a court before that person has any actual legal power.

    Once appointed, the Personal Representative (PR) must distribute assets in accordance with the will, and any properly referenced written documents left by the deceased. That would not usually allow one person to take whatever they wanted, to the exclusion of other heirs.

    I suggest you take this question to an attorney in your area and make sure this is handled properly.

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  • Husband died without a will and our property was under his name we had been married 4 years together 8 i don't have money for a

    whattcom county /blaine wa

    Peter’s Answer

    I'm not positive what the question is, but you can't afford not to see a probate lawyer.

    You have some rights as surviving spouse, but exactly what they are will depend on whether he had children, what property there is, and how much was from earnings during marriage.

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  • If I am a beneficiary to my mother's estate, and she has died, shouldn't I have a right to the house key?

    the locks have already been changed by the executrix, and she is keeping everything hush hush, meaning she is not telling anyone anything, even when asked. The lawyer ignores all of our emails, and phone calls. There are four beneficiaries, one ...

    Peter’s Answer

    The answer is No, you don't have a right to a key.

    The Personal Representative has the duty to secure all assets of the estate, and to determine what has value and what doesn't. Often, the PR works with the other heirs, but not always.

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