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Anne Lopiano’s Answers

88 total


  • Can I force my ex to sell /refinance (where she has no financial obligation or name on the refinance) our home?

    Judge ordered my home sold and divided 50/50. It is listed with no offers and price has been reduce 4 times. I want to buy it via refinance, save realtor and transfer fee and my wife would be off ownership. She is refusing saying a realtor has to ...

    Anne’s Answer

    You have not given enough facts for me to give you a really accurate answer -- for instance, It appears to me from what you say that the judge appointed a trustee to accomplish the sale of this property. In that case, nothing can be done wihtout the trustee's approval and participation. Did the trustee obtain an appraisal? Is the buyout price you are offering your former wife a fair 50% of the "net" full market value of the home? if so, the trustee might persuade your ex to accept your offer. Work with the trustee on this and expect that the buyout price you will have to pay will be based on current fair market value -- so be prepared to defend whatever buyout price you are offering. And no you cannot force your ex to accept a buyout offer, since you apparently have no agreement to do that and the court apparently ordered that it be sold by a trustee. If this home is titled to both of you, you won't even be able to get a refinance loan unless you have a valid signed agreement with your ex that you will buy her out for a specified price (or formula for price). If you make a fair market value bid to buy the house from the trustee, and there are no competing offers or bids, your bid may be accepted. In that way, you might acheive your goal -- because you and your ex will likely be co-liable on any existing morgtgage -- that will most likley have to be paid off 50/50 at the settlement table, as well as trustee fees, and other closing costs.

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  • Wills

    my grandma passed away and left her real estate to my mother and my uncle. my mother passed away 5 1/2 months after my grandmother. What happens to her inheritance. Does it go to my father?

    Anne’s Answer

    If your mother died without a Will, and she was married to your father when she died, then he will inherit 1/2 of your mother's total probate property, assuming mom had no minor children at her death.The other 1/2 passes to you and any siblings of yours. Someone will need to open an estate for grnadma if not done already and someone will need to open an estate for your mom. You should ask a lawyer to help you with this.

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  • How can the funeral costs be paid if the deceased left a minor as beneficiary?

    Possible two life policies. Deceased retired less than 2 years ago but no life insurance through employment. Survivor Annuity papers sent to deceased mother to complete. Will the cost of the funeral be reimbursed? Family experienced a hardshi...

    Anne’s Answer

    The family can only be reimbursed out of probate assets, not life insurance proceeds that went to any named death beneficiary. Perhaps the decedent's mother is the survivor annuitant of the deceased and so may eceive some funds as a survivor annuity which can be used by her to defrat the cost the funeral if she paid for the funeral.

    Anne LoPiano 301-593-6770

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  • If my boyfriend is incaraerated can I as his girlfriend can get power of attorney? Or do we have to be married

    and are we able to get married while he is in jail?

    Anne’s Answer

    He is free to give you (or anyother adult) his power of attorney. Please note that Maryland law has recently added a "form" power of attorney, and a rule that as long as the written "Power" conforms to the statute, financial institutes such as banks are required to honor it. One of those requirements is that the Power be signed before a notary and have at least one other witness sign. So, you need to find out if he can do that in jail -- is there a social worker and notary maybe with whom he can meet to get one fully signed, witnessed, and notarized?

    Hope this works out for you!

    Anne LoPiano

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  • Do I need to get an attorney.

    My sister died on May 12th in MD. Her belongings still in her home. The father of her child (never married) currently occupying home. He does not live there and it is my understanding that she had sole custody of child. Mother and I were put ou...

    Anne’s Answer

    if the deceased sister's boyfriend is the father of her child, and his parental rights were never terminated, he does now have sole legal custody of his child, as the only surviving natural parent. You will need to open a probate estate at the local county Register of Wills in which your sister's house is located. You should hire a layer at least to get the guy evicted. Also, once you have received your "Letters of Administration" you may be able to get a sheriff to accompany you to go into the house and get whatever papers you are looking for.

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  • While in Nursing Home, my brother had poa and moved his 43 yr old son into my condo. It cost me $25,000. Can I sue brother?

    My entire retirement account (over $100,000) was emptied. Only $63,000 of it was for my medical expenses. The rest was for his son's support. Brother said his son was going to get job, pay rent, and utils. He did not. I paid son's traffic tick...

    Anne’s Answer

    Yes -- you can sue him civilly. There is a brand new statuate in Maryland ("Lorretta's Law") that specifically allows you to hold your agent (brother) accountable for his mis-use of your funds. You may also contact your local State's Attorney Office (the elder law division) to ask to have this prosecuted as a crime under the Maryland criminal code, and to have him ordred to make restitution to you. You will want to hire an attorney if you choose the the civil suit route.

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  • Is this possible?

    If an heir want to forfeit their portion of an asset to another heir, is that possible? or will the amount they are forfeiting go back into the estate? Washington DC area

    Anne’s Answer

    Besides a disclaimer of one's interest in an estate (whereby in Maryland, you do not control who gets what was your share in the estate) it is possible to assign your share. An assignment, best drafted by an attorney, allows an heir or legatee to directly give his or her share of an estate to whoomever he or she chooses --however, this is then a gift that the assignor is giving to the assigee, and if is a gift worth more than $13,000, it will impact the assignor's lifetime total of maximum tax-free gift giving.

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  • How do you get a clear title on a vehicle when the owner is deceased and has no will?

    My Uncle passed and had no will and owned 3 vehicles.

    Anne’s Answer

    You have to go to the Register of Wills Office in the County where you uncle last lived, and apply (petition) to open a probate estate for him.You (or whomever is appointed Personal Representative or "PR") of the estate can then transfer title to the vehicles from the estate to whomever are the legal heirs, or sell the vehicles, and distribute the sale proceeds to the heirs, after you first make sure that any and and just debts of your uncle (pre-existing judgments, and claims agasint the estate, his funeral bills, etc.) have been paid. If you (as PR) fail to pay off those debts, and instead go ahead and give out the vehciles and other assets to the heirs, you as PR can be held persoannly liable for those debts to the extent of the value of the probate assets.

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  • Are heirs to an estate obligated to submit their social security nos. to the administrator to supply to IRS?

    social security numbers are a very delicate subject to me.

    Anne’s Answer

    The advice given here on this question, by Janet Lee Brewer, is correct.

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  • My father is in a nursing home. He designated his home and propereties in 2001. He will not be returning home due to dementia.

    His home is designated as a living estate. Can this property be sold? Are there penalties? We live in MD. He is presently receiving Medicad. The properties were signed over children in 2001. Any help wuold be appreciated. Thanks,Mike

    Anne’s Answer

    Dear Mike -- you sound very very confused about the status of title to your father's house. I cannot tell from what you wrote if it is titled in own his name, in the name of a trustee of a revocable living trust (not living estate, as you wrote), or in the names of one or more of his children. So the answer to whether it may be sold, and if so, who gets the sale proceeds, depends on a number of factors, including exactly how it is titled. If his medicaid status is a concern, you most definitley need to consult a lawyer who specializes in elder law. Although the question indicates that it is about a "power of attorney" I see nothing in your question about that. If you father appointed an attorney in fact" (power of attorney) in recent years, and before he lost his mental capacity, then the person who is the attorney in fact has the power to act for your father in many areas. BY law, any act of an Attorney in Fact MUST be done only in the best interests of your father. It is not a license to do whatever suits the Attorney in Fact.
    --Anne LoPiano

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