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Thomas Edward Rossmeissl

Thomas Rossmeissl’s Answers

588 total


  • Revocable Trust?

    Thomas’s Answer

    All community property receives a full step-up in basis on the death of an owner. It does not matter whether or not it is an asset held in a trust.

    You should consult with an experienced trust administration attorney to administer the trust. There are things that will be required, including notifying the county where real property is located and potentially allocating assets between subtrusts to be created after the death of the first settlor.

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  • Why do I need a Special needs trust??

    Thomas’s Answer

    A special needs trust is used when a beneficiary is receiving SSI or other governmental disability benefits based in part on financial need. They are designed to prevent disqualifying the beneficiary from ongoing receipt of governmental benefits, while still getting benefits from the inheritance. That said, the trust will be governed by its terms. If it does not presently have special needs trust provisions in it, and if those are desired, you may be able to petition the court to modify the terms of the trust so that the receipt of the inheritance will not disqualify you from benefits.

    If the benefits you are receive are retirement benefits, or SSDI (disability benefits from social security based on having worked enough and contributed social security), then there would be no need for a special needs trust.

    You should consult with an experienced trusts and estates attorney near you for specific advice with regard to your situation.

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  • What should I do, what to expect after depositing 85,000 usd in cash in my checking account ?

    Thomas’s Answer

    It is not clear what your concerns are. If you want the money, you will have to fill out the forms. If you are worried about some tax or reporting implications for having that amount of money suddenly appear in an account, you should contact an experienced attorney near you who has expertise with these types of issues.

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  • What do i do when my husband passed away and gave hes sister power of attorney

    Thomas’s Answer

    The sister has no legal authority to take any action under the power of attorney after your husband died. The power of attorney ends at death. If you were still married to him at his death, and if he did not have a will or trust that says otherwise, then you are entitled to a share of the estate -- half the community property is yours to begin with, and you would receive the other half of of the community property, plus a share of his separate property. You should seek the advice of an experienced probate attorney near you for advice on how to protect your rights, recover what may have been improperly taken by the sister, and administer your husband's estate.

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  • As trustee to my mothers estate all has finished with the trust and monies have been distributed

    Thomas’s Answer

    The steps you will need to take to deal with this recently discovered asset will depend on its value and how it is titled. If it is titled in the trust, then the trustee must follow what the trust says and distribute the asset. (This could include selling the property and distributing the proceeds). If it is titled in the decedent's name, then it may be possible to file a petition in probate court to confirm that it is an asset of the trust, if there is sufficient evidence that the owner had declared it to be a trust asset. Otherwise, if it is worth more than $50,000, you will have to file a petition for probate to administer the asset, eventually distributing it to the trust (if the owner had a pour-over will) or to the beneficiaries under the will if the will provided for a different distribution. If the property is worth less than $50,000, then there is a more expedited way to collect the asset. Your best option is to consult with an experienced trusts and estates attorney near you to obtain specific advice based on the circumstances facing you.

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  • When someone creates a trust does anyone named in the trust receive a copy?

    Thomas’s Answer

    If your father wanted you to have a copy of the trust while he was alive, he could have given it to you. Otherwise, you have no right to a copy of the trust until after his death. After your father died, you should have received a formal notification from the trustee that he had died and that his trust had become irrevocable, and also notifying you of your rights to obtain a copy of the trust and to bring a lawsuit to contest the trust if you wished to do so.

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  • My mother passed away in April. Myself and my 4 siblings are benificiaries on her bank account. Should this money be split?

    Thomas’s Answer

    The beneficiaries who were listed on the account should have received the account. The power of attorney expires on the death of the principal, so your sister would not have had legal authority to continue to use the account after your mother's death. You and your siblings should consult with an experienced probate attorney if you wish to pursue a claim against your sister for your beneficial share of the account.

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  • Who Inherits joint bank account?

    Thomas’s Answer

    Typically, joint accounts pass to the surviving owner. That said, if the funds were community property funds and your friend transferred them to an account in his name and his mother's name, then his surviving wife may be able to seek to set aside that transfer if it was done without her consent. The mother should consult with an experienced trusts and estates attorney near her for advice on how to proceed.

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  • What is an irrevocable trust?

    Thomas’s Answer

    An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be revoked. If you are the trustee of a trust, presumably one that became irrevocable when someone died, then you should immediately consult with an experienced trusts and estates attorney near you for guidance. You will be required to follow the terms of the trust and follow California law. If the trust includes financial assets, then you will need to open an account to hold them, or change title on the existing accounts to show that you are now the trustee. This can be relatively straightforward, but it can also be complex. Consult with an experienced attorney near you.

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  • Where to start...what type of lawyer do I need?

    Thomas’s Answer

    You should consult with an attorney experienced in conservatorships and in litigation involving financial abuse of an elder. A conservatorship will likely be required because your father is unable to resist fraud or undue influence, in addition to potentially lacking capacity to make decisions for himself. This will require a petition for appointment of a conservator. At the same time, it may also be possible to go after your brother to recover assets he has taken, or at least to prevent any further financial harm from occurring.

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