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Kathryn D. Bourn

Kathryn Bourn’s Answers

92 total


  • Does an unpaid, live in, non family member caregiver of 61/2 years have any rights, tenant rights?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Agreed. You have rights. If no one has been appointed as personal representative, they do not have authority to just come into the home. You also may have a claim against the estate for your labor. Definitely get legal advice.

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  • Does a trust supersede another trust?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    The starting point to answer your question would be to review a title report on the property. It's unlikely that land held in a trust could pass down through so many generations due to something called the Rule Against Perpetuities (which is complicated but is basically designed to prevent real estate and other assets from staying in trust for generation after generation after generation). If the land owned by a corporation, the question would turn to who owned the shares of that corporation.

    Let's say that your great-great-grandfather did transfer ownership of the land to a corporation. Presumably that means that at the time of your death, your great-great-grandfather probably owned shares in that corporation, unless he transferred those shares during his lifetime. Perhaps your great-great-grandfather transferred ownership of the corporation that owned the land to a trust. That means that the terms of your great-great-grandfather's trust controlled what happened to the land.

    Do you know the actual terms of your great-great-grandfather's trust, though? Was it revocable? Did the corporation ever transfer ownership of the land?

    Let's assume that at the time of your great-great-grandfather's death, the land was still owned by the corporation and the corporate shares were owned by his trust. That trust would have language saying what happened at the time of your great-great-grandfather's death. If the corporate shares or the land transferred outright to your grandfather at that point, whatever your grandfather did in his will would control.

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  • What is considered abandonment

    Kathryn’s Answer

    I'm sorry you are going through this. You are being extremely patient.

    In Oregon, you do not need grounds like "abandonment" for divorce so there really is not a legal standard for what is considered abandonment. You will need to decide whether you want to remain married to your wife under these circumstances, keeping in mind that the longer you are married, the more rights she may have to assets accrued during the marriage and/or to spousal support if she earns significantly less than you.

    You also may want to consider whether to seek a "status quo" order that keeps the routine for the children as is until the court decides otherwise. If you want custody of the children, continuing the current routine for at least three months will enable you to temporarily get a status quo order that keeps that routine in place. You can only get a status quo order as part of a divorce or legal separation court proceeding.

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  • What can I do to get cusody?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    If the Department of Human Services are involved and the children are in state custody, you should have the right to a court-appointed attorney. Juvenile dependency cases are extremely complicated, and you will need the help of a lawyer to navigate that system.

    If the custody order is merely a family law judgment, then you will need to file a motion to modify the judgment. You can find modification forms on the Oregon Judicial Department's website. Custody can be modified if a substantial change in circumstances exists and killing one of your children should be a substantial change in circumstances.

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  • My girl friend and i broke up 5 months ago, my dad owns the house. No lease or agreement, what do i do

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Even though there is no formal rental agreement or lease, your girlfriend probably has rights as a tenant. Your father, as the homeowner, is the landlord. He will need to give her a written notice of termination of tenancy. If you and she paid rent while you resided there and she has stopped paying rent, your father may be able to show a "verbal rental agreement" and issue a 72-hour notice of termination of tenancy for nonpayment of rent. The downside to this option is that she can "cure" the default by paying rent within a specified time. If neither of you paid rent while you were living there, your father will have to give her a no-cause termination of tenancy. The amount of notice will depend on how long the two of you lived there. Notices must be in writing, on paper, signed by your father, and properly delivered to your girlfriend. I encourage your father to confer with a landlord-tenant attorney. A notice that is not in proper legal form can result in an eviction proceeding being dismissed and your father being unable to terminate the tenancy (except for nonpayment of rent and a few other extreme circumstances) for six months after a failed eviction attempt.

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  • How do I transfer deed into my name now that sm. estate probate is closed? I am sole inheritor and affiant

    Kathryn’s Answer

    You will need to file a Claiming Successor's Deed to transfer the ownership into your name. The attorney who assisted you with the Small Estate Affidavit should be able to assist you with this.

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  • Needing to transfer a deed as the excutor ?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    I am very sorry to hear about your mother's death. If the value of the home was $200,000 or less and the value of your mother's other assets was $75,000 or less then you may be able to do a small estate proceeding to transfer ownership of the home. Keep in mind that if you intend to sell the home, you probably will want to do a formal probate proceeding since title companies lately have been reluctant to issue title insurance when no formal probate has occurred. A formal probate proceeding also will result in your receiving letters testamentary or letters of administration showing your status as personal representative of your mother's estate. In that capacity, you should be able to order a death certificate for her late husband. I encourage you to see a probate attorney as soon as possible.

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  • Should I Quit Claim the house that I bought my mom back to her before I file for divorce?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Quitclaiming the house back to your mother before you file for divorce is going to raise all sorts of red flags about what is really going on. Your spouse will be able to look back at transactions you made in the years--and certainly weeks--before your divorce was filed. From an outsider's perspective (it could look like you were trying to hide an asset). Just don't do this! Transferring the house into your mother's name likely will result in your mother being named as a "necessary party" to the divorce.

    If you are unable to make the mortgage payments, your mother could make them on your behalf. You should formally document whether the payments she makes on your behalf are a loan or a gift or whether she is paying the mortgage because she is an "equitable owner" of the home.

    You also would have gift tax issues to address if you transfer the house into your mother's name. Assuming that the equity in the home exceeds $15,000, you likely would have to pay gift taxes on the transfer.

    A divorce with a premarital asset is complicated. I strongly encourage you to at least spend money for an initial consultation. The Oregon State Bar provides referrals for a half-hour $35 consultation.

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  • Can a handwritten note between myself and child's mother be acknowledged as a legal document for custody?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    An informal written agreement between you and the mother can be used as evidence of your custody and parenting time arrangement but only a court can grant you legal custody of your child. If no custody case ever was filed with a court, both of you would legally have custody of your child.

    It sounds like your son has been living in Oregon for at least the last six months. You will need to file for custody in Oregon--or take your son with you to Nevada and wait for six months before filing for custody in Nevada. It sounds like you don't have time to wait, however.

    You can find do-it-yourself custody legal forms on the Oregon Judicial Department's website. If the Department of Human Services is about to take custody, you also might be able to get temporary custody based on immediate danger. You will need the caseworker to testify about the concerns.

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  • Need proof of judgement settlement for child support order.

    Kathryn’s Answer

    If you and the other parent agreed that whatever payment you made would fully satisfy your child support obligation, you need to have the other parent sign a legal document called a Satisfaction of Money Award. If you agreed that you were merely paid up but would have an ongoing child support obligation in the future, you need to have the other parent sign a Partial Satisfaction of Money Award.

    Sometimes another parent's memory of the agreement differs from your own. If the other parent is not willing to sign one of these Satisfactions, you may need to have a court hearing to determine whether the child support obligation (which became a lien against your house) has been fully paid. For that, you probably will need an attorney.

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