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Denise Leydon Harvey
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Denise Harvey’s Answers

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  • How long does the PR have to settle the estate with the beneficary.

    In 10/15 the judge signed the final order of the probate issue and said that the current will stand which meant that I was to receive everything from the estate. A new PR was assisgned to the case from that point on. There are some out standing bi...

    Denise’s Answer

    You state you have a lawyer. You should consult with him on this and if you don't understand why he is doing what he is doing - ask him again. It sounds like the Will, which leaves all to you, was allowed, but that the estate has expenses that it cannot meet without selling the property. You are trying to get a loan that will pay all estate expenses but it is tied to YOU getting the house. That is likely what the mediation is about. Please review everything with your attorney so that you understand the situation and can contribute to whatever decisions need to be made about your [eventually] property. Good luck -

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  • Is it better tax wise to form a irrevocable trust before buildings a new house (loan to trust)

    I am taking out a construction loan. Is it better have the loan to the irrevocable trust than in my personal name. I am planning on having my children the trustees of the trust. I am thinking about avoiding taxes to my children .

    Denise’s Answer

    Please consult with an attorney regarding your estate tax planning concerns. There are a lot of issues to consider that a professional will be able to navigate with and for you. This is important to you and your family so it is worth getting it right. Good luck -

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  • Can masshealth take a home that has been in my name through a quit claim?

    step father put in nursing care long term , gave me a house 10 years ago . it was his primary residence before going into facility . House been in my family for 52 years . I ve lived in it for 9 years . I am the poa for him and owner of house . ye...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Herbst. If your step father transferred the property to you by deed more than 5 years before he applied for MH long-term care benefits, then MH would have no ability to place a lien on the property. I suggest you bring the deed and any documentation you have received from MH to an attorney for review. Good luck -

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  • My Mom passed away without a Will. Do I need a lawyer to deal with her personal items?

    My mother just passed away. She did not have a Will or did not leave anyone as an executor for her estate. She does not own any property but did have several hospital bills, bank accounts and an old car we'd like to give away. Please advise wha...

    Denise’s Answer

    Hi - I'm sorry for your loss. If your mother left property (including bank accounts) in her own name, you will have to establish a probate in order to marshal her asses, pay her debts and distribute whatever remains in accordance with MA law. If your mother had a spouse at the time of her death and he was the father of all of her children and he did not have any other children, then her estate should go to him entirely. If she left no spouse but left children, then her estate should be distributed equally to her children (or the child(ren) of any predeceased child). If the situation is between these two, the distribution is a little more complicated.

    The type of Probate filing you would have to make depends on the size of your mother's estate. if she left less than $25,000 in assets (not including the value of her car), you can file a Voluntary Administration - a very informal estate that only requires a single filing. If there is more to her estate, you should probably file an Informal Probate petition (rather than a Formal Petition - the most complex type of probate). You may want to discuss the specific circumstances of your case with an attorney to determine what will work best for your mother's situation, even if you do not hire an attorney to represent you. Good luck -

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  • How do I place an ad in the newspaper for an unknown father to retain permanent guardianship of my granddaughter?

    I am trying to retain permanent guardianship of my granddaughter I lost my 19yr old baby (my grandbabys mom) in a tragic car accident on April 6th. I don't know who the father is so I have no idea how to place an ad like that. I also can't get ah...

    Denise’s Answer

    First, I'm very sorry for your loss. Second, I agree with Attorney Kasberg that you should first try to identify the father by obtaining her birth certificate. Third, if possible, go to the local probate court (most likely Plymouth) in person. It is easier to forget about a promise made over the phone than to ignore someone standing in front of you. Ask a clerk for the appropriate petition and other forms to complete for guardianship of the child. The petition will ask for information about her parents and any siblings. You should bring a certified copy of your daughter's death certificate to show why she cannot be notified. Explain that you don't know anything about the father or his whereabouts except what is on the birth certificate. Once the documents are filed, the court will issue a citation that you will have to publish several times in the newspaper (and the court will tell you what newspaper). The Court will provide the language of the notice.

    The notice will include a date - called the return date - by which the father will have to object to the petition. In the case of an unknown person, the return date is usually several months out from the date the petition is filed. If no one files an objection by the return date, you can ask the court to schedule a hearing and you should go before the court to become appointed the child's guardian. Good luck to you and your granddaughter -

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  • I am a trustee for a small irrevocable trust less than $5,000. The money is now gone, what are the legal punishments?

    I was made a trustee of a very small amount of money when I was 24 years old. Over time the money was put into a low risk mutual fund but lost money anyway. The money was then moved into CDs. I claimed bankruptcy and since the CDs were in my na...

    Denise’s Answer

    I do not practice in MD, but generally speaking, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary of the trust to maintain the assets of the trust. It is unclear why the grantor is now questioning why you were in charge of the funds as the grantor would have named the Trustee. There may be more to this story than is being told. In any event, your real problem isn't that you transferred the money from the losing money market to the safer CDs, but that you put the CDs in your name. The CD should have been in the name of "XYZ Trust, YOU, Trustee" or some other such thing to show that the Trust was the owner, not you. Even if there was a tax due on the small amount of interest generated by a small amount of money in a CD, the loss would not have been as great as losing the entire trust fund, which you did.

    You in essence took over the funds as if they were your own. You are liable for this mismanagement right now. Because the players are all related, you may be able to work toward a settlement to repay the amount due over time, but your grandfather has no duty to let you do that. Good luck -

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  • My mother owns her house If she was to sell it to me for 100$ before she went to a nursing home could they attach the house ?

    Want to keep my mother's house when she goes to a nursing home and don't want nursing home to attach it. So if she sells it to me cheap can they attach it if she's broke before she goes to assisted living?

    Denise’s Answer

    I absolutely agree with the other two answers. Your mother should seek the counsel of an experienced elder law attorney. What you are proposing could cost your mother dearly if she were to need care in the next five years. Moreover, as Attorney Golden pointed out, if she needs assisted living, she would not be entitled to benefits even if she were broke. There may be exceptions to this rule, depending on your and your mother's circumstances, so please have her see an attorney asap. Good luck -

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  • What is the protocol for family deaths

    I had a death this past weekend and I go back to court for dor June 7 i don't know when the service is or plans keep switching for the service. So to play it safe I want to switch but when I went to the courthouse they was making it hard for me an...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree that the question is unclear, bit I also agree that it sounds like there is a child support hearing scheduled for June 7. You may think the lawyers for your child's mother will not get back to you in time, but you don't know that, especially if you contact them this week. It is possible to re-schedule the hearing if both sides agree. Also, try to get more information about the service, June 7 is a long way off so you may not even have an issue. Good luck -

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  • How can I find out if I am able to inherit a portion of it being the eldest child?

    My mother passed away and my father, who is still with us, had a life insurance policy for her. He never told me or my sister about it.

    Denise’s Answer

    Hello - First I am sorry for your loss. Second, the proceeds of the life insurance policy are not part of any probate assets that you might inherit. They will be paid to the beneficiary named in the policy. Third, if your mother left a Will, her probate assets (any property she owned individually) will pass according to its terms. If she didn't have a Will, her probate assets will pass to your father if their only children were the children they had together. If one of your parents had a child that was not the child of her or his spouse, there is another distribution scheme devised by the Legislature. Lastly, your standing as the eldest child will not factor into any inheritance you may be entitled to - the legislature provided for an even split among siblings if the second scenario (not everything goes to your father) applies to you.

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  • I need a probate lawyer in MA to help me get my inheritance, it should be cut and dry to do, no drama.

    My father passed away in January. I was told i have inheritance coming to me i just need to fill out papers. The problem i have is that i don't know how to go about getting those papers, and contacting remaining family isn't an option. I am curren...

    Denise’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Hemingway that a discussion with a probate attorney will get some of your questions answered. How do you know you have an inheritance coming? Have you received correspondence from a family member or an attorney representing your father's estate? If so, you can show those papers to a MA probate attorney who can advise you what is happening and how you can get what you are entitled to, if you are in fact entitled to anything. If you did not receive anything yet, an attorney can advise whether any probate has yet been filed and if not, how you can begin the process. Good luck -

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