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Peter Caldwell Herbst Jr
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Peter Herbst’s Answers

44 total


  • 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...

    Peter’s Answer

    When you say "MassHealth wants to lien" I assume you have already received a Notice of Intent to Place a Lien on the property from MassHealth. If so you should hire an attorney very quickly to appeal such notice and look at whether your step father even has a property interest that can be liened and whether your disability provides a basis for avoiding the lien. Given that the house has been in your family for half a century this is not something you should attempt to handle without legal representation.

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  • Can I organize power of attorney in USA for a property in the UK?

    I own a property in the UK and want to give power of attorney to a family member to deal with its sale. How do I do this?

    Peter’s Answer

    The practical answer would be to seek out an attorney in the UK and have them prepare a power of attorney that suits your purpose in the UK and have them provide you with instructions on how to sign the document in the United States.

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  • MA estate tax on property in that State-- At owners death, no cap gains due, but will the state tax on that total amount.

    When I pass away, my house goes up to fair market value, will the State tax on that total or the total after deducting the mortgage owed , improvements and original base?

    Peter’s Answer

    The estate tax is imposed on the taxable estate which is generally the gross value of all assets using the fair market value on the date of death, less debts and other deductions. Improvements and your original basis may be relevant for income taxes, but would not necessarily be relevant for calculating the estate tax.
    You should review the specific calculation for this property with an attorney to make certain there are adequate liquid assets in your estate to pay any tax bill so that real estate doesn't have to be sold promptly to generate money to pay the tax bill.

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  • How can I have my brothers name removed from a property my mother owns in Florida? He is refusing to sign the documents for her

    My mother needed to change her will and estate plans recently, my brothers name is on the property in Florida. She asked her attorney to draw up the paperwork and he is refusing to sign. They had a falling out a few years ago, he was adamant he wa...

    Peter’s Answer

    You should consult with a Florida attorney to determine the exact property interest that your brother has and the corresponding options for you and your mom to consider. If he has a vested property right, and he refuses, unfortunately it's unlikely to be a seamless process.

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  • Can I request financial records regarding my sisters estate?

    My brother handled my sisters estate, her will. She said in her will everything was 50/50 between myself and my brother. I believe my brother was using her pension to benefit himself. He was paying his mortgage with her pension. We had a bank acco...

    Peter’s Answer

    Much of this will turn on the authority your brother used to "handle" her estate. Was he the court appointed Personal Representative? Was he the surviving joint owner of a bank account? Was he continuing to act under the authority of a power of attorney that terminated when she passed away? If he is the Personal Representative there are ways to make him account for this, and if he is not you could seek appointment so you can start asking third parties questions. You should consult with an attorney.

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  • Can a non family member be appointed power of attorney

    My elderly husband left me and I just found out he is living with a woman. While trying to find documents to complete our joint taxes, I found she is the owner of his account now where his social security is automatically deposited. We're stil...

    Peter’s Answer

    You can name a non-family member as an agent under a power of attorney. Ownership is not the same as "power of attorney" and if her name is on the account it sounds like she may be a co-owner. You should bring what information you have to an attorney who can review it for you - especially if you are still filing a joint tax return with your husband. You should ask the attorney whether it would be more appropriate to file as married filing separately under these circumstances.

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  • Do I need a irrevocable Estate Trust?

    I'm 78 years old and had a stroke last year and my husband is 85 years old and healthy. We live in a condo in Brookline Ma, and the property is under my name. We are not planning to sell the condo and wants to live here until our last day. We ha...

    Peter’s Answer

    Only after a full analysis of your planning needs and the tax consequences of those needs could an attorney advise you on whether to leave the title as-is, add your husband as a joint owner, or to use any number of different trusts out there.

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  • When filling out a quit claim deed- how can the max 14,000 gift option be avoided. Should a fmv consideration be set instead?

    I would like to gift my home to my sibling but I don't want to be left with a gift tax at the end of the year. What would be the best way to avoid this? My sibling has a husband who is on medicaid (but she herself is not on it nor will she be a...

    Peter’s Answer

    Attorney Golden's answer is perfect. The lowest priority for you right now is the gift tax. Income tax, creditor concerns and Medicaid eligibility are much higher issues. Don't do anything without speaking to an attorney.

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  • When my husband dies and im not on the mortgage will i get the house or his step daughters from 1st marriage

    My husband had a will before we married that left the house to step kids. We have been married 5 years but he wont put me on mortgage due to bad 1st marriage so he said i woyld get the house but friends say the will is leagal and the kids would ge...

    Peter’s Answer

    Prior to the enactment of the Massachustts Uniform Probate Code, marriage could revoke a Will in certain circumstances. When dealing with step children - a situation where even the greatest relationships can become antagonistic when dealing with inheritance rights - and your home - which may be one of your largest assets (not to mention the literal roof over your head) its crucial to review the plan with an attorney to ensure everyone's intentions are carried out. Part of that plan may be to make husband and wife joint owners of the home.

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  • How do I prove an executor when there was no will

    My Great grandmother helped me buy a boat when I was 18. I am now 28 and trying to transfer ownership of the trailer to my father. The old registration has both of our names. We made a bill of sale and had my grandmother (great grandmothers daught...

    Peter’s Answer

    An executor can be nominated by a Will but only after a petition and filing of a bond would a court appoint someone as the executor (now referred to as a "Personal Representative" in Massachusetts). There should be a decree if the estate was probated and if the estate was not probated in the past you may need to go through a probate process to administer the asset.
    It would be good for you to take all this paperwork to any attorney to review. It's not clear but if the boat and trailer were jointly owned by you and your great grandmother, upon her death wouldn't you be the sole owner? Why do you believe probate is necessary?

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