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Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

Joseph Pankowski’s Answers

2,249 total


  • Can your lawyer be you POA?

    My mother is passing, and there is much infighting. There's not that much in way of $, yet it is what it is. My mother appointed my brother as POA, and he is, in my opinion (IMO) incompetent. I have been an RN who has worked with the elderly for ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    I am very sorry for your situation. You will wish to talk with your mother's attorney about the propriety under Washington law for the attorney serving as POA. Here, in Connecticut, it is rare but permissible. Another alternative is to have an independent third-party appointed as your mother's fiduciary (known as a "Conservator" in some states and a "Guardian" in others). Good luck to you and your family.

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  • Can my stepdaughter move out of her mom's if she is 18 but still in school?

    My stepdaughter wants to live with her grandmother but her mom is saying the law says she must live with her til she graduates. Is she able to move since she's 18

    Joseph’s Answer

    Once a person turns 18, he or she is an adult. Absent an unusual law in the state of Ohio, the odds are very good that she can move to live with whomever she wishes. With that said, children who burn bridges with their parents often find they regret it. Thus, she should proceed very carefully here. For further information, please consult with an experienced Ohio attorney.

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  • Is it appropriate to write a letter to the probate judge in the matter of siblings applying for administration of my dads estate

    I am from Missouri. I was the guardian and conservator of for my father until he recently passed away. I have two siblings that have applied for administration of his estate which i will contest. I would like to write the judge to let him know tha...

    Joseph’s Answer

    I encourage you to listen to your attorney. Sibling warfare can not only be nasty, but expensive. If you believe your siblings are not fit to be administrators, then you should work with your attorney to file a proper objection. Good luck to you.

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  • Competing petitions for administration

    If my brother and I both submit petitions to become administrator our mother's intestate estate days apart and before either of us serves the other, does the court hear both petitions or does the first to get filed get priority?

    Joseph’s Answer

    I am sorry for the loss of your mother. For the sake of judicial efficiency, the court is likely to schedule both petitions as part of one hearing (or schedule the hearings back-to-back, accomplishing the same goal). Assuming you and your brother contest each other's petition, the judge is likely to appoint someone else--another family member or an independent third party--to serve as administrator. Judges absolutely HATE sibling battles and prefer to have someone outside of the dispute serve as administrator in these situations. Thus, I encourage you and your brother to work something out prior to the hearing(s) whereby one of you steps aside or you both agree to be co-administrators. Finally, if you do not have an experienced California estate administration attorney representing you, I strongly encourage you to retain one. Good luck to you.

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  • Can I legally take the assets that were left to me in a will if the will hasn't been probated?

    Grandmother died in 2013, the will still hasn't been probated. The material items were left solely to me, can I legally remove them from the property without the will being probated?

    Joseph’s Answer

    No. Until a will is probated, it is of no legal effect. Taking out the items could result in a litigation brought by other family members against you or even a criminal charge of theft. Get the will in probate and then you can have the items. Good luck to you.

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  • I need to be the legal representative of my brothers estate in Missouri he is deceased

    I need to find the forms I can file in court Missouri

    Joseph’s Answer

    I am sorry for the loss of your brother. If he did not have a will, you would need to file an application to become the administrator of his estate. Whether the court will appoint you will be based on who are the heirs of his estate. That is, if he had a wife and/or children, they would take precedence of a sibling. I would encourage you to speak with a Missouri probate attorney about next steps. In the meantime, the forms you will need can be found in the link below. Good luck to you.

    http://www.courts.mo.gov/hosted/circuit11/probateforms.html

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  • Is it legal for beneficiary in a trust to sell their % to another beneficiary? with out asking the other beneficiaries the same

    1 successor 4 beneficiaries total of 5 in the trust. one is selling there % by california trust law don't you need to offer everybody the same request? so any deal between two beneficiaries is not a legal agreement?if the other members don't get ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Here in Connecticut, a beneficiary can assign his or her interest in a trust to another beneficiary without the need to offer it to the other beneficiaries. This is due, in part, to the idea that it is better to allow beneficiaries to get out of each other's hair when there are disputes or other issues between them. Is this the law in California? Probably. Nevertheless, please consult with an experienced California trusts attorney to determine the law on this issue in your state. Good luck to you.

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  • Do I have the right with siblings to view my moms and step fathers trust/will? Mom died last year.

    My mom died last year July and my step father has done some things against my moms wishes, but we aren't sure if there were different instructions in her will (their trust). Do my siblings and I have the right to view the trust/will? If so, how ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    I am sorry for your loss. It's unclear from your question whether you are talking about your mother's will or a form of revocable trust. A will is a public record, but it only becomes public when filed with a probate court. It is possible that your mother and your step-father may have owned all of their assets jointly or placed them in a revocable trust, which means that the will may never be filed. If the assets are owned in a trust, however, you may have rights to see it if you are a beneficiary. The next step? Consult with an experienced California probate lawyer about the best means of obtaining the document(s) you seek. Good luck to you..

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  • How do I start a will

    I'm wanting to set up a well and guardianship for my daughter so if anything ever happens to me and my husband everything will go to my daughter and I want my sister to have guardianship if anything happens to me I have no idea how to get starte...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Since your daughter is a minor, you and your husband would be well-served to plan your estates so that your daughter's inheritance is held in a trust until she reaches an age where she can manage her assets by herself. This will also allow you to split the guardianship role (taking care of the child) vs. the trustee role (taking care of your daughter's finances). In many families, you will find that one relative is better at taking care of kids, while another is better at managing assets. Please consult with an experienced Texas estate planning attorney who can assist you with the wills and other documents you may need. Good luck to you.

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  • Does my sister have the right to take money out of my Mothers savings and sell her house if all three girls are named in the wil

    She has kept quite about where she will put Mother, we have to call all over town to find out where she is until we find her. She tell me she is taking money to prepay her funeral, She has told all sorts of things. My Mother has dementia and so...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If your sister has a valid power of attorney which was executed by your mother on her behalf, then your sister will have the right to access your mother's bank accounts in order to pay your mother's bills. Furthermore, she will be able to sell the house if funds are needed to provide for your mother's care. Note that your sister must manage your mother's assets solely for your mother's benefit and cannot take funds to feather her own nest.. Please consult with an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney for further information. Good luck to you.

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