Skip to main content
Douglas L. Kaune
Avvo
Pro

Douglas Kaune’s Answers

64 total


  • Guardianship over a child

    how do i give my aunt power of attorney over my son? when we both live in different states, without one of ushaving to come to the state the bother one olives in.

    Douglas’s Answer

    You can allow your Aunt to become guardian for your child, but you cannot give her power of attorney over another person. If you and she agree that she should be guardian, she would have to petition the court where your son resides. There would be a hearing and you would likely have to relinquish your right to be guardian for your son. This is a very important decision and not one that could be easily reversed.

    See question 
  • Guardianship over a child

    how do i give my aunt power of attorney over my son? when we both live in different states, without one of ushaving to come to the state the bother one olives in.

    Douglas’s Answer

    You can allow your Aunt to become guardian for your child, but you cannot give her power of attorney over another person. If you and she agree that she should be guardian, she would have to petition the court where your son resides. There would be a hearing and you would likely have to relinquish your right to be guardian for your son. This is a very important decision and not one that could be easily reversed.

    See question 
  • Will

    what is jtros

    Douglas’s Answer

    Joint Tenants With Right of Survivorship designation on real estate and financial accounts will all cause the asset to transfer automatically to the surviving owner(s) upon the death of the other owner(s). Be careful that this does not result in an unequal distribution among beneficiaries or a distribution contrary to your will. An example of this would be the opening of an account JTWROS with one child despite your will saying your estate goes to 3 children at your death. The JTWROS account goes just to the one child and not to the 3 as you might intend under the will.

    You also have to be aware that the other joint owner(s) might have access to the asset without your involvement. This is not the case with all assets, but for some. You could find that your joint owner is taking assets without your knowing.

    See question 
  • Wills

    Is it legal to copy the words of a will done by a lawyer and add our names to it and have it notorized or is this plagery?

    Douglas’s Answer

    This may not be plagerism, but you should consider the terms under which the attorney provided you the document. Did he/she agree to send this draft because you agreed to return to his office to sign and then pay a fee for his/her work? If the attorney prepared this document based on your agreement to pay a fee then you owe him or her for the work that they did for you.

    See question 
  • Power of attorney and multiple agents

    My mother's power of attorney lists 3 agents, including myself: X and X and X. Does this suggest that we must act together or can one of us act independent of the other two? There is no other wording regarding whether we must act in concert or c...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Based on the information provided, I would agree that the POA document requires all three of the Agents to act together. Depending on the language set oout in the document, one or more of the named Agents might be able to relinquish their authority to the other named Agent(s).

    See question 
  • Elder law-nursing home law

    my mother is 76 and recently entered a nursing home in pennsylvania.she cared for my sister , age 46 and diagnosed schizophrenic for the past 25-30 years and lived with my mother. does my sister qualify for any assistance from my mothers SS or pen...

    Douglas’s Answer

    You are facing a very complex issue in caring for your mother and your sister. There are very specific laws in PA that deal with your mother's ability to qualify for Medicaid while allowing a dependent/disabled child to continue to reside in the primary residence. Further, there are laws that, under certaince circumstances, will permit the assets (house and cash) of the parent to be placed into a special needs trust for the benefit of the disabled beneficiary. There is a specific procedure that must be followed for each step that you take in this regard. You should consult with an attorney that is experienced in these Elder Law issues. I would need to know the details of the case including your mother's overall financil status, but it does sound as though you have some options available in dealing with this situation. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance or if you have further questions.

    See question 
  • Mother had no will

    I cannot get my share of Mothers estate without signing a paper that states that I will not sue my brother. Mother had no will. HE took everything but her money

    Douglas’s Answer

    I am assuming your brother was appointed Administrator of your mother's estate. I am also assuming the paper to which you are referring is a release and indemnity agreement. You have the option to sign that release and your brother is likely to pay you the share of the estate promised in the agreement. If you believe he has acted improperly either during your mother's lifetime or afterterward, as executor, you can hire legal counsel to raise the issues with the Court where the estate is being administered. You should consult legal counsel for advice in determining your best course of action based on the facts of this case.

    See question 
  • Is inheritance income by one spouse considered an exemption under PA laws

    My husband says I have to pay him all money I spent while we were living on his inheritance because it was his not ours. Is that true. Some of it we spent on living expenses other on personal things for both of us.

    Douglas’s Answer

    Typically an inheritance by one spouse is considered to be a non-marital asset so long as he or she continues to own the inherited assets separate from his or her spouse. Once the inherited assets are comingled with marital assets or spent on marital needs, they become marital in nature. He could have kept the inherited assets separate if you entered into some kind of loan agreement to repay the "borrowed" assets. I doubt this is the case however. Based on the limited facts, it is unlikely that you would have to repay your husband the assets referred to in your question absent some agreement to do so.

    See question 
  • What is the look back period for medicaid reimbursement

    If I purchase my mother's house for a reduced price..I have heard that if I were to put her in a nursing home within 5 years, they can take the house from me for payment of nursing home.Is that true, or can I pay any amount for a house and it is l...

    Douglas’s Answer

    You are correct, there is a 5 year look back period for "gifts" made prior to application for Medicaid. With regard to the transfer of your mother's house, she would be making a gift to you of the value of the house that exceeded the amount you pay her for it. For example, if the house is worth $200,000 and you buy it for $100,000 your mother will be making a gift to you of $100,000.

    It would be appropriate for you to have a certified appraisal of the property to establish value. That will give you some perspective on the gift vs. purchase issue. It is also likely that the Department of Public Welfare in PA will ask to see a certified appraisal for their own review purposes if the property is transferred to a related person within the five years predeeding application for Medicaid.

    There are many planning opportunities that for protecting some or all of the value of real estate and other assets in a circumstance similar to the one you have described. I stongly suggest that you meet with an experienced elder law attorney to discuss all of the particulars of your case so that you can be sure that all issues are properly covered. It will be well worth it to make sure that you are doing all that you can do and also doing it properly.

    See question 
  • Does a girlfriend have any rights if listed as a friend in boyfriend's will

    If my husband had a will prior to us being married and in the will it lists me in the will as "his friend" because we were not married am I only entitled to what the will states or does our marriage void the will.

    Douglas’s Answer

    P.S. This is commonly seen as an elective share case, but it is not. It is a very unique and specific PA statutory provision dealing with a will drafted and signed before marriage that is still in effect after marriage. The intestate share can be significantly different than the elective share.

    See question