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Doris Jordan Wiggen

Doris Wiggen’s Answers

34 total

  • Property left by father being claimed by aunt due to right of survivorship

    My father passed away and owns a piece of a property in Florida. I am an only child and my father told me my whole life I would receive his share of the property. Upon my father's passing his sister laid claim to the property saying it was deede...

    Doris’s Answer

    If the property in Florida is deeded in both your dad and his sister's name as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, then your aunt is correct and the property passed to her at his death. However, it could be titled in both of their names as tenants-in-common, in which case the property may pass pursuant to your dad's estate plan. I recommend that you have the deed and trust reviewed by an estate planning attorney to determine if you have any rights in the property.

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  • How do I become the beneficiary of my son's estate

    My son pass away last month at the age of 28. He was not married and no children. I recently received the death certificate, and went to the bank to close his accounts. I was told I would have to be appointed the beneficiary of his estate. We ar...

    Doris’s Answer

    I am so sorry to hear about your son. In North Carolina, if someone dies without a spouse or children, the property passes to his or her parents if they are still living. If your son's dad is still living, both you and he would be beneficiaries of your son's estate. You both have the right to administer your son's estate. Therefore, your son's dad may have to sign something that states he does not wish to administer the estate.

    You will need to go to the estates division of the courthouse in the county where your son lived at the time of his death to open the estate. Make sure to take the death certificate with you. There is currently a fee of $120 to open the estate and there may be additional fees as well. The clerks will provide you with a booklet with instructions on how to administer the estate, but they cannot give you legal advice or tell you what to do to administer the estate. If you have any questions about the process, you will need to speak with a probate or estate administration attorney.

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  • Can land given as gift be taken away by nursing home if giver dies with bills owed?

    My aunt wants to give my son land to build a home. My uncle, (her brother), says if within five years of the gift my aunt has to go into a nursing home the land would have to be given back. Uncle says only safe way for my son is to pay fair market...

    Doris’s Answer

    In North Carolina, there is a five year look back period for transfers of assets. If your aunt moves into a nursing home she can always pay privately for her care and the gift would not matter. However, if your aunt does not have enough income and assets to pay for her care, she may need to apply for medicaid to help pay the nursing home bill. When someone applies for medicaid, the Department of Social Services will look back five years to see if she made any transfers of her property. For every $5,500 that your aunt gave away during that five year period, that is one month that medicaid will not cover her care. If your aunt can't pay for her care, then your son may have to give the land back. There are other issues that should be considered as well. There may be adverse tax consequences if the land is transferred. Your aunt should speak with an elder law attorney before she makes any gifts of her property.

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  • My friends spouse died and she is trying to settle his finances. She is willing to pay 1/2 of a debt. What kind of form shoul

    she send the company

    Doris’s Answer

    I agree with Steve, your friend may not be legally responsible to pay her husband's debt. If she is not personally responsible for the debt, it would be paid out of the assets of his estate. Your friend is entitled to a Spousal Allowance from her husband's assets which would be paid to her before debts are satisfied. She should meet with an attorney in North Carolina to find out what her rights are before she pays any debts.

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  • I have applied for medicaid and my parent have property in india so they denied medicaid to them so what should i do?

    My parent are disable and they are in ny nursing home and i want to get them here but because of property in india they said they are eligible. So please help me resolve this issue

    Doris’s Answer

    I am licensed in North Carolina and wanted to comment on the answers above as Medicaid rules do vary by state.

    An annuity may be a possibility, but it must meet certain requirements, one of which being that after your parent dies, any amounts remaining in the annuity must first be used to pay back Medicaid for any expenses the Medicaid program paid on behalf of your parent.

    In addition, North Carolina is not an income cap state, so you would not need to utilize an income cap trust as suggested. If your parent is in a skilled nursing facility and his or her income is less than the cost of care then your parent will be eligible from an income standpoint. The additional assets in India will cause ineligibility however. In addition, the Department of Social Services tends to take a very strict stance with regard to selling the property. Many times they will not allow you additional time to sell the property and will continue to treat your parent as ineligible as long as he or she owns the property.

    Your parent cannot give away his or her property because this would be an uncompensated transfer which is penalized by Medicaid.

    There may be other ways to cause the property to be exempt for Medicaid purposes and I highly suggest that you speak with an elder law attorney licensed in North Carolina who can advise you on the best way to proceed.

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  • My father is in Assisted Living. Can he give me $9,000 to put away to pay bills so he can apply for medicaid?

    Would it hender him from applying for medicaid if he gave me the money to put up to pay his bills with. I know he can give me less than 10,000 as a gift legally, but would it affect him from applying for medicaid after he spent down to $2,000?

    Doris’s Answer

    Under North Carolina law, if your dad makes a gift of property in the five years prior to an application for medicaid, he will not be able to receive medicaid for a period of time (the sanction period). The sanction period is equal to one month for every $5,500 that your dad gave away. The sanction period does not begin until your dad has already spent his assets down to the allowable amount and is in need of medicaid to pay for his long-term care needs.

    According to your question, your dad is currently in assisted living. The program that provides financial assistance in assisted living is called Special Assistance. Special Assistance has slightly different rules with regard to transfers and allowable assets. There are also income limitations as well. I would suggest that you speak with an elder law attorney in your area to determine if your dad would qualify for this program or any other program to help pay for his care and to discuss what transfers may be made without causing a sanction period.

    Additionally, if your dad is a veteran, you should speak with an attorney who is accredited with Veterans Affairs to determine if your dad is eligible for any benefits through the VA.

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  • I am re-marrying shortly but I want my children to have my home and anything else I solely own. Is that possible.

    I do not wish to leave any of my personal assets to him if he outlives me

    Doris’s Answer

    In order to make sure your wishes are carried out you should prepare a will or trust that leaves the property to your children. If you do not have a will, your husband will have a right to part of your property under North Carolina's intestate succession laws. In addition, even if your will does not leave property to your husband, he will have the right to elect against your will. This gives him a share of your property at death even if you did not leave any property to him. To avoid this, you should get a prenuptial agreement before you get married. In the prenuptial agreement you and your future husband will waive your rights to each other's property at death. The agreement needs to be done well in advance of your wedding date so that all parties have plenty of time to review the agreement and consult with his or her own attorney. If you wait until the wedding date to sign a prenuptial agreement your future husband could state that he was forced to sign the agreement under duress. You should definitely consult with an estate planning attorney to make sure that both your estate plan and prenuptial agreement are drafted properly.

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  • Do i have to accept a house that became mine after my mothers passing?

    My mother had a house that was deeded to me. Nothing was done to the house in her last 10 years of life and the house is now with nothing..probaly getting ready to be condemed. it is costing me money when her intent was to give me something of va...

    Doris’s Answer

    If you have not already accepted the property, you can disclaim the property. In order to make sure the value of the property is not included in your estate, you must follow these guidelines:
    1. The disclaimer must be made in writing and signed by you.
    2. The disclaimer must identify the property, or interest in property that is being disclaimed.
    3. The disclaimer must be delivered, in writing, to the executor or administrator of your mother's estate.
    4. The disclaimer must be written less than nine months after the date the property was transferred.

    North Carolina also has some additional requirements for the disclaimer to be valid. You should speak with an attorney in your area to determine whether it makes sense to disclaim the property and ensure the proper procedure is followed if you ultimately decide to disclaim.

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  • What will happen to my dads assetts?

    my father passed on july 3rd. he was remarried and august 22nd would've made a year. he bought a house for him and his wife he was a navy vet. what will happen to the house and his assetts? I don't know if the house was in her name as well. Wha...

    Doris’s Answer

    If your dad did not have a will than all property that was in his sole name will pass by intestate succession. Every state has laws about who receives property at death when there is no will. These laws can be different from state to state. You need to speak with a lawyer who practices in the areas of probate or estate administration in Virginia since that is where your father lived. If the house was titled in both your dad's name and his wife's name as joint tenants with right of survivorship or as tenants by the entireties then his wife will receive the house. His retirement benefits will be distributed based on beneficiary designation. If you are named as a beneficiary then the company that holds the retirement account should be able to tell you that and send you any required claim forms to fill out.

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  • How can I find out if I stand to inherit anything from my deceased father's will?

    My father died this year. How do I determine if I stand to inherit anything from his will? He is survived by his partner (unmarried) and my siblings. All of which have not mentioned anything about his will to me. I am concerned that they are withh...

    Doris’s Answer

    You should be able to get a copy of the will from the estates office in the county where your father was living at the time of his death. In order to probate your dad's will, your siblings or his partner would need to file the will in the estates office. This information is public record.

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