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Israel Sands

Israel Sands’s Answers

87 total


  • What must I do to take care of this properly? Must I go to court and be appointed administrator of his estate? Can we ignore?

    My cousin died in Clay Co Florida last month. He had been living with a same sex partner for 39 years but they had not married. There was no will. According to his partner there are no debts and no property except one old truck that might be val...

    Israel’s Answer

    It might be worth a try, if your aunt's estate was probated, to have the personal representative of her estate contact the insurance company and send a death certificate, which might prompt the insurance company to contact the alternate beneficiary, or to release information. There is usually no income tax due on an insurance policy death benefit.

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  • If elderly people want Medicaid home care by using a spend down pooled trust, what assets does Medicaid allow them to have?

    Medicaid home care and 5-year look back period for assets

    Israel’s Answer

    Medicaid is state-specific, with limits to both monthly income and assets. Please consult a NY elder law lawyer on this. Medicaid planning is very technical and this is one of the areas in the law where an expert earns for you every dollar you pay them. Medicaid does not yet offer as much home care as good sense and economy would suggest.

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  • Probate

    My mother recently died and she had a will that leaves most of her estate to her grandson. No one is contesting the will. The estate is not in probate yet. Can her house be rented before probate or before officially goes to her grandson? He is ...

    Israel’s Answer

    I agree that the probate court must transfer ownership to the grandson, even if it is a non-probate asset (it passes out of probate vis a vis creditors, but still has to be transferred by a court order.) Technically, it can't be rented because there is no legal owner to sign a lease; once the personal representative is appointed, the personal representative can sign as agent for the estate of your mother, who is the landlord.
    However, in the real world, what matters is the tenant respecting the lease. So, go ahead and prepare the house for rental, and draft a lease with the Landlord being "the estate of (your mother's name)", with the person who will serve as personal representative signing for the estate. Once the probate is open, that will pretty much retroactively legalize the lease.

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  • My mother told me before she past away, that she left me a sum of cash. How am i supposed to find it ?

    I have tried treasure hunt online, and public records, and insurance companies. I have failed in each attempt; also i do know my mother did have a law settlement settled before she past away.

    Israel’s Answer

    A private investigator may be able to find assets. They charge about $500, and the ability to find accounts falls off quickly after the person dies: sometimes it it compromised within 60 days.

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  • Does a divorce in Florida, revoke a durable power of attorney OR designation of health care surrogate ???

    Thank you, Linda Mulch

    Israel’s Answer

    Do you want them to? I would have to see the documents in question. Most lawyers I know draft for the powers to terminate in the case of divorce.

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  • In CA Probate Court, can the Probate Attorney for the IAEA sell the house as the Real Estate Broker?

    The CA Probate Attorney owns a Real Estate Firm and used one of the agents of his firm to sell the house. The house listed on the Residential Listing Agreement at $200,000.00, sold for $300,000.00 within 30 days, and resold within 90 days for almo...

    Israel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Who agreed to list it for $200,000? Was the house appraised before listing? While the fact that the house was resold for so much more in 90 days points to inappropriate behavior, it would have to be proved that the attorney breached their fiduciary duty towards the estate. I would say that the fact that the attorney owned the real estate firm would raise the level of his presumed knowledge of the real estate market, and would require a higher level of efficiency on his part.

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  • My sister is executor of my dads will,If she makes a mistake and owes ITS..Is she the only one responsible to pay the IRS ?

    I told her to take it to a attorney,but her and her husband are greedy and say they will do it themselves...My sister quit school at 16,isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer and I don't want the IRS coming back on me in a few years..she is the ex...

    Israel’s Answer

    The IRS will go after your sister first, and if they are not compensated they can go after your share of the inheritance. I could be wrong, but if they were not able to get anything from your sister, I am afraid that they could go after the entire amount of unpaid taxes from your half of the inheritance (not just "your" half of the unpaid taxes) - although you would be able to afterwards go against your sister for "her half".
    Depending on the amount of the inheritance in question and the complexity of the returns due, it might be worth your while to offer to pay for the CPA to do the taxes out of your own pocket (you would have paid for half anyway) so that you have peace of mind.

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  • Can an Intervitro Trust be ammended or broken?

    My husband inherited 2 small buildings when his mother died . He has no living relatives. In 1987 his mother put the two buildings in a trust and stated that he could never sell the buildings. The original trustee has died, and the bank where the ...

    Israel’s Answer

    To answer your question I would need to see the trust document. A provision that real property is never to be sold could be upheld in the case where its use is for a family business or residence, but otherwise there would have to be a good reason for this restriction. Courts now look at the grantors' intent and when circumstances don't seem to follow what the grantor foresaw, trusts can be reformed or even terminated. I do not charge for initial consultations and would be glad to meet with you or have you fax me the document and we could discuss this on the phone.

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  • Two days after my 89 year old mom got out of the hospital, my sister got her to drop me as executor & put herself in my place.

    as well as making herself power of attorney over moms estate. She accomplished this by telling mom & moms attorney that I am an alcoholic & a drug addict. These statements are not only totally untrrue, they are slanderous. I believe that the atto...

    Israel’s Answer

    I strongly disagree with the answers above. Under normal circumstances, you would have the burden of proof as to Undue Influence, which can prove difficult and expensive. However, if you can show that it is your sister, and not your mother, who brought your mother to this lawyer, then the tables are turned: under Florida Statutes there is a legal presumption of Undue Influence if an interested party brought in the lawyer who drafted the documents. It becomes your sister's obligation to show that there wasn't Undue Influence (even harder to prove) if she wants to sustain your challenge to the will.

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  • (Florida) My 12 year old Living Trust has been amended twice to change beneficiaries etc. Better to amend again or start over?

    (Florida) My 12 year old Living Trust has been amended twice to change beneficiaries & successor trustees. It is fully funded with various assets. We need to change successor trustees again. That would be a third amendment. It's getting diffic...

    Israel’s Answer

    I agree with the answers above. As for an online document: best case it will respond to your questions and what you perceive as your needs - but working with a professional will raise issues that you perhaps are not aware of , and give you a personalized solution.

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