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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,186 total


  • Is there any legal avenue she could take for help if we paid for an attorney for her. Anything would help her get an apartment.

    My friend is about 66 and was living with an older gentleman in his home and was his primary care giver for over 3 years. She also was his care giver for the previous 3 years when she did not live in his home. He passed and left her nothing, and h...

    Carol’s Answer

    Unfortunately, probate law is seldom "fair". If the gentleman did not make any arrangements for her care after his death, she (at least in SC) is out of luck. Did she get paid for her caregiving services? If not, then the most she can do is file a claim as a creditor of the estate for reasonable compensation for the caregiving (based on typical caregiver salaries remediated by the value of the living situation). If she got paid already for her services, then she will have no claim against the estate unless she can establish, with clear and convincing evidence, that her services were in expectation of compensation after he died.

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  • Medicare, Humana, and Probate

    In a probate, will Medicare (not Medicaid) make a claim? I noticed them by certified mail as a known creditor, and they did not respond. Neither did Humana. Prior to death they paid out funds, but no claim made against the estate. The 30 day &...

    Carol’s Answer

    Medicare is an earned benefit - it has already been paid for by the worker who qualified for it. So, no, there should be no claims. What did your probate attorney tell you?

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  • What steps can I take to get ownership of the property?

    I've lived in a house for about three years now the couple that owned the house have passed away last year and the family is doing nothing with the house. No contact or attending the court dates. What steps would I have to take to try and get owne...

    Carol’s Answer

    You mentioned "attending court dates" - what court dates? If the house is under foreclosure, you will not succeed in remaining in the home once it changes hands. Find out from the family what is owed and, if it is worth it, offer to pay them that to get it off their hands. Otherwise, they will likely let the bank recover the house and then you will be out.

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  • What happens if all required parties aren't served an emergency guardianship petition?

    A hospital petitioned to appoint an emergency guardian for my relative, and named me in the petition as next-of-kin. The petition also stated that I was served notice, but I was not. What are the consequences of failing to serve the required part...

    Carol’s Answer

    It depends. Florida guardianship law is "designed" to protect the interests of those who may otherwise be exploited, but sometimes, it is misused and not well understood by those who attempt to put it into play. Depending on your relationship to the relative (you don't specify), you should have been served by certified mail or by a process server. Failure to serve can stall the proceeding until proper service is obtained, but you say that you have read the petition - how did you get it? Service can be waived is a diligent effort was made to locate you and it failed and the emergency situation was so dire that your relative's life or property was in IMMINENT DANGER of being wasted. The Court will err on the side of granting an emergency petition, rather than risk having something happen to the potential Ward under their watch. If you feel this petition was filed in error, or in an attempt to exploit your relative, I highly suggest that you hire a good guardianship litigator to help you.

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  • How do I add my name to the deed of the house?

    Need to have my name added to the deed of the house. I had a foreclosure in 2009 as a result of an ex husband. In 2012, my "mother" purchased a house. All monies for the downpayment and all payments have been 100% by me. My mother purchased in he...

    Carol’s Answer

    I will give you a nuts and bolts answer that will not address the obvious - that your mother needed legal representation the first time she got into this situation. First, the wrong thing to do - add you to the title. Why? At minimum you will have to pay doc stamps on the amount of the mortgage remaining, and second, as my colleagues have mentioned, the bank COULD call the Note. What I would recommend your mom do in this situation is have a good estate-planning attorney sit down with her and explain the options for putting the home in a trust for your mom. You could be the beneficiary of the trust and it could be just used to hold the house as its only asset. The lender would have to be notified of the plan to make the home a trust asset. Typically, a lender will not care who pays the mortgage as long as the house still secures the loan and the loan is paid as agreed. Hire a good lawyer as my advice is only as good as the information I have - which is, basically, nothing.

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  • What are my rights? Who is responsible? Do I have to remove the fence?

    We are being told that our fence is encroaching an easement owned by a utility company. According to our copy of the plat of land that our house is on, it shows that the easement is behind where our fence is at. We are not encroaching any easement...

    Carol’s Answer

    Did you have a survey done at the time of purchase? Is the utility saying that the easement was expanded before you purchased? The plat is probably very old and may not show the current easements that come into existence with new cable companies, etc. That is why a survey done at each change of ownership is so essential. If you HAVE a new survey and the utility is WRONG - you can make them stop.

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  • How to include a person outside the U.S. in my home title?

    I plan to build a house in Florida by my own savings (no mortgage). I want to include in the title my friend who lives in another country. How to do this without need for my friend to come to USA?

    Carol’s Answer

    Why would you want to do this??? You need to realize that if you ever decide to sell, for whatever reason, ALL persons on title MUST sign off on the sale. If your intent is to leave the property to this person without having to have them go through probate, putting the property into a Trust would be easier and would allow you to sell, mortgage, gift, etc., the property on your own (while you are living) and then give it over to the person (without a probate) after you are gone. Just MHO.

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  • Can he do that? Can the nephew to the sisters who's mother is dead demand these things be done? What can be done to code him out

    My mother passed away. She did not have a will. She left 5 girls and one grandson from the deceased brother. The grandson is demanding keys to all of the properties and the car. One of the daughters was already on the insurance and is presently p...

    Carol’s Answer

    First off, NONE of you has the right to do what you are doing. The estate MUST first go through probate in SC under intestate succession. You don't mention if your mother had a surviving spouse? If so, he gets 50%, if not, the property will be split evenly between the surviving children and the grandchild by representation. That means that he gets his deceased father's share and splits it with any siblings he has. Hire a good local probate attorney to help you sort through this.

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  • I have a property given to my in an estate that I can not sell. When does it go to the state and who pays the back taxes?

    real estate in florida that will not sell

    Carol’s Answer

    You don't state why you can't sell the property, so I won't address that. If back taxes are owed, the county will either issue a tax certificate to anyone who is willing to buy it, after proper notice to the current owner(s) (you), or foreclose their lien on the property to pay off the taxes. Either way, you will lose the property if you don't contest. In both cases, the back taxes are paid by the holder of the tax certificate or the purchaser of the tax deed at a tax deed forclosure - not you. If you WANT to redeem the property you can do so buy paying off the lien or paying the certificate holder (plus interest).

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  • My sibling held a POA on parents account and helped herself to funds after mom passed.

    My sibling obtained POA on my mothers bank account a day prior to my mothers passing. My sibling paid a few bills from my moms account and pocketed $2,000 for herself within a week of my mothers passing. I am disgusted by this simply because it is...

    Carol’s Answer

    I am very sorry for your Mom's passing, and the situation created by your sister. However, for the sake of family unity, have you considered speaking with her privately about the situation, pointing out that everything paid from the account (by her) following your mother's death was illegal and requiring her to pay the money she "gave" herself back to your Mom's estate? All you really want is for her to recognize the error of her ways, correct? I think your children are correct in that it shouldn't end up in court - but, you may want to set her straight on the law and require she comply.

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