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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,186 total


  • What action(s) should I take to legally protect myself & other siblings, before he moves into the home?

    I just inherited my father's Florida home. I have 4 siblings. My father put my name only on the deed with the understanding that I would sell the property. I would then divide the profit evenly among the 5 of us. My situation is that 3 of my sibli...

    Carol’s Answer

    You need to abide by your father's wishes. You can sell the property to your sibling by getting a fair market appraisal and then offering it to him for the fair market appraisal, minus his share of the proceeds. You have to understand that once your brother moves in, it is much more difficult and expensive to remove him. Sell him the house, or insist that he stay elsewhere. This is the prime time for selling a home - you need to either sell it to your brother or get it on the market. Indecision will reduce your profits.

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  • Can I sell this house that is held in a revocable trust in SC and purchase a house in NC....keeping it in the trust?

    I am the trustee for my Dads revocable trust. He passed 2 years ago. I lived with him the last few years in his house in SC. It was part of his trust. I can buy or sell property etc according to the trust. If I sell this house, can I purchase anot...

    Carol’s Answer

    Your Dad's trust will contain the answer to your questions. Unless the trust specifically prohibits purchase of property in another state, and I can't imagine why it would, if it allows the Trustee to sell, buy, or transfer property then you should be able to do all those things - wherever the property may be located.

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  • Can you reopen probate?

    Attorney closed probate, no creditors found. No will, split per Fl law. Now he has sent a letter demanding payment for a home equity loan my stepmother has paid off. She has a life estate on the home and I inherit it when she passes. He never ...

    Carol’s Answer

    This is a variation on the question you asked earlier today. See my answer to that. This question is more confusing, but, regardless, the fact that your stepmom is living with another man has little (if anything) to do with her claim for repayment of the mortgage - which is, itself, questionable.

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  • Need closing attorney to buy a property in myrtle beach? What is a great price?

    Do I need to have an attorney in South Carolina to do a real estate closing? Can't the title company handle everything? If no what is a good price?

    Carol’s Answer

    No, title companies cannot handle closings without having an unaffiliated attorney represent the party to the transaction. It is considered the unlicensed practice of law in SC. Your realtor should be able to provide you with a list of real property attorneys in Myrtle Beach - call a few and ask what they charge and if they are available for the time of closing.

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  • Can I get the deed revoked ?

    I witnessed a warranty deed. The grantor died 9 days later. Can I ask for a revocation as I feel the grantor was not thinking clearly? I am the PR for probation.

    Carol’s Answer

    Unlikely. The reason I disagree with my colleague is that the time that you witnessed the deed is the time to have challenged the Grantor's competence - not after s/he has passed and cannot appear as a witness. Why would you sign as a witness if you thought the Grantor was "not thinking clearly?" Also, if the deed was to a bona fide purchaser for value the voidability of the deed is very limited.

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  • Will a judge re-open probate and change the issues already decided?

    Father died intestate, left 2nd wife with no property in her name, only in his name. My disabled bother and I are heirs. Probate ended 1yr ago. Father's home had home equity loan on it, 50,000. Dad used that loan to buy toys, the home was paid off...

    Carol’s Answer

    She (and, presumably, her attorney) are incorrect. In Florida, case law has the life tenant (here, the widow) responsible for paying the maintenance and upkeep on the home, the insurance and taxes, the HOA fees, and the interest on the mortgage - leaving the remaindermen (you and your sibling) on the hook for the principal payments on the Note. So, either she is lying or she is being misled by her attorney. The interest portion of the mortgage payment is payable by her. Technically, she can sue for the amount of principal that she has paid on the mortgage - but not the interest. Hire your own attorney to combat this.

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  • Does the Title company have the right to hold back the agreed disbursements of the Escrow Deposit?

    Escrow Deposit held by Title Company. Buyer allowed contract to expire. Buyer and Seller agreed to split the deposit. Title company refused to disburse because they said that the deposit was a GIFT from the buyer's son and was wired to Title Co...

    Carol’s Answer

    You are correct, but as my esteemed colleague has stated, it is simpler to just have the son sign the required doc and be done with it. It is called CYA and it is the escrow companies means of staying out of any liability for the gifted funds.

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  • My father passed away recently and left a bank account with me as POD almost $50,000. Do I pay taxes on this and the effects?

    My father left bank account with almost $50,000 in it and I was named as beneficiary on the payable on death account. Will I have to pay taxes on this money and how does the inheritance taxes work in south carolina? I am currently receiving SSDI...

    Carol’s Answer

    The POD made the money yours as soon as your father passed. You cannot disclaim it - Medicaid has a five-year look-back and they won't take kindly to such a disclaimer. SC does allow you to "spend down" excess assets within limitation, or the money can be put into a special needs trust with a Medicaid pay-back provision. Your SSDI shouldn't be affected as it is not means-tested, but your Medicaid definitely will. Seek the advice of a local special needs attorney to set up a proper trust for the money. Do it soon! SSA only allows you a calendar month to properly rid yourself of the excess funds.

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  • Can I get what's mine? After my Father passed

    My mother & father were married 5 yrs & Separated 44 yrs Never Divorced we lived in NJ & my Father moved to Fl. with his girlfriend 10 yrs ago he has 2 older kids with her (she has passed) and So is my Mom. I also have another 1/2 brother from my ...

    Carol’s Answer

    While I agree with all my colleagues - that you should hire an attorney, you also may be in for a surprise; life insurance policies pass to the named beneficiaries, which would be the only way they could get that money, otherwise, if no one named survives, it goes to the estate of the deceased. Bank accounts and land can also pass outside of probate if it is a joint account with survivorship. To figure this all out, you may have to open probate for your dad's estate, which will allow you to recover what (if anything) was wrongfully taken.

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  • Can they force me to sign a lease? In Palm Beach County you have to register the lease with the county.

    I own a property in Boynton Beach, Fl with a HOA that requires tenant approval and background check, I recently had a nephew move in from out of state to go to college, he is not a tenant, we do not have a rental agreement nor I collect anything f...

    Carol’s Answer

    Most likely the answer to whether or not they can "force" you to sign a lease with your nephew is "no," but it really depends on the rules and regulations governing your community. Many communities in FL will allow for house guests for a limited period of time, but don't want relatives (excepting immediate family members) setting down roots without proper screening. As mentioned, check your docs and see what they say. It is not unusual for Association directors to not fully understand the regulations themselves.

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