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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,186 total


  • Can a depo be contested because it is pointless.

    I have probate court in broward and wondering if its possible to contest the ordered depo ordered by judge the other party lawyer got all mad because I left him a bad google comment and this case was already signed off on and I live out of state s...

    Carol’s Answer

    If there is another party, the probate is being contested. Yes, if the judge orders it you must appear to be deposed, but you don't necessarily have to travel to FL. Have your attorney file a motion for you to appear telephonically and have a notary present with you to verify your identity.

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  • Can my mom transfer her share of her joint tenancy on her house to me? She has been ruled incompetent and my sister is trustee.

    Can my mom now transfer her share of her joint tenancy on the deed to her house to me? She has been ruled incompetent and my sister has taken over as successor trustee and is the other joint tenant on the deed. The house in not in the Trust. Witho...

    Carol’s Answer

    OK - you have presented a couple of scenarios here and in your later question. If your mom was "ruled" incompetent (incapacitated), that was done during a guardianship hearing and by a judge (adjudicated). Is it limited incapacity or plenary (all civil rights removed)? Who was made the guardian? If your mom lost her right to contract and do business transactions, you will have to file a "suggestion of capacity" with the court in order to regain those rights. Notes that are not properly witnessed in Florida are meaningless. If your mom added your sister to the deed, the courts will presume it was intentionally done and will not overturn it minus clear and convincing evidence of undue influence or fraud. See an attorney.

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  • Trust can not be changed. Sister get's house. Mom requested sister sign promissory note, for fair equal. Sister won't agree.

    Sister had mom diagnosed. Dr. Said Alzheimer's. Sister per trust, became successor trustee. Sister Never told mom. I did. Trust is everything but House. Generally, trust says all is equal between all kids, but house... Sister convinced mom 9 ...

    Carol’s Answer

    Money and greed do strange things to families. It is really sad that it has come to this. This is the strongest reason for hiring an estate planning attorney early on so that wills and / or trusts can be properly drafted to the Grantor's intent. A CPA, no matter how well-intended, is not an attorney. You say "sister had Mom diagnosed" - did she file a guardianship? If so, when was that? If not, does your mom have lucid moments, or is the Alzheimer's advanced? Regardless of the reason (taxes?) your mother made your sister co-tenant with survivorship on the house, the deed has nothing to do with her estate, at this point, unless you challenge it. It sounds like she did the deed willingly even if for an invalid reason. It will be hard to overturn. Seek the advice of an estate planning attorney as to what your next steps should be.

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  • Can I force the sale of a house that I bought with a 50-50 partner?

    I purchased a house with my ex-wife as a 50% partner in an effort to have my 11-year-old son live with both parents. I realize now it has been a huge mistake. We have been here eight months and it is unbearable. What what I have to do to for...

    Carol’s Answer

    You don't say why you find it necessary to "force" the sale of the home - is your ex-wife capable of paying for the maintenance of the home on her own? If so, that may be a better solution than uprooting your 11-year-old. Yes, partition is an option, but as mentioned - an expensive one. You have court fees and typically, if the home is sold at a court-house sale, you won't get its fair market value. Best is to try to establish ground rules for living together while you put it in the hands of a Realtor for sale. You will get a better return on your investment that way.

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  • What trouble can you get in for flipping a house and not pulling permits?

    Me and two other people formed an LLC last year to purchase a house to flip. We were all equal partners in the LLC. One of us provided the money, one the management of the business side of things and the other was in charge of all aspects of the r...

    Carol’s Answer

    First off, you have lack of disclosure issues; secondly, unless you are the homeowner and intend to live in the home for at least a year before selling it, permits MUST be properly pulled. And, since permits MUST be displayed in the front yard, you cannot even say "well, we thought the permits were pulled..." as a defense. Additionally, as a colleague mentioned, inspectors MAY do an inspection after the fact, but depending on the amount and type of work that was done, that may include opening up all the walls to inspection and then redoing them. You are facing an expensive proposition. If your partner in crime has evidence of the loans he got to pay for the work on the house, he is entitled to have them reimbursed from the proceeds of the sale. He should get that without extorting it from you. That said, the owners should be told about the lack of permits - they can find out easily enough. If you take your construction partner to court for extortion, the owners of the home will find out anyway.

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  • What can I do to get her off the paperwork and put house under just my name?

    At the time I purchased my home in Florida I did not have credit and so my sister in law helped as a co-signer but I have made ALL payments on my home. I currently live in NYC but rent the home in Florida. I now want to transfer everything to my ...

    Carol’s Answer

    Is she on the deed or just on the Note?? You don't make that clear. Are you trying to refinance the loan? If so, she should be happy to do so, but it sounds like something else is going on - do you want her to sign over the deed to you while leaving her on the mortgage? I would understand her reticence to do so.

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  • If there is no valid Will, would his Common Law Spouse be able to control his estate and make final decisions or his children?

    My father is on hospice and has created a Will after starting it. He has a Common Law Spouse and Five Children (one is in prison).

    Carol’s Answer

    Your father's common law spouse (so long as they legitimately intended their relationship to form a marital union) has the same rights to your father's estate as any other spouse would have. That said, there are other issues involved in the Will, i.e., was he competent when he had it drafted? If so, was it properly executed? If not, and the will is considered invalid, then your father's estate will pass according to SC intestacy laws, which grant her 50% of the probate estate, and the remaining 50% to the kids. Realize though, the probate estate does NOT include any property which they held together as joint tenants with right of survivorship, or accounts in which she may have been a joint account-holder or his POD.

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  • Should I file a lawsuit regarding my claim against the estate?

    My significant other passed away unexpectedly. She had no will and her name was the only name on the deed to the house we shared. The estate is currently in Probate. Her children have made themselves executors of estate and have sold the house (it...

    Carol’s Answer

    You will have to immediately hire a probate litigation attorney who will file a caveat with the court naming you as a potential creditor. Having the list of items you have that proves your investment in the house will help, but know that Florida does not recognize relationships outside of marriage, which is why it is so important for partners who choose not to marry to protect each other with a will or trust.

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  • Can a bank continue to foreclose if they approved a shortsale?

    I've been approved for a HAFA shortsale with my mortgage servicer. However - my Ch 7 bk stay on my foreclosure case is about to be lifted after discharge. Can my servicer resume the foreclosure case even though there is an approved shortsale pro...

    Carol’s Answer

    All of my colleagues are correct, but there is also another aspect that enters into the picture. Differing departments in banks often do not know what is going on within the bank. So, the foreclosure department may not even be aware that the short sale is proceeding. It may be a good idea to have your attorney contact BOTH departments that are handling the foreclosure AND short sale to make sure they are on the same page. If a short-sale contract has been approved, you don't want the foreclosure occurring before the closing date!

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  • Can i live in my,home with my legal guardians

    i am a minor and lived with my dad he passed away leaving me everything he owns can i still live,in home with my grandparents who are,my legal guardians the trustee is letting my dads girlfreind live in home i moved out so i could finish school b...

    Carol’s Answer

    It is entirely possible that the trust instructions allow the GF to live there for a period of time (defined by the trust). You can live with your legal guardians, but it is important that you have an attorney represent your interests in regards to the trust. Since you are a minor, there will be a "constructive trust" for you that will become yours when you reach majority - or when directed by your father's trust. Your grandparents should review the trust with you to determine what rights you will have and what rights the GF currently has to the property.

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