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Ruth Elaine McMahon

Ruth McMahon’s Answers

4,154 total


  • Will, Power of Attorney and health care surrogate documents for adult with down syndrome

    I have a Adult sister with down syndrome and i am interested in getting a Will, health care surrogate and power of attorney so i can help manage her affairs. Does the fact that she has this developmental issue create a problem in this regard? Am ...

    Ruth’s Answer

    Please consult an estate planning attorney. Your sister has to be able to understand and sign a health care surrogate and POA. Your will must be set up so that $ for your sister do not disqualify her from government benefits. A "Guardian Advocate" may be your best solution if your sister is unable to sign documents.

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  • How does one set up a self-settled Special Needs Trust and is there a way for the beneficiary (me) to do it myself?

    I'm physically disabled (from complications of a later discovered endocrine disorder) but mentally sound. I receive SSDI but am still under the poverty level so I get needs based Part B and D Medicare assistance. I don't have nor am I expecting ...

    Ruth’s Answer

    Setting up a Special Needs Trust is not a do-it-yourself project. And, you could not be trustee. Please consult an elder law attorney who sets up special needs trusts. There are other ways to handle a situation like this.

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  • Can a beneficiary disclaim an inheritance and turn the money back to the annuitant?

    6 years ago my mother received a large sum of money from her brother. She put $250,000 in a 20 yr annuity and I have been collecting the interest as annuitant and it would pass to me and when I died it would pass to my kids. My mother passed o...

    Ruth’s Answer

    Someone who disclaims cannot designate who gets the money. Please take the documents to a qualified estate attorney. If the financial advisor is "at fault" there are things that you will be able to do.

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  • Can i get my common law husbands Harley Davidson back?

    He passed away in 2015, I knew they would have a probate but all they dealt with was his land he is a member of a recognized tribe the friend took the title & forged it

    Ruth’s Answer

    Since the decedent was your common law husband, you have no rights to his property.

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  • How do I put land in my name upon my fathers passing. My grand mother set up a trust for my father with a 40 acre parcel.

    This 40 acre parcel in the trust my grandmother setup for my dad before she passed states that the 40 acre parcel with go to his children upon passing. My 3 siblings have all signed agreements and notarized the agreement that I get there interest ...

    Ruth’s Answer

    This is not a do-it-yourself project. Retain an attorney in the state where the property is located to prepare the proper documents.

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  • How far back or how long do you have to look for an un-named heir before you can distribute to the other beneficiaries.

    I'm a successor trustee. My friend never married and I have no knowledge of any Belgium relatives. He stated that he had outlived everyone. There are 4 named beneficiaries in his Trust. I am advised to do a search for relatives in Belgium. What ...

    Ruth’s Answer

    I don't understand why you should look for relatives if the trust names the beneficiaries that your friend wanted. If all of the assets are in the trust, there are no assets to probate. Only in probate would you look for un named heirs. consult a CA estate attorney re: the difference between probate and trust administration. So long as beneficiaries are named, there should be no need to look for others.

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  • Is it too late to file a disclaimer?

    My husband died early last year without a will and left a house along with money in his bank accounts. I fell into depression with his departure so I wasn't able to take any step in a timely manner. I have understood that I'm not late in taking ov...

    Ruth’s Answer

    In order to file a disclaimer, you must meet all of the requirements under CA law, so it is important for you to meet with a qualified CA estate attorney. In order to be a "qualified" disclaimer for tax purposes, it must be filed within 9 months of your husband's death. "Qualified," as used here means "tax free." You will not be able to make tax free gifts by filing a disclaimer. You can always give your children gifts, but the amount of those gifts will be charged against your lifetime tax exemption of $5,450,000. Your estate attorney can advise you about alternatives.

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  • My aunt passed away intestate and my estranged uncle has petitioned to become administrator without limitations what are my righ

    I wanted to know what my rights were as a beneficiary. My uncle has petitioned to become the administrator without limitations. Long story short, the day of death 2 months ago my estranged uncle took it upon himself to change the locks on my aun...

    Ruth’s Answer

    If there is no will, it will be important for you to discuss this matter with a local estate attorney. The estate will pass according to NY law. Are there other potential beneficiaries? Did your aunt have children? Did your aunt have brothers and sisters? The estate attorney will be able to advise you of your rights..

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  • As a durable and medical power of attorney for my father, what rights do I have?

    My father is currently is the beginning stages of dementia and has had 2 heart episodes within a 4 month period. My sister is a nurse and made the decision, without consulting me, that she would take him home with her and keep him there. She also ...

    Ruth’s Answer

    Some POAs take effect immediately; some do not. Please take a copy of your POAs to an estate attorney so that he/she can advise you of your rights under the documents.

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