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CL Huddleston III
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CL Huddleston’s Answers

1,412 total


  • Can a durable POA sign a transfer on death designation affidavit?

    My mother-in-law was very ill and unable to draft a will. Instead she expressed her wishes to transfer 2 of her 3 properties to her son (my husband) and 1 to his sister. I signed them as her POA as she was unable to sign in her condition. Can h...

    CL’s Answer

    It is unclear from you description what you did, or what you are considering doing. You say you signed "them" but you don't say what "them" was ... deeds, a TOD affidavit or a Will. The power of attorney is effective only during lifetime. The agent has no power after death. If you executed deeds prior to her death, they must be correct and executed with proper deed formalities. Because you acted primarily for the benefit of your husband, your actions would be viewed with suspicion by a court if the actions were challenged. Ultimately, whether you have any difficulties or not will depend on whether you actions are challenged by any other next of kin or prospective inheritor. If you did all this by yourself without assistance of knowledgeable counsel, your odds of success are diminished. Given the amount at issue, you would be foolish not to consult with a knowledgeable real estate and/or probate attorney.

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  • Can I sue my dad for my grandfather's estate? How can I become the new administer of his estate?

    My grandfather passed away without a will and my dad was his guardian before he died. ( courts ruled him incompetent) My dad was getting a monthly allowance (money to take of grandad) that I believe he blew on drugs and his new and crazy girlfrie...

    CL’s Answer

    You need to waste no time in consulting with an expert probate attorney. If your father is as messed up as you suggest, and your grandfather had no Will, it may be that you could be appointed as Administrator of grandfather's estate. If he was a prominent accountant in the community, the "politics" of representation get more complicated, and it may be better for you to consult an attorney who is not from the community where your grandfather was in business. There is no solid suggestions that any of us can give you except to spend a few hundred dollars to consult with an expert who can help analyze your situation and explain your options.

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  • Commercial property put in a land trust?

    I would like to put a land trust on a commercial property I own. How can I do this? Do I need a lawyer or is there a form I can obtain on my own? I would like to protect the property.

    CL’s Answer

    I do not know if you are the same person who asked a question about placing a residence in a "land trust", but my answer to that question is similar to this one. What exactly are you trying to accomplish and from whom are you trying to protect it? Asset protection trusts are among the most complex (and dangerous) of trusts, and should only be drafted by knowledgeable attorneys who have experience in doing them. I don't make too many absolute statements, but in this case I will make an exception: If anyone, including an attorney, prepares an asset protection trust for himself or herself, it will create more trouble than it is worth and will almost certainly fail.

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  • Land trust

    How can I put my house in a land trust so that nobody can touch it? I own the house free and clear, but want to protect it.

    CL’s Answer

    The short answer is yes, but there are many other questions. The first questions are why you want to do it and about whom are you worried? Spouse, children, business creditors, banks, auto accidents? Depending on the value of the house it may already be protected from creditors. A couple years ago Ohio passed a law protecting the value of a primary residence from creditors up to a value of $125,000 plus inflation. If you have a $250,000 house with a $125,000 mortgage, or a $125,000 house with no mortgage, it is protected from creditors as a matter of Ohio law. If you are married and own your house jointly, the protection is 2x$125,000 plus inflation. It is possible to place a residence in an Ohio Legacy Trust, but the practitioners who specialize in that type of trust usually charge a minimum of $15,000 to do the legal work, and there are rules you may not wish to accept. If you have concerns about asset protection generally, you should consult with an expert estate planning lawyer who understands all the nuances of asset protection planning.

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  • If I signed a waiver allowing someone to be executor of an estate & I change my mind & do contest it, what options do I have?

    I signed a waiver allowing 2 of my brothers to act as the executor of my fathers estate. It has since come to light they intend to disregard my father's wishes and I no longer agree with them being the exexutors. Am I able to withdrawal my waiver ...

    CL’s Answer

    If you signed the waiver only a week ago, the court has probably not yet made the appointment. If that is the case, you can withdraw your consent and challenge their appointment. You do not have one day to lose, however, as seeking their removal once appointed is a bigger challenge than blocking an appointment in the first instance. You are going to need a knowledgeable probate lawyer to help you with this, and any type of contest work in any type of court is costly.

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  • What are my daughter and grandchildrens' rights?

    My son-in-law and daughter have been living apart, not divorced for the past three years and my son-in-law died unexpectedly, this morning. He was living with the same woman for the past three years. My son -in- law did not have a will. His only p...

    CL’s Answer

    The law gives rights to surviving spouses and does not give any rights (except maybe the rights of a tenant if he owned the house where they are living). There are no shortcut or self-help options here. Your daughter needs an expert probate attorney immediately to try to help prevent the girlfriend from absconding with your son-in-law's property. Your daughter needs to apply to the court to be appointed Administrator of his estate. She is entitled to his two vehicles as a matter of law and to the first $40,000 in value of his estate, so if all he has is personal property and that property is not worth more than $40,000, your daughter should be entitled to it all ... but she must take the legal steps to enforce her rights.

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  • Question about deceased father as coborrower on a mortgage

    I have a mortgage in which my Dad is listed as the co-borrower. He has been deceased since 2011 and I was the executor and beneficiary of his will. I recently had hail damage to my house and filed a claim with my insurance company. They paid ...

    CL’s Answer

    My answer here assumes the estate has been completed and closed. If all the money is going to the Contractor, you can probably just endorse the check with your signature, another signature as "John Doe, Executor of estate of Dad Doe" and the Contractor can then deposit the check in his account. This should work fine. If all the money is not going to the contractor and if you are on good terms with and completely trust the contractor, you can do the same and the contractor can write you a check for the amount to which the contractor is not entitled. If the contractor has been paid, you can try getting the contractor's endorsement, adding your own endorsement as executor of your father's estate and try to deposit it into your own account. If those steps don't work, you may need to re-open the estate and get whatever court order is necessary to allow the check to be deposited where it needs to be deposited. (Presumably, the mortgage company is not exercising its due on sale clause and call the note, forcing you to refinance).

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  • How do I get a land deed from a deceased relative? And what is a quiet title?

    I had a relative that died in 1915 and owned several acres of land. Apparently there is a 5 acre plot that the auditor has no records of since his time of death. No taxes being charged on it either. Someone else has purchased 60 acres of land a...

    CL’s Answer

    You need a real estate title attorney to advise you. It is possible you may be able to find out in the Probate Court if there was a Will and if the estate was probated back in 1915, but eventually you will almost certainly need to file an Action to Quiet Title, requiring the services of a specialist attorney who does this type of work. If it were me, I would contact title companies in the county where the land is located and see if they can refer you to someone who does such lawsuits in that county. You may also want to re-post your question in the "Real Estate" section of Avvo.

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  • Can I legally be evicted from my home while living under a verbal agreement?

    My sister's "boyfriend" or client, came from Kansas to Ohio for the sole purpose of saving my 77 year old mother from losing the home she had owned for almost 50 years to a sheriff sale. We had no idea she was in the early stages of dementia n had...

    CL’s Answer

    This is far too complicated a situation for anyone on this site to provide you with any meaningful guidance other than to contact an expert landlord/tenant attorney. Generally, however, real estate is governed by documents, not by verbal promises. Documents are enforceable, verbal promises are not. Ohio landlord-tenant law provides your mother with some protection, but eventually the owner will be able to evict her. If you or she has been served with eviction papers, you need to take it to a landlord tenant attorney without delay, because you will be ordered out sooner than later. A good tenant's rights attorney can buy you and your mother additional time. I am re-posting your question under the Landlord/Tenant section of Avvo.

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  • I am fired as a co-executor and my sister who was the other co-executor just died can the court take money from my bank?

    My sister just died and since she did not file the paper work for the probate case we have been fired as executors. I want to make sure I don't get in any trouble over this. I can't afford a lawyer at this time. I live in a different state than my...

    CL’s Answer

    We would need more information to give you a better answer, but as Executors you can be liable to the heirs for any decrease in value or loss that may have occurred because you did not perform the duties required of an Executor. If the two of you are the only beneficiaries under the Will and if there are no creditors, there is no one else who can be harmed by your failures, and while a court might be able to find you in contempt, it is extremely unlikely. If, however, there are other beneficiaries under the Will and if your failure has caused loss to them, you can be personally liable. I am curious how you came to be appointed as Executor in another state without the help of a lawyer, but in any event, Executors do not need to pay lawyers; the lawyer gets paid from estate assets at the conclusion of the estate administration, and the lawyer's job is to protect the Executors by making sure they do what they are supposed to do. At a minimum, you and your sister need to purchase an hour or two of expert probate attorney time in the county and state where the estate is filed and let the lawyer tell you if you have any problem and if so, whether or not there is anything you can do about it. For others who may be reading this, one should NEVER serve as Executor of an estate that has creditors or other beneficiaries without obtaining the services of an expert probate lawyer.

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