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Thomas Glenn Martin
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Thomas Martin’s Answers

82 total


  • Declaration of Trust

    Does my father have to inform his wife if he wishes to change his medical power of attorney which is a daughter? The declaration of trust is in both names.

    Thomas’s Answer

    The medical power of attorney and declaration of trust are 2 separate documents with different objectives. The daughter is the agent on the power of attorney or a trustee for the trust? Who is currently the agent? Is your father competent? Is your father and his wife separated? The trust is in both of whose names? Is your father hospitalized? Why does he currently need a medical power of attorney? Why does he want to change it?

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  • Future mother-in-laws debt

    My fiance's mother owns a house and 3 rental properties. She has refinanced many times and is currently upside down on her properties because of decreasing home values. My fiance is a beneficiary of hers. Will he absorb her debt if she passes away?

    Thomas’s Answer

    I concur.

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  • Accounting of a trust.

    I have three children who are named in a trust from my ex-wife who passed away. Two of my kids are of majority age but not yet 25, the age at which they will receive there portion of the trust. 1) My kids want a full accounting of the trust. 2) ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I concur. The beneficiaries are entitled to an accounting and a copy of the trust. Failure to comply with this reasonable request could open the trustee to a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. You should retain a qualified attorney to help you with this matter.

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  • Living trust preparation

    Can someone advice on the most cost efficetive means os getting a living trust prepared

    Thomas’s Answer

    The cheapest way is to find a free form online or by a form at a stationery store. It may be the most expensive in the long run if you make mistakes or the form doesn't really fit your situation. The next least expensive is a website like LegalZoom, but they can't offer you legal advice, just customize the form with the information you provide. The next step is to hire an attorney and make sure the job gets done right. Bottom line: you pay either up front or down the line. Sometimes choosing the least expensive option up front can lead to future costs you didn't anticipate.

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  • Can a lawyer prepare a will or living trust for someone in CA if the lawyer is not licensed in CA

    Can a lawyer prepare a will or living trust (via phone or email) for someone in California if they are not licensed in the state of California?

    Thomas’s Answer

    No, this is considered the unauthorized practice of law. An attorney must be licensed in California to prepare a will or living trust or give advice regarding the same in California. It doesn't matter that the preparation or advice is by email or telephone.

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  • Will changed after Alzheimer's diagnosis

    My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my stepmom changed their will afterward. How can my dad be deemed "of sound mind" after such diagnosis? My father has since passed away. Can the will be challenged because of my dad's Alzheimer's even t...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Yes, I believe you have a basis for challenging the will. How was it changed?

    DISCLAIMER: The information in and this communication are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or my law firm. The information in this communication is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon the information in this communication. You understand that this communication is not confidential and is not subject to attorney-client privilege.

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  • Probate for personal property in California

    My dad died without placing bank account into trust set up by both parents.$335K He died B4 collecting inheritance.$230K Mom went to attorney who has done work in past & he says these must be probated but did not offer her option (do it yourself...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I concur with Janet. This is the kind of thing that gives the public a bad impression of attorneys in general.

    However, some of your assumptions are incorrect.

    First, the money in the bank account doesn't automatically revert to the spouse. The account would have to have been titled appropriately (i.e., jointly or with Pay on Death or Transfer on Death designations) to pass from your father to your mother on his passing. The law and institutions put these hurdles in place to ensure that the right people get the money.

    Second, if assets are inherited once does not mean they never have to be probated again. For example, if a father owns a house and dies without a will or trust, the house needs to be probated to pass to his only son. If the only son dies without a will or trust, the house needs to be probated again to pass to his only son and so on. Probate is a legal process for clearing title so it needs to be done at each death.

    Please make sure your mom consults with another probate attorney immediately and gets some straight answers to your questions. Good luck.

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  • How do I begin probate in NY state if my mother died intestate

    Mom died intestate and I am only child, there is no spouse, in NY State. How do I claim her bank account which is only in er name? How do I claim stock certificates and missing stock certificates? How do I claim life insurance policies? Seel c...

    Thomas’s Answer

    In California, for an estate under $100,000 in non-real estate assets, there is a summary process to transfer ownership. Also, accounts with transfer on death or pay on death designations would not be included in the estate subject to probate. I'm not sure if this is the case in New York or not. You need to retain a qualified New York probate attorney to answer these questions. Perhaps a NY attorney on AVVO will respond. Good luck.

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  • Selling a house under fair market value in a Living Trust.

    If a trustee sold a house in the living trust for under fair market value by $ 75,000.00 and the proceeds of the house was going to go to one of the beneficiary's of the Trust. Can the Trustee be responsible for not selling the house for actual...

    Thomas’s Answer

    The short answer is: possibly. A trustee had a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to preserve and maintain assets. You should contact a qualified probate and trust attorney to look into this matter for you.

    DISCLAIMER: The information in and this communication are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or my law firm. The information in this communication is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon the information in this communication. You understand that this communication is not confidential and is not subject to attorney-client privilege.

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  • If my husband and I have lived apart do I need to get a power of attorney to handle his affairs, he is ill

    My husband and I have maintained separate residences for the last 10 years. Recently he's fallen ill, and has been hospitalized, so I have in the last 3 weeks, had to step in and manage his affairs, including his business. In addition to a durabl...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I would be happy to discuss your options with you. I am located in Long Beach and my practice is concentrated on wills, trusts and probate.

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