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Philip Palmer Lindsley
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Philip Lindsley’s Answers

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  • I would like to write my own will.I don't have a large estate. I have a condo that is worth about 225,000.00. I live in Calif

    I don't want my daughter or any family to get anything I have. I would like to leave everything I have to a animal shelter. Is there forms I get from the shelter ? Thank You Cynthia Terry

    Philip’s Answer

    I would strongly suggest that you do not try and do that yourself. Particularly since you want a result that someone else may wish to challenge someday. Why give them the opportunity? Have it done by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in your area. The shelter, I can almost guarantee, will want you to see an attorney as well, and make sure it is done right.

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  • Does it make any difference if trust is irrevocable, or revocable, to successor trustee, as far as selling assets, for himself,

    Successor trustee sold assets from family trust, and has payments from assets going to him, in his name, not back into a trust account, it that legal?

    Philip’s Answer

    What a trustee can and cannot do managing trust assets is controlled by the trust's terms and state law. The fact of revocability or irrevocability typically does not change the powers of the trustee. As to your second question, if an asset is still in the name of the trust and generating income, it is the property of the trust. If you are the sole beneficiary of the trust, this may not matter. If you are not the sole beneficiary, it surely does. You should consult with an attorney in your area familiar with trust administration. There are many things beyond the questions you ask you should be aware of to keep you, as trustee, safe.

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  • Are there programs to assist elderly with funds to assist with assisted living facility rent.

    An elderly woman with mild dementia is running out of funds and may need to move to a less expensive care facility. She gets SS and her federal retirement. No assets or long term insurance. She has Medicare and Blue Cross. I am her POA and need to...

    Philip’s Answer

    In San Diego, there are many facilities that take the Medi-Cal Assisted Living Waiver (ALW). A Certified Elder Law Attorney should be aware of the program, and any other benefits she might be eligible for. If she is not currently eligible, they can help you explore if there are steps you could take to become eligible.

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  • Will with no executor?

    Two questions: 1) if a will is created where a parent wills all their assets to their only child, but no executor is named in the will, is the will still valid? 2) Is a will required to be notarized?

    Philip’s Answer

    A will is not made invalid by failing to name an executor. You can still petition to admit the will to probate, and you would be appointed as the "administrator with will annexed" instead of the executor. Your powers and the process would be identical. For you, it is a distinction without a difference. Also, an experienced probate attorney can tell you if you are eligible for any of the "summary" probate proceedings. Time and $ to be saved it you are. As to your second question, no...a will is not required to be notarized. I suggested you see an attorney in your area who is a Certified Probate, Trusts and Estate Specialist. For a Probate, your cost in fees is set by the law, and the most experience attorney will cost you no more than the least., Best Regards!

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  • Can a lottery winner remain anonymous or are there other ways to claim a prize without using your legal name?

    I understand that the state of California requires that the name of any lottery winner be made public, however, are there any other ways that one can claim a lottery prize without using their personal name such as claiming the prize in the name of...

    Philip’s Answer

    There are a few states that allow anonymous winners...but unfortunately, California is not one of them. However, if you are trying to avoid the appearance of control and management of the winnings to provide some talking points in dealing with family and old "friends," there are some estate planning tools you can use. See an experienced Estate planning attorney in your area.

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  • Will my fathers will from Maryland be recognized in California?

    My father was living in Maryland where he made his Last Will and Testament, medical directive, and power of attorney. He has since moved to California. He is being told that if he is to pass in California. his trust will go into probate and none o...

    Philip’s Answer

    The MD documents will be recognized in CA. However, if Long Term Care is a possibility, he might want to check on whether or not his plan provides for the flexibility for using the asset preservation techniques allowed in CA. Our Medicaid/Medi-Cal rules are different here, and he may not have all the tools in the MD plan that are helpful here in CA. .

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  • Need Medi-cal for long term care of Father in law. Asset ownership and responsibility in question. Please help.

    My father in law is in a tough situation. He has been battling alcoholism for years and it finally caught up to him. Currently he is being treated in the hospital and he will need to be placed in a skilled nursing home facility and then assisted l...

    Philip’s Answer

    We hear a lot of stories like that. The Long Term Care Medi-Cal program is unlike any other Medi-Cal program, with much more liberal eligibility rules. Do not assume he would not qualify until you have spoken with a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). His income is irrelevant to eligibility for this program, though it might result in a "share of cost" he has to pay. Still, that, in a worst case scenario, would be less than his income. That's a lot better than private paying or trying to do the job at home when he needs a level of care you cannot provide there. There also are exceptions to the recovery rules, and effective strategies to avoid recovery. Again, call a CELA in your county.

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  • Who is next of kin of a deceased unmarried man with adult children and no will or power of attorney?

    My father passed away a few days ago. My grandmother came here from another state about a month ago to help care for my father and has been making all the decisions for him and not advising me or any of my siblings of any info. He has no valuables...

    Philip’s Answer

    His children in equal shares. If any of your siblings ( his children) predeceased him, and left any children (your nieces and nephews) those children take the share of your deceased sibling, divided between/among themselves.

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  • Can my deceased mom who died after her dad still get her inheritance from his estate?

    My grandfather passed away in 1992 and we are just now settling his estate. My mom who is listed as one of the beneficiaries died in 2008 so her portion will go to her estate however I am being told by my cousin who is handling the estate that th...

    Philip’s Answer

    It will depend on what the trust, or if there is no trust, what the will says. Typically, the distributive share of a pre-deceased beneficiary goes to their heirs...which would be you and your siblings, if any. If there is no trust or will and it is an intestate estate (no estate planning documents), that is definitely what happens...at least in California. I'm also not sure from your facts where this estate is being probated...but you should seek the advice of an attorney in that location. You might also call the attorney who represents your cousin. Your cousin may simply misunderstand, and the attorney can set them straight, If your cousin does not have an attorney, and is attempting to represent themselves, then it is even more important to see an attorney to protect what may be an inheritance for you from being mishandled through lack of understanding.

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  • Another question regarding my husbands facility.

    I am my husbands POA, I gave a copy of the paper to one of the girls the other night. She looked at it and couldnt understand it. but said she would give it to the administrator.Now it is going on day 4 with no response from anyone there. The othe...

    Philip’s Answer

    I am assuming that this is a Health Care Power of Attorney, and that it is clear that your husband lacks any capacity to make any health care decisions himself. If that is the case, I would send a letter to the administrator of the facility, and any outside agencies providing services, enclosing the power of attorney, and documenting your difficulty in getting compliance and cooperation. Say you are trying to clear this up directly with them prior to filing any complaints. If this doesn't work, your next step varies on whether this is a skilled nursing or assisted living facility. Either should have information on premises about the procedure for filing complaints. If this doesn't resolve the issue, seek the advice of an elder law attorney.

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