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Dwight Edward Tompkins

Dwight Tompkins’s Answers

48 total

  • What happens to my mothers mineral rights now that she has passed?

    My mother lived and died in Louisiana. She owns mineral rights in Oklahoma. She did have a will but didn't mention the mineral rights however we always knew of them. What do we do to receive those mineral rights? Does this require a succession?

    Dwight’s Answer

    The will does not have to expressly mention the mineral rights. Usually in the will there is a general statement that says something like "all of the rest of my estate shall be distributed to..." The mineral rights and all other properties, money, and assets not mentioned directly in the will are part of what lawyers call the residuary estate, and the beneficiaries named in the general statement about "all the rest of my estate..." are often referred to as the residuary beneficiaries.

    The will may need to be probated for the beneficiaries to receive the mineral rights. Because your mother was a resident of Louisiana, the probate case should take place there. I would seek out the counsel of qualified probate attorney in Louisiana, at least for an initial consultation to determine if a probate case is necessary. There may be a small estate procedure that would allow the family to receive ownership of the mineral rights without a full probate case.

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  • How do I go about finding a lawyer that is aggressive. My situatiion is a probate problem. My sister took all my mother's money

    before she had passed. Now she has only put a mls listing on the house. She is not showing it and now she has her daughter living in the house. If she is paying rent that's fine but who but my sister is in charger of the money that comes in. If sh...

    Dwight’s Answer

    You should be looking for an attorney who specializes or has a major focus in "contested probate" or "probate litigation". Many attorneys handle general probate cases, but you are looking for a lawyer who frequently takes on "contested probate" cases.

    Google those key words and the city and state where the case will take place. Look for a county bar association in the area where the case will be based. Many bar associations have referral services.

    When you talk to the potential attorneys, ask for a recommendation by a former client. Ask about their experience with cases like yours. Ask them to give you a specifically example, and ask what was the outcome.

    Be respectful but ask lots of questions.

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  • I'm looking for an attorney who specializes in wills and estates and disputes regarding those in Yolo County, CA

    My Dad died and my older sister called and asked me for my SS# and gave me a very nonspecific and vague reason for wanting it. 8 years later I found out my mother used it without my knowledge or consent to set me up with a trust fund, controlled ...

    Dwight’s Answer

    In addition to a search of this site, you should call or google the Yolo County Bar Association and ask for the referral service to locate a qualified attorney in Yolo County.

    Good luck.

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  • My father passed away last September and I am trustee of his estate which includes only his home - no other assets. I am also

    beneficiary along with my sister. Since my father passed, I have been taking care of the house, paying bills associated with its upkeep and clearing the house getting it ready for eventual sale. Am I entitled to a trustee fee for any of these dut...

    Dwight’s Answer

    The first place to look is in the trust document itself, in the sections dealing with the trustee. There may be a provision for compensation of the trustee. It may be stated as a percentage, or it may say that the trustee is entitled to "reasonable compensation". In California, reasonable compensation ranges from about 1% to 2.5% annually.

    If the trust is silent, you are entitled to "reasonable compensation" (California Probate Code Sec. 15681)

    You are also entitled to reimbursement for any expenses you have personally paid (Prob. Code Sec. 15693).

    Whether you should actually take compensation is a tax question, because you are taxed on trustee compensation as income.

    Because you are a beneficiary it may be more advantageous to waive compensation and just take a distribution as a beneficiary which is not subject to income tax.

    I would be glad to discuss this and other issues with you. There are some tax considerations in the sale of the property that you should also take into consideration -- My website info is provided....

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  • I need some legal advice concerning my dead fathers will.

    My father past away Nov. 14th 2009 and his will left me everything including his home that he purchased a couple of months before his death. How do I go about getting it put in my name. I am paying the morgage payment each month and have moved in ...

    Dwight’s Answer

    You should look for a probate attorney in the area where your father resided, as the venue and jurisdiction for the probate of his Will is the County and State where he resided. You can google probate attorney and the name of the City and State; or call information for that area and find the County Bar Association. The County Bar Association should be able to refer you to qualified attorneys.

    Unless you have the time and skill to handle a probate on your own, you should have legal counsel to advise and represent you and the estate. Here in California, attorneys are paid from the estate itself at the end of the probate case, therefore the executor does not have to pay the attorney directly. The State where your father lived is probably very similar.

    Many attorneys will give you a free initial meeting to discuss the case. You can ask about fees and costs at that meeting.

    Finally, make sure you a written fee agreement with the attorney. If the attorney does not want to provide you with a written agreement, go look for another attorney.

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  • Are Estate IRA's subject to probate

    My mother left my sister and I an ira separate from the rest of her family(brother and grandchildren).

    Dwight’s Answer

    IRAs are not usually subject to probate, because the IRA owner has the ability to name death beneficiaries, both primary and secondary. Those death benefits are claimed and paid much like life insurance. The problem arises when the IRA owner fails to name death beneficiaries on their IRA.

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  • Transfer of a tenancy in common after death

    I am the executor of my mother's estate. She owned property as a tenant in common with her sister. My brother and I are the heirs listed in my mother's will. I'm curious to how the process works concerning the transfer of the tenancy in common ...

    Dwight’s Answer

    The portion of your mother's interest in the property is an asset of her probate estate. The will should be filed with the court in the probate proceeding of your mother's estate. The court will ultimately order a distribution of the estate according to the will, and this usually occurs at the end of the probate case.

    Assuming there are no other heirs or beneficiaries, the court's order transferring your mother's ownership to you and your brother will be recorded like a deed; and you will become part owners with your aunt.

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  • How do I evict a family member from my home? I am elderly the person is my 50 year old son. He pays no rent and is verbally

    abusive. I have called the police several times but, have been told that there is nothing that they can do because he is my son. A few months back he asked to use my car to go to the store he didn't come back I pressed charges for unauthorized us...

    Dwight’s Answer

    I don't usually answer questions, just to agree with the attorney who has already answered the question.

    But Attorney Steve Fromm's answer is right on. You are in probable danger. His advice is correct and you should obtain North Carolina counsel right away to protect yourself.

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  • How do I word payment to executor in my will?

    executor gets payment for handling the will and estate, how do I word this

    Dwight’s Answer

    This is referred to as "compensation". As a will is probated in most states, state law often sets the compensation for the executor according to statute, as it is here in California.

    You could provide that the "executor is entitled to reasonable compensation, as provided by law" as a general statement of your wishes that the executor is compensated.

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  • When bank accounts have "payable on death" does that mean the person listed is entitled to it even if the will states different?

    My father had my sister name added to his bank accounts in case he was unable to get at his money. He did that because her husband was also the executor of the his will in case of his death. Dad passed last april and my sister layed claim to all o...

    Dwight’s Answer

    Pay On Death accounts (POD accounts) like the one you have described pass outside of probate to the named beneficiary; and the Will has no effect on such accounts.

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