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If I am the donor and sole beneficiary of a living revocable trust, shouldn't I expect to have more control to revoke my trust?: The terms of the trust say that I need permission from the disinterested trustees to revoke my trust. In fact, In the language, all basic benefits allowed to the settlor by law of a revocable living trust are prevented by this or similar clauses in the document. I had no part in the actual construction of the instrument because my family are trustees and own the trust company. I believe this Vito power creates several argument​s for invalid trust creation. I funded the trust from a payout made to me from another trust when I came of age.

Asked 21 days ago in Trusts

Scott’s answer: Most inter vivos revocable trusts also have the granters as the sole trustees. There are no estate planning benefits to having it otherwise based on the differences you describe. But it is the document you requested and executed, and without research I see no reason why you wouldn't be bound by its terms. If you feel the drafting attorney did this improperly, that is an issue you can freely litigate. You might also have the power to replace the disinterested trustee with someone more amenable to a termination. But the fundamental principals governing out modifications works against you here.

Answered 21 days ago.


How do I terminate my ex's parental rights?: A quick background: I'm in my mid 40s with a minor child and health-wise might not make it to next year. (Battling cancer.) I am trying to safeguard my child from my ex, who wants nothing to do with her. We both agree to him voluntarily giving up his parental rights. I want my mother (my child's grandmother) to be the legal guardian when I pass. How do we go ahead with terminating his rights and instating my mother as her legal guardian? Please help.

Asked 30 days ago in Estate Planning

Scott’s answer: The short answer is that a petition to terminate can be filed in family court or probate court, if he consents, but it is a complex issue. If you passed away and both your mother and the father were in agreement that she have custody, she would be granted custody, but this would still preserve the child's right to financial support and to inherit from her father. The court may be reticent to cut off the availability of those benefits to her just to partially solidify a plan he is likely to tell the judge he is on board with without the termination.

Answered 30 days ago.


Is Medicare/Medicaid entitled to lawsuit money: I need to rephrase the situation correctly. If I have an accident and I have Medicare/Medicaid...but none of my medical expenses were paid by them, they were paid by the other party, what, if anything, is Medicare/Medicaid entitled to?

Asked about 1 month ago in Elder Law

Scott’s answer: Medicare gets nothing unless they paid expenses. The DSS Commissioner is entitled to notice and can take up to half of the net settlement (check the attorney would end up cutting you after attorneys fees, costs, and medicals). Additionally, having the portion of the cash you do have on hand will place you over assets for continuing medicaid coverage in most cases. You should talk to your attorney or a separate elder law attorney about this; it's easy to get burned.

Answered about 1 month ago.