Do I have any legal grounds against my father in law. : My wife's grandparents have a house that is suppose to be left to the grandkids and parents. It is suppose to be split into four ways. My father in law is trying to take advantage of the grandparents and re write the will so that anywhere it says " children" he is crossing out and putting his own name. Is there anything I can do to make sure he does not take advantage of the situation and try to take everything for himself? Or, as long as the grandparents write what he wants in the will will that be the final decision? He has lived in the house his whole life rent free, it was built for him, never once payed any bills for the house and is now starting to go a little crazy due to him spending all of his money and never saving anything. So it is a desperate situation for him but the grandparents are still in the right state of mind and giving in to anything he wants. However, if nothing is changed and the will still says everyone gets 1/4, is there any way he can try and take it from us without us knowing?
Scott’s answer: If the grandparents are of sound mind and know what they are doing, any properly executed and witnessed new will is valid. If you mean your father-in-law is literally crossing things out and making changes on a previously executed will, those changes are generally not valid, but its all about what facts are proved in court about the situation after they have passed.
How do I figure out how much is the interest in my life estate?: I'm filing a bankruptcy. My aunt deeded her land to me but she kept a life estate. She's 90. I'm 42. The appraisal says it's worth $47,000. I know I want to file a Chapter 13, but I don't know how much my life estate is worth.
Scott’s answer: If your aunt deeded the property with a retained life estate, then she has a life estate and you have a remainder interest. The IRS publishes "Table S" which you can find online, and which shows the split between the life tenant and remainderman at various interest rates; 5% is common for use of non-financial assets. Your remainder interest is worth 80-85% of the present market value; the table will give you the precise percentage to apply in the Remainder column for your aunt's age.
How can I dissolve an irrevocable family trust? What are the tax implications?: The Trustee is misusing funds in an irrevocable trust set up years ago by someone who is now deceased. I am trying to get beneficiaries/trustees to dissolve it and distribute it equally. What do I need to do and what are the tax implications? Trust was set up in Lexington, MA...I am in Portland, ME.
Scott’s answer: You generally can't. While you can request court-supervised financial reporting by the trustee, and get the trustee removed and/or sued for any misappropriation, the failure of the trustee does not generally give you the right to bypass the creator's intention that the beneficiaries not have direct access to their share of the trust, or - if the trust gives the trustee this discretion - to determine how much is allocated to each beneficiary. You need to pay an attorney to review the trust and circumstances for you to determine your next steps.