Husband’s Interest in Trust Not Divided in Divorce Proceedings

AUGUST 22, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 31 Carl and Debbie (not their real names) were married, and have two children together. After more than a decade together, Carl filed for a divorce in their home state of Massachusetts. In the course of the divorce action, the court was required to divide Carl and Debbie’s assets […]

Can a Copy of a Missing Will be Admitted to Probate?

AUGUST 15, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 30 You’ve signed your will. We’ve given you the original in a fancy envelope, and a copy showing your signatures. What should you do with it? For most people, most of the time, it is sufficient to just keep the original will in a convenient place at home. What […]

Probate Judge’s Unique Guardianship Orders Overturned

AUGUST 1, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 29 At Fleming & Curti, PLC, we handle a lot of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. We even act as guardian (of the person) and/or conservator (of the estate) in some cases — particularly when family members are unavailable or unable to agree on the best course of action. But […]

Maine Guardianship Violates Uniform Jurisdiction Act

JULY 25, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 28 Before any guardianship or conservatorship action can be filed in a local court, the court must have jurisdiction over the person subjected to the proceeding. For many decades that had meant (more or less) that the person must be physically present in the state, and not much more. […]

Estate Planning With Individual Retirement Account Trusts

JULY 18, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 27 One of the great things about our area of law practice is that the community of practitioners is just that — a community. Take, for instance, our good friend Amos Goodall from State College, Pennsylvania: he’s one of the leading elder law attorneys in the country. Amos is […]

Court Invalidates Will and Trust Naming Lawyer as Beneficiary

JULY 11, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 26 One principle governing lawyers is obviously and intuitively correct: A lawyer may not prepare a will or trust (or, for that matter, any other document or arrangement) by which a client makes any substantial gift to the lawyer. Similarly, lawyers are precluded from preparing documents giving or leaving […]

Subject of Guardianship Allowed to Hire Own Attorney

JULY 4, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 25 Just two weeks ago we told you about an Ohio appellate decision dealing with the authority of a close family member (in that case a sister) to participate in, and appeal from, a guardianship hearing. At about the same time another Ohio appellate court was dealing with a […]

Section 8 Housing Participant Permitted to Receive Special Needs Trust Benefits

JUNE 27, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 24 When an individual is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or Medicaid (AHCCCS, in Arizona) benefits, he or she may have benefits reduced or eliminated if he or she receives a lump-sum settlement of a personal injury lawsuit or periodic payments from such a lawsuit. That is the […]

Concerned Sister Permitted to Intervene in Guardianship Proceeding

JUNE 20, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 23 Suppose your sister is developmentally disabled, and your brother has been appointed as her guardian, to make medical, placement and other decisions. Suppose your brother has moved her to a facility you aren’t sure about, and has restricted family access to visit her. Can you do anything to […]

Court Sets Aside Agent’s Transfers to Self Using Power of Attorney

JUNE 13, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 22 John Richardson was 86, living on his family farm in rural Nebraska, when he became ill enough that he could no longer take care of himself. His long-time companion Elaine had been living with him and providing care, but she could no longer handle his care, either. John’s […]

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