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Q&A: Estate Planning

 

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Q:

Does an Executor Have a Deadline to Probate a Will?

My sister was named executor of our parents' will. It has been three years since our parents passed away and my sister has not moved to probate the will. Does a will have to be probated within a certain length of time or can she drag it out forever?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

Do Beneficiaries Have Any Rights Against a Life Tenant Who Doesn't Keep Up the Property?

My mom has given her boyfriend a life estate in her house. When she dies, what rights do we have once we inherit the house? We don't want to deal with the boyfriend and really don't want to pay upkeep on the house so he can freeload off everyone. If he doesn't pay the insurance or keep up the property, can we take him to court or evict? Can we simply just deed the house back to him?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

How Long Does an Agent Under a Power of Attorney Need to Keep Financial Documents?

As an agent under a power of attorney, how far back do I have to keep documentation for accounting purposes? I have been my mother's agent since 2004. My mother is in a nursing home and has enough assets to pay for her care with her private funds for at least a few more years. Because of the five-year Medicaid look-back period, I have been discarding all records that go beyond five years and have been doing so on a monthly basis. Do I need to hold onto everything, no matter how old it is, just in case of an audit (for example, at the request of my siblings) or is five years of recordkeeping sufficient?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

As an Agent Under a POA, Can I Change the Alternative Agent Named in the POA?

I am the agent under a power of attorney for my father. There is an alternative agent named in the power of attorney document, but I'm worried this person will not be able to act as agent if the time came. Can I change the backup agent if I feel the backup is no longer responsible to take over if something happens to me?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

Is an Executor Required to Provide Beneficiaries with Financial Records?

What does the executor do with all the financial records of the deceased person after all his work is done? How long does he keep the records? Are the beneficiaries entitled to the financial records of the estate or is the executor in charge of them?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

How Can I Protect My Interest in the House I Am Buying with My Unmarried Partner?

My significant other and I, who are both in our sixties, are buying a home together and will be listed on the deed as tenants in common. I am making a substantial down payment, and we will share the monthly mortgage. How do I protect the money I am putting in upfront and get it back when we sell or if I should die? We both want the other to have the right to live in the home as long as the survivor wants. After selling the house, we want the proceeds to go to my children. How do we set up our wills to indicate our desire?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

As My Father's Agent Under a Power of Attorney, Can I Add My Son's Name to His Life Insurance Policy?

I have dual power of attorney for my father. At this time there is no beneficiary on one of his life insurance policies and I want to add my son's name as beneficiary. This is what my father would have wanted. Can I do this?

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tags: Estate Planning
Q:

Are Family Members Entitled to a Copy of the Will When a Loved One Dies?

Do the family of the deceased have the right to be present at a will reading? And are they allowed to receive a copy of the new will that leaves everything to one person in the family instead of divided among the whole family?

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tags: Estate Planning

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