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- Elder Law
- Estate Planning
Additional Practice Area
- Special Needs Planning
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We are willing to provide a no-obligation consultation for estate planning services. We are unable to provide a fee quote until after we learn about a client's situation. If the client decides to engage us, the initial meeting is included in the total cost.
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Sirote & Permutt, P.C.
- Tulane University School of Law
- Pro Bono Service Certificate of Appreciation
- Alabama Access to Justice Commission
- In recognition of providing 50 or more hours of pro bono service to low income residents in Alabama
- L. Burton Barnes, III Award for Public Service
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
- - Current
- Activities: Member of the Small Firm/Solo Section
- Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
- National Elder Law Foundation
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108 Questions Answered
- Q. My mother and her husband were involved in a class action lawsuit over Chinese sheetrock. The lawsuit dated back 7 yrs+
- A: In these situations his estate is entitled to the proceeds as well, therefore the bank needs a representative of his estate to sign off on the check. The general way to get a representative of an estate is to petition the local probate court to be named as the Executor (if there is a Will) or as an Administrator (if there is no Will). It is a process that would require an attorney and depending on the amount of the check may be very much worth it. There are short form processes available, but it depends on the amount of the check. For example, a summary distribution proceeding is available for funds less than $27,000 (or so). If the check is for $5,000 or less, then a bank may be willing to negotiate it upon the presentation of a small estate affidavit. Most banks have these forms available and it is for situations where someone needs access to funds, but the amount in question does not justify the expense of a probate administration. A last option would be to go back to the issuer of the check and ask if she could sign an affidavit swearing that she is his only heir and therefore entitled to the funds. It is possible (but honestly not likely) that the issuer may send a new check in her name alone. Good luck.
- Q. I am my brother's legal guardian. He relies on Medicare to pay his nursing home. He was omitted from Dad's will.
- A: If your brother is on Medicaid in Alabama the best solution may be a special needs trust. He could keep the assets and they would be available through a Trustee for his benefit. As the trust is a special needs trust, he would not lose government benefits. As with most legal cases, so much depends on the specific facts (e.g., your brother's age, his health and the amount in question). A good resource may be the Alabama Family Trust, which you can learn about at: https://www.alabamafamilytrust.com. Finally, I do echo Nina's suggestion that it is important to consult with an attorney with specialized knowledge of this area of the law. Good luck!
- Q. Executor resignation
- A: An attorney would need some more information and clarification before being able to provide you with a firm answer For example, it depends on whether the estate has been opened. If opened, then she would need to file a resignation with the court and a settlement for her time as executor (which may require a court hearing). If the estate has not been opened, then signing a renunciation would suffice and if there is a need to probate the estate it would be best to deliver the Will to someone who could probate it (successor executor?) or file it with the court. The statute below discusses custody of a Will and even if no one requests it, it might be a good idea to follow the standards. Finally, I would suggest consulting with a local attorney prior to taking any action. Section 43-8-270 Duty of custodian of will after death of testator; liability. After the death of a testator and on request of an interested person, any person having custody of a will of the testator shall deliver it with reasonable promptness to a person able to secure its probate and if none is known, to an appropriate court. Any person who wilfully fails to deliver a will is liable to any person aggrieved for the damages which may be sustained by the failure. Any person who wilfully refuses or fails to deliver a will after being ordered by the court in a proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery is subject to the penalty for contempt of court.
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