Can an estate collect from an agent if they fail to preserve the value of the Principle’s estate?: The principle is incapacitated with dementia. He has been in a care home for about 5 months. The agent, who is also his wife and also a beneficiary, doesn’t know if he has Long term care insurance, and hasn’t tried to find out. She has been told in the past by a family member that the principle said he did have long term care, and although she has had the durable POA for 3 years, she has never tried to find out.
Can the executer of the will hold her accountable for the money the LTC would have paid, if the principle does actually have an existing policy. Can the amount be deducted from her portion of the estate?
Is this egregious enough to be removed as agent by the court?
Asked 3 months ago in Elder Law
Tyler’s answer: As Mr. Miller noted, more facts are necessary to definitively answer your question. For instance, do you know if the POA is immediate (i.e. went into effect as soon as it was signed) or does it require doctors to determine that the principal is incapacitated? Has the agent legally accepted her fiduciary duty under the document? Moreover, practically speaking, courts are reluctant to second-guess the actions of a spouse in this type of scenario.
Answered 3 months ago.
Probate–Should I contest a Trust and/or Will?: My father passed away 4/22/20. Today, I called the Canadian County Probate Court AND the County Clerk (records) and there has been no Probate information submitted nor has there been an Affidavit for Small Estate filed. My fathers house was placed in an irrevocable living trust some years ago. So, I believe the co-trustee (my niece) is just keeping everything my father owned and not telling anyone. I do not know if I am a beneficiary at all, but I did send an e-mail to an attorney that I “believe” created the trust and asked if I was a beneficiary or an heir in law and requested the documents . There’s been no response. I do not know if there is a will. Should I pursue this or just drop it? This is a follow-up question to one I posted a couple of days ago. As always, thank you for any response.
Asked 5 months ago in Probate
Tyler’s answer: Assuming all of your father’s assets were owned by his trust, then nothing will be filed in probate court. If you are a beneficiary of the trust, then you are legally entitled to a copy of the trust agreement. Otherwise, neither the trustee nor the trustee’s attorney is obligated to respond to your requests. As someone who practices in the area of wills, trusts, and estates, I am a very careful about communicating with third parties who are not my client. This is particularly true if it is merely an email. I suggest hiring an attorney to write a formal demand letter. The response to that letter, and there would likely be one, would tell you whether you have any additional legal claims and whether this matter is worth pursuing.
Answered 5 months ago.
My attorney quit because he said it was more work than he thought and I needed someone who could give it more time.: After my mother died I hired an attorney to help settle my mother’s estate. I have siblings and after my attorney realized it wasn’t going to settle on its own, he told me he was too busy and I needed to find someone else. Can he do that in the middle of a case? He became annoyed when I pressured him to give me answers as to what he had actually done. I have asked him for a statement showing the hours he’s worked. He has never shown me a statement.
.. I can’t afford another attorney now.I gave him all the money I had. ????
Asked over 3 years ago in Probate
Tyler’s answer: I agree with the above posters. Unless the estate is insolvent, there should be sufficient funds to hire and pay a new attorney. Every probate attorney has different billing practices. Some will provide a monthly billing statement, while others wait until the end of the probate and set forth all of the fees and expenses at once in the final accounting.
As has been noted, the bar association is a good referral source for probate attorneys. Websites like this can also give you some leads.