Dear Ask Dennis: I own a house as the result of being the sole surviving joint tenant. One of my brothers is threatening to put the property into probate (our parents were the other joint tenants, they are both deceased.) what would happen to him if he tried that? J. C. Dear J. C.: That is a very interesting question. Unfortunately, in order to answer it I need to ask you some questions. What was the mental condition of your father or mother at the time the joint tenancy deed was … [Read more...] about Ask Dennis about Joint Tenancy Deeds
Dennis: My husband's father died 6 years ago. His sister sold his home, my husband received nothing from the sale. It sold for approximately $440,000. She lived in the house approximately 8 yrs free of charge after placing their father in a nursing home. My husband was supposed to have a medical trust fund but we were recently informed there was not one. There was no money for his medical needs. Two weeks later when I finally was able to make contact with her she informed me she would be … [Read more...] about Ask Dennis about Financial Elder Abuse
Dennis: My sister and I are joint power of attorney for an incapacitated aunt. Her condo will be going up for sale. My sister sold and donated some of her house items, jewelry and furniture. She and my mother took the money for what was sold. Are they entitled to this? Doesn't the money need to go into my aunt's bank account? If they kept the items from her house like jewelry are they allowed? If they don't sell it what do they do with it? Also, I am the executor of the will but I don't think … [Read more...] about Ask Dennis Sandoval about a Power of Attorney
Over the last several decades, however, national borders have all but disappeared, leading to a dramatic increase in cross-border marriages in the United States. In fact, the United States Census Bureau reports that one in five marriages in the U.S. today includes a spouse born outside the U.S. Of those marriages, about 60 percent of the foreign-born spouses have become naturalized citizens, leaving the remaining 40 percent as non-citizens. If you are married to a non-citizen, estate planning … [Read more...] about Can My Non-Citizen Spouse Inherit from My Estate?
Planning for Blended Families Many of our clients are blended, with children of the husband, children of the wife and/or children from both spouses. Estate planning for blended families can require special planning. You may consider your step children to be your own. But, if you haven’t adopted them, they have no inheritance rights. Below is a link to an excellent article from the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys about estate planning involving step children. Planning for … [Read more...] about Planning for Step-Children
Hello Dennis, My father in law appears to be getting dementia and his son needs to make decision. He lease an apartment and he wants his son to be able to make decision regarding rental, handling his bank accounts and medical issues. Will a Durable power of attorney be enough. Or does he need to be a Conservator? Thank you for your time. L. B. Dear L.B.: If your father-in-law has sufficient mental capacity at this time to execute a financial power of attorney, that would be an … [Read more...] about Ask Dennis
Most workers in the U.S. no longer count on employer-sponsored pensions to fund their retirement. Instead, many of them rely on self-funded retirement options such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, and other tax-deferred retirement accounts. An IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that you own and control. Earnings generated can compound on a tax-deferred basis until withdrawal. In essence, an IRA is like having your own personal pension that you and/or your employer may … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your Retirement Account When You Die?
Creating a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to both your loved ones and yourself over the course of your lifetime. Don’t make the mistake of stopping there though. Once that plan is in place, it needs to be reviewed and updated on a routine basis. It may also need to be updated when certain events call for a revision. For example, a Riverside estate planning lawyer explains the importance of updating your estate plan following a divorce. Routine Reviews … [Read more...] about Don’t Forget to Update Your Estate Plan after a Divorce
Were you recently informed that someone named you as the Trustee of a trust he or she created? If this appointment came as a surprise to you, you are not alone. Ideally, when a trust is created, the trust creator should discuss the position with a potential Trustee before naming that person in the trust agreement. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t always happen. Now that you find yourself as a Trustee, do you need an attorney to help you? The Riverside trust lawyers at Dennis M. Sandoval, A … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Administer a Trust?
For an adult child, it can be heart-wrenching to watch a parent succumb to the physical and mental deterioration that often accompanies the aging process. If you find yourself in that position, and you have reached the point where you are genuinely concerned for your mother’s safety, it may be time to consider petitioning for conservatorship. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a Riverside conservatorship lawyer explains what it means to become your mother’s conservator and how the process … [Read more...] about How Do I Become My Mother’s Conservator?