Follow Up] When my grandmother died she left money in a
Follow Up] Customer: When my grandmother...
Customer: When my grandmother died she left money in a trust for my sister and I. It was supposed to be earmarked for education. Instead my Dad held on to it and when he was in a bad situation decided to liquidated into a house for his wife. Part of an agreement when they got married was that she wasn't supposed to touch this money. How do I go about making sure that my trust money comes back to me after he dies
Expert: Hello. I’m a New York family lawyer, GAL, trial, and appellate attorney with 40 years’ experience in different types of law. I look forward to helping you today. I have nearly 100% satisfaction rating from customers here.Disclaimer- there’s no attorney-client relationship & this is for educational purposes only. You’re advised to hire your own attorney. ALSO – the site will ask you if you want a phone call. That request doesn’t come from me. You can call, but it’s a separate charge, so you can ignore the phone call request if you choose. (So let’s keep typing).*****Note: I haven’t gone anywhere. I TYPE QUICKLY, but it takes me several minutes (sometimes 10 minutes) to type it because my answer is very thorough, so thank you for your patience.
Customer: You're welcome I may not be able to call you and speak to you on the phone because I haven't been able to work since the corona virus pandemic.
Customer: Also both contracts are agreements were created in New York state where my dad and my stepmom got married. They now live in the state of Florida that's where their house is
Customer: In addition she is doing a great deal of gossiping about me and she's ruined a lot of family relationships because of it. Which I feel is a total violation of my privacy. I'm not quite sure what's being said but I have a good feeling that she's taking situations between my sister and I and other things about my divorce out of context and somehow blaming them on me. About four years ago my dad called me and started asking me to have sex with him I think that was her as well I wasn't able to talk to him for about three and a half years
Expert: I would not wait till anyone passes away. If your father was the trustee of the trust, then he committed fraud by taking the money that was meant for you. He cannot touch it! But he did. That's fraud, that's abuse of power by the trustee and it's fraudulent. It's not his money to take. That he converted to something else, the house, is unbelievable. I'm not saying to be mad at your dad but I would NOT be happy.You should see a trusts and estates lawyer asap! This needs to be resolved now and your father needs to account to you and to your sister for what he owes, even if it means getting a lien on the house or some other way of getting that money, or even part ownership of the house. There are a bunch of things a court can do, but this is not legal and he had no right to take the money that your grandmother meant for you and your sister.Make sure that you see an attorney, or because of the pandemic, and I know NY is hit really hard, speak to someone on the phone.The trust was created in NY, right? If created in NY, you can try to sue in NY, but first speak with a trusts and estates atty about this. Courts are generally closed except for emergency situations, unless it's upstate, where it may be different, but I can give you names of attorneys in your area if you want. This is unconscionable and what he did was violate his fiduciary duty as a trustee, violating his job as trustee. He cannot do that and now he needs to account for it. Do NOT wait for someone to pass away. Take care of this now, okay? If someone passes away, it will be much harder to get anything.Let me know if you want me to direct you to lawyers in your area, see below. OMG you have another question you want to post because this is a totally different topic but this is disgusting and disgraceful. Your dad is not someone to be trusted!!!!Let's stick with the estate issue/trusts issue here, and then you can post another question about what you just typed in.I'm so sorry to hear this. Truly. Please let me know if you need any more information, such as where to find an attorney in your area -- I can help you with that, and while we aren’t allowed to refer to a particular attorney, I will send you in the right direction --- I’ll send you that information AND a copy of my 4 page guide – AFTER I’m rated – which shows how to pick a good attorney. It has helped many people here. Please accept my answer, rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars (at the very top of this chat, and I always STRIVE for FIVE, (AND WHILE you don’t have to give me a bonus, anything is welcome) and then submit, as this is how I get credit for answering your question. I work hard to give you a thorough & honest answer. I’d rather be given a chance to answer the question to your satisfaction than be rated negatively, as I have an almost 100% approval rating. We’re not employees of Just Answer but are independent freelance contractors, so your rating is very important to us so we can be reimbursed for our work. If you want to ask for me specifically in a new question, please ask – IN THE QUESTION -- “For the attorney with the screen name: NYFamilyAttorney ONLY" (copy and paste this) and you'll probably get me. It also lets other lawyers know to extend professional courtesy to someone if their name is***** If someone else picks up the question, you can let them answer it, or you can say you want to wait for me. Thanks in advance for rating me! We depend on ratings to be paid. (P.S. You can get me here usually in the afternoons and evenings).
Customer: I know I'm appalled at the whole thing. My Dad is dispicable, and to add to this about a year before this behavior I lost my husband to cancer because of 9-11. My son and I have limited family support.... People just stopped talking to us.
Customer: I live in Virginia, but my family is from Buffalo, NY.
Customer: So I guess an Erie County Lawyer would be helpful.
Expert: OMG I'm so sorry.Right now is a good time for people to stop talking because of the virus, but I'm not making light of your situation. I'm a senior citizen myself and I'm at the point where I don't care if people talk to me or not. But when you're younger, of course you care. People may not be comfortable with your situation. That's their problem, not yours, although I'm sure it isolates you. I'm glad you have your sister.I took my bar exam in Buffalo, so I like Buffalo very much :)Okay, I'll look for trusts and estates lawyers in Erie County. I'd appreciate it if you would rate me in the meantime. Thanks so much. We are not paid by this site and depend on ratings to be paid. Thanks!
Expert: Erie County, Trusts and Estates lawyers: There are 89 trusts lawyers here.https://www.avvo.com/search/lawyer_search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=trusts+and+estates&loc=erie+county%2C+ny I have a guide which I give out after I"m rated. I spent a long time putting that together, tweaking it, so I make sure people understand that I work hard to give them good and thorough answers, and give them this guide after I'm rated, otherwise I do not get credit for my time here without that. Thank you for understanding!
Expert: Thank you! Much appreciated. Here it is: Read this first before you pick out lawyers!Here is my guide so please follow it as much as possible AND please read this first before looking for lawyers! This guide IS MEANT MOSTLY for assistance with Avvo.com, but even if you’re using Legal Aid or a pro bono attorney, it can still help you. If you are using Legal Aid and you see a reference to scores in this guide, that doesn’t apply to Legal Aid, but you do want to know how the Legal Aid and how individual attorneys are rated. Check Google and Yelp to see how they’re rated, and go on Avvo.com to see how the individual attorney is rated. Please check avvo.com to see what it says about the attorney you want. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE AND THIS IS A DISCLAIMER THAT I CANNOT AND DO NOT VOUCH FOR ANY ATTORNEY AND DO NOT KNOW IF THEY ARE GOOD OR NOT. THAT IS FOR YOU TO DECIDE.How to choose an attorney. THIS IS HOW I WOULD PICK AN ATTORNEY IF I NEEDED ONE FOR MYSELF IN ANOTHER FIELD OF LAW. You can make this into a word doc by copying and pasting:Here's what to look for and what to avoid. Please let me know if you have any questions.Avoid: Any red mark next to an attorney's name on avvo.com, such as misconduct. That usually means the lawyer was either disbarred, censured, cited for misconduct, or suspended from the practice of law.Ignore: Ratings, such as 6.5 or 10, which is the highest. A 6.5 attorney may be even better than a 10. It's difficult to say. The site, avvo.com, has its own formula for rating attorneys and many attorneys get a 10 because they belong to bar associations and sometimes give lectures. That does not necessarily mean they're the best when it comes to going to court.Don’t believe that high-priced lawyers are better. This profession is not usually “you get what you pay for.” Case in point. I used to charge a lot less than this attorney in White Plains, NY. Their overhead is very high; mine was not as I worked from home. Yet, people went with her (not versus me, we were not in competition with each other) because she charged a lot. PS – I often beat her in court. Price has nothing to do with competency! If you remember one thing, remember this one!What to look for: See what the clients’ reviews state in the field that you're interested in (i.e. wills, custody, family, education, landlord-tenant, etc.). That is probably going to be the most important thing. Many people have not been reviewed by their clients, but if there are a bunch of them who are, go with the ones who have multiple reviews and that have outstanding ratings. Make sure the lawyer has really good ratings from clients in the field that you need -- for example, if you want a good elder lawyer, the lawyer should have excellent or good ratings as an elder lawyer. It will not help you if this lawyer has excellent ratings as a criminal lawyer but you want to hire her/him as an elder lawyer. You want to see excellent reviews as an elder lawyer, and it doesn't matter what the reviews say about other fields of law that don't have anything to do with your case.What to look for, part II:. As indicated above, if you need a family lawyer, you don't want someone who is a family lawyer but who has been rated as an excellent criminal lawyer. That won't help you. You want them rated as an excellent family lawyer if that's what you're looking for.How long they’re practicing law: I would also suggest you find someone who has been practicing at least 10 years, the more the better (15-20 is even better). The site—avvo.com -- will tell you how long they're practicing law. You don't want someone just a few years out of law school to take on your tough case.And: **If there are hundreds of lawyers on the link I’m sending to you, you don’t have to review all of them. Just look at the first few “pages” and that will be enough. Don’t make yourself crazy by looking at all of the lawyers there.Also: There are domestic violence shelters and places in the cities. Contact them if this is your type of situation. Some of these DV places have lawyers who can help you with your case. Ask: If they’ve done your type of case before. The lawyer should not be defensive about this question. If the lawyer is, then you might want to move on to someone else. You can generally tell if they’re being truthful or not. If they’re searching for an answer, you should probably find someone else. If you ask them to their face, you'll see their eyes as they're answering you; it can tell a lot about their honestyor lack of it. Is the lawyer listening to you? Or is s/he making you feel like your concerns aren’t important? If that’s the case, you should find someone else. You want your lawyer to listen to you. If they’re not listening to you now, they won’t listen to your concerns later. Ask: Find out whether they’ve represented both men and women or have stuck primarily to representing one gender. Also learn about their billing and fees and how they prefer to communicate with clients. Be sure to ask the attorney if they have any honors or certifications. Ask also how quickly they return phone calls! Don’t let them tell you they represented Frank Sinatra or someone famous. Who cares? What will they do for you? Ask your attorney why he or she chose family law (or whatever type of law they practice) – Motivation can tell you a lot about ability. Ask the attorney what it was about family law that made them choose family law. If you like what you hear, you’ve may have found the right attorney, but make sure they’re aggressive, because that’s what you need most in many cases. Ask if they know the judges. That never hurts. Ask – If they take a payment plan or pay-out arrangement. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need it. Ask for a free consultation: See if you can get one. You need to call the offices, and ASK for a free consultation over the phone. You can even ask the receptionist, and if you don’t get a “yes” answer, ask to speak with the attorney. If you don't feel confident in the lawyer, find another one. That's why it's good to make a list of the ones you want, maybe 4-6 lawyers and you'll find one. It’s okay to walk out of a lawyer’s office and don’t sign anything if you’re not comfortable with the lawyer. You usually want an aggressive lawyer to help you and someone who will return phone calls. You can always fire a lawyer if you're not happy but once the case is underway, you may need court permission to do so, so make sure you like the lawyer! Don’t feel pressured to sign anything. If someone pressures you, you can walk out or tell them you have to think about it and you’ll call them back tomorrow.If you have to make phone calls from out-of-state or out of the country: You can do the research on the lawyers because you may have to hire them without meeting them. For example, some lawyers are listed on Yelp.com. I’m also directing you to Avvo.com, where their clients rate them. Go with what the clients’ ratings say, as listed above. Make sure the ratings are in the subject area (i.e. elder law, family law, landlord-tenant, wills and estates, adoptions, etc.) that you want to hire the lawyer for! Make sure you like the lawyer over the phone, otherwise tell them you have to think about it. You don’t have to hire them on the spot. Don’t listen to lawyers who promise you everything. They can’t do that. Just make sure you can tell that the lawyer will be a shark in the courtroom. I don’t care how NICE the lawyer is. You’re not looking for nice, you’re not looking for a friend. You’re looking for a professional and a good, aggressive one.Bring: Your papers with you when you meet and interview the lawyers. Let the lawyer see the name of the case, the title or caption of the case and the index or docket number, and petition or complaint, or if you’re the defendant or respondent, the answer to the petition or complaint. Ask the lawyer what else you should bring to your meeting. You may need to bring your checkbook but don’t feel obligated to sign a check. You may want to think it over. Sleep on it if you need to. Don’t feel pressured, otherwise find someone else. If you can take someone with you to interview the lawyer, that would be a good idea. It’s always good to have another opinion. Extra suggestion: If you’re looking for a family lawyer (or any other type of lawyer), the site I am sending you to shows what percentage of the lawyer’s business is family law (or the other type of law you are looking for). If you want a family lawyer, you should find someone who does mostly family law cases – at least 50% -- or exclusively family law cases (100%). I am an appellate attorney who does family law cases, and I do appeals exclusively now. I list myself as doing appeals for 85% of my practice, and I show that the appeals are for family law, custody and child abuse. Someone looking for a family law appellate attorney would know that that’s what I do. So consider the percentage of work they do in the area of law that you want. If it’s 20% or something similar, and they do several types of law, you should find another lawyer. Find someone who spends most of his or her time doing the type of law you want to hire them for. Remember: Don’t ever let an attorney talk down to you or treat you like garbage. You don’t deserve that. You’re a client or potential client. Someone who treats you like that doesn’t deserve to be your lawyer. If you hire a lawyer and he/she doesn’t do the work he/she is supposed to do, please FIND ANOTHER ATTORNEY and fire the one you have. There’s no excuse for bad representation. You can run your picks by me and I'll let you know if you're on the right track.You can print this guide out by making it into a word document by copying and pasting, and then print.Best of luck and be well, and thank you for rating me!------------ If you’re a landlord: In your case, make sure you get an L&T attorney who represents mostly landlords. I used to do L&T work and all we represented were landlords. Ask them over the phone who they represent -- landlords or tenants. If they say both, ask what percentage of their work is representing landlords. If you’re a tenant, the opposite applies – you want someone who primarily represents tenants, so ask them what percentage of their practice is for representing tenants.
Customer: Thank you so much for your guide. I'm going to get the documents in order for the attorney. Now you know why I am up at 1am.
Expert: I hear you. I"m a night owl myself. You've been through so much. I hope you can find someone in the Buffalo area to help you. I'm sure you will. Even if attorneys are home, they will want the work.Be well!!!! Take care and be safe.You can post another question if you want about the other issue.
Expert: I'm signing off now but I'll be here tomorrow if you need me.If you want to ask for me specifically in a new question, please ask – IN THE QUESTION -- “For the attorney with the screen name: NYFamilyAttorney ONLY" (copy and paste this) and you'll probably get me. It also lets other lawyers know to extend professional courtesy to someone if their name is***** If someone else picks up the question, you can let them answer it, or you can say you want to wait for me. Thanks in advance for rating me! We depend on ratings to be paid. (P.S. You can get me here usually in the afternoons and evenings).
Customer: I'll reach out. I have a few messes to clean up and boundaries to put around people.
Expert: I understand. I'm sure. I had a crazy dad as well, and a nutty "stepmom" whom I never lived with, never called her anything, and spent the next 29 years not talking to dad, so I hear you. Truly. You need to heal. Be well! I have to sign off but you take care.
Expert: Also, I'll check back in with you in 1 day on 3/25/2020. I can also answer any additional questions that may arise. Don't worry, there's no additional fee for this follow-up.
Customer: I've made a coupl
Customer: I've made a couple calls. Honestly, I cannot afford a retainer so I'm looking into legal aid or possibly finding an attorney on contingency.
Customer: Thank you so much. I'm glad I found you and you are an asset to the legal field. I have to get online to get a copy of the trust agreement and my grandmother's will. Hopefully I will be able to get ahold of both. I also have to find the prenuptial agreement between my stepmom and my dad.
Customer: I'll have exact questions tomorrow
Expert: You got it. Just checking up. This is a tough time for everyone so we're going the extra mile. Be well! Thank you for your kind comments.
Expert: The prenup isn't as important as you think -- the fact of raiding the trust is the most important thing, that's fraudulent, and it can't happen, so your dad has to account for what was in it.