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Old 09-16-2011, 05:53 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,427 posts, read 3,981,727 times
Reputation: 8909

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I know a person whose husband is in jail and faces prison time. I printed out for her the Kiplinger's "A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse" that one of you posted in this forum, but it obviously is not what is needed since both parties are alive.

What I am trying to do is get some information for her on what she needs to do should he go to prison. They are late 50's/early 60's. What type of attorney does she need? So many different specialities. Real Estate attorney? Elder attorney? Estate attorney? She may need to sell the house, sell the contents and move elsewhere. He has a pension that she is using to live, as she is not employed. She has no family, and only a few acquaintences.

I guess I am looking for a "To-Do List" for a person whose spouse may be in prison for awhile. A "Step by Step" Guide on what to do next.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,225,531 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan Transplant View Post
I know a person whose husband is in jail and faces prison time. I printed out for her the Kiplinger's "A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse" that one of you posted in this forum, but it obviously is not what is needed since both parties are alive.

What I am trying to do is get some information for her on what she needs to do should he go to prison. They are late 50's/early 60's. What type of attorney does she need? So many different specialities. Real Estate attorney? Elder attorney? Estate attorney? She may need to sell the house, sell the contents and move elsewhere. He has a pension that she is using to live, as she is not employed. She has no family, and only a few acquaintences.

I guess I am looking for a "To-Do List" for a person whose spouse may be in prison for awhile. A "Step by Step" Guide on what to do next.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Off the top of my head, in addition to a general POA, she needs a power of attorney that specifically authorizes her to sell the marital home. If she and her husband do not have a joint bank account into which the pension check is directly deposited, they should establish one. Other issues might depend on the nature of his crime. If it's a financial crime, she may need to try and protect her assets, limit tax liability, etc. If it is a crime where someone was personally injured, I would guess that the couple's assets could also be at risk. IOW, more info is needed. Sorry.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
If she has significant assets at risk, she may want to do a divorce even if they stay together, and have her look into filing a Homestead document, which protects an owned home from creditors up to $300K (maybe more).
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,225,531 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
If she has significant assets at risk, she may want to do a divorce even if they stay together, and have her look into filing a Homestead document, which protects an owned home from creditors up to $300K (maybe more).
This depends on the state of residency. Although Texas appears to be very generous in terms of homestead protection, it is a community property state, of which I know nothing. In addition, Texas may have some type of exception that allows crime victims to access marital/community property. Who knows? The friend definitely needs to seek legal assistance, but I still don't know what "type" of attorney she needs to consult. Indeed, OP appears to reside in Texas but we don't know if her friend resides in Texas.

If her friend lives in Michigan, the property may be titled "tenants by the entirety." In that case, she may not want to divorce the spouse.

Until we have more info, including her friend's state of residency, we aren't going to be able to provide much help.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:40 PM
 
1,215 posts, read 1,357,993 times
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Maybe start with a consult with a divorce attorney whether considering divorce or not. Divorce attorneys usually know how to protect assets. If the attorney is not appropriate, they should be able to give a good referral to the appropriate attorney.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,797,433 times
Reputation: 8838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan Transplant View Post
I know a person whose husband is in jail and faces prison time. I printed out for her the Kiplinger's "A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse" that one of you posted in this forum, but it obviously is not what is needed since both parties are alive.

What I am trying to do is get some information for her on what she needs to do should he go to prison. They are late 50's/early 60's. What type of attorney does she need? So many different specialities. Real Estate attorney? Elder attorney? Estate attorney? She may need to sell the house, sell the contents and move elsewhere. He has a pension that she is using to live, as she is not employed. She has no family, and only a few acquaintences.

I guess I am looking for a "To-Do List" for a person whose spouse may be in prison for awhile. A "Step by Step" Guide on what to do next.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
estate atty can help with real estate as well, plus she may need power of atty, which is a boilerplate signed form.The pension may be transferable to her if she gets power of Atty.

Elder attys deal more with nursing home abuse, they dont deal with estate issues in detail, usually.

She should call her local Bar association as the clerk can give her good referrals for attys who specialize in her needs. hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,379 posts, read 3,718,272 times
Reputation: 4116
I would look for a fee only financial planner that has had clients in the same situation if possible. The planner will help her identify her expense and income.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:20 PM
 
4,649 posts, read 6,493,188 times
Reputation: 5395
Start with her state Bar Association. What if there's restitution involved and she starts getting rid of assets.. For legal questions consult an Attorney.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:56 AM
 
701 posts, read 1,533,434 times
Reputation: 792
Did her husband work with an attorney during his criminal procedures? Perhaps he could offer some guidance on what type of attorney would be best to contact. I would also encourage her to contact the State Bar Association as well. An estate attorney seems logical, but not everything in the law is logical.

If there are victims who might sue, what steps would protect her half of their assets? Would a legal separation provide the protection she needs or a retirement annuity of some sort? As I recall, O. J. Simpson put a bunch of his assets into his retirement plan to protect them.

He should, of course, sign over his power of attorney so she can deal with taxes, bank accounts, legal matters, selling the house, etc. while he's gone.

Then there is the matter of health insurance to consider. This is no time to be without health insurance as stress is a major component in a lot of illnesses.

There is an on-line forum Prison Talk - Prison Information and Inmate Support Community that might have some useful information.
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