Archive for the ‘Eviction’ Category

Five Legal Documents Same-Sex Couples Need in Texas

July 18, 2013

A recent story of a North Texas man that took social media by storm has unique legal issues for same-sex couples across Texas.

Lon Watts says he was forced to move from his home of 12 years, and was banned from caring for his partner who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, after a legal battle with his partner’s family.

While the state still does not recognize same-sex domestic partnerships or marriage, one Austin attorney advises same-sex couples of five legal documents they need to protect themselves in Texas courts.

When Watts’ partner of 34 years, Jim, was hospitalized with Alzheimer’s disease, Watts found himself in a jam. His partner’s family petitioned a court for guardianship status over his property, even though Watts had signed a power of attorney document and lived with Jim for 12 years.

Claire East, an estate attorney from Hopper Mikeska in Austin, says that same-sex couples in Texas can protect themselves with five basic legal documents.

  • Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney: These two documents, East said, allow a partner to make medical and financial decisions for their incapacitated partner. “Those are really important documents. They’re as important as wills,” East said. “The idea with having powers of attorney is you can avoid guardianship.”
  • The Declaration of Guardian in the Event of Later Incapability: East said this is a one page document that determines explicit guardians in the event of incapacity. A guardian makes personal decisions like residency and medical treatment, as well as financial decisions and asset management.
  • Disposition of Remains: This document allows a person to appoint someone specific to make decisions about his or her remains after death. In the event of death, only a spouse, an adult child, parent or an adult sibling can make funeral arrangements and decisions about a person’s remains. East said the state does not recognize same-sex partnerships in these cases.
  • Will: East says that without a will (and depending on who owns the home), the partner’s home and assets will be left to immediate family members, instead of a partner, which could mean a contentious situation in which a partner could be forced to move out of a shared home.

Full Article and Source:
Five Legal Documents Same-Sex Couples Need in Texas

See Also:
Lon Watts, Texas Gay Man, Says Partner Jim Heath’s Sister Forced Them Apart, Evicted Him

WWII Vet Reaches Fundraising Goal To Prevent His Daughter From Evicting Him

May 27, 2013

A World War II veteran who claimed breach of fiduciary duty by his daughter in a lawsuit is now trying to prevent her from evicting him with a fundraising appeal that reached its goal on Thursday.

John Potter, 91, lived in his Zaleski, Ohio, home for 56 years.

According to a lawsuit he filed in 2011, he had given power of attorney to his daughter, who transferred the property to herself and her husband in 2004. An appeals court tossed the suit on statute of limitations grounds in a decision last year, citing evidence that Potter was aware of the transfer in 2004. Now the daughter is seeking to evict Potter.

Potter transferred power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, who launched the fundraising appeal on GoFundMe in hopes she could buy the property for Potter. She told AOL Real Estate that Potter’s daughter had filed the eviction papers after a dispute between them over visitation rights to Potter’s autistic son. Potter’s son-in-law had told that Potter could remain in the home if he would “stop the lawsuits.”

In a post at GoFundMe on Thursday, Fraley said her goal of raising $125,000 to buy back Potter’s home had been reached. “Thank you all!” Fraley wrote. “Those words seem so shallow compared to what I feel. All of your hearts reaching out to him is such an amazing gift.”

Full Article and Source:
WWII Vet Reaches Fundraising Goal to Prevent His Daughter From Evicting Him

See Also:
91-Year-Old Man Raised Money to Prevent Eviction by Daughter

Little Discipline for Florida Foreclosure Lawyers

May 6, 2013

Since Florida’s mortgage crisis began about six years ago, banks have agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle allegations that they wrongfully foreclosed on thousands of homeowners. Prosecutors have charged loan servicers with filing fraudulent documents on behalf of banks.

But the law firms and lawyers that homeowners and judges contend took part in those same practices? Some critics are accusing Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Bar of not going after them hard enough.
“The door was left wide open and the AG did nothing,” said attorney,Tom Ice, who has represented homeowners who say they were cheated.
Added attorney Matt Weidner, “You have an attorney general shrugging her shoulders and walking away. How is this allowed to occur?”
Bondi said she would do more if she could.
“I’m all about prosecuting bad lawyers, believe me,” she said.
Full Article and Source:
Little Discipline for Foreclosure Lawyers

Lon Watts, Texas Gay Man, Says Partner Jim Heath’s Sister Forced Them Apart, Evicted Him

May 4, 2013

For more than 30 years, Lon Watts said he shared his life and his love with partner, Jim Heath. But that life came crashing down in 2011 after Watts says Heath’s sister successfully forced the pair apart, evicted him from the house and has prohibited him from visiting Heath in his new nursing home.

Now, Watts is speaking out about both the incident and the laws in Texas that refuse to recognize him as anything more than a good friend of a man he’s loved for decades.

According to Watts, the trouble began in July of 2011, when he called 911 because his partner, Heath, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago, seemed “swollen.”

When Heath was finally admitted, his sister Carolyn Franks had Watts escorted out of the hospital, he said. A few weeks later, she filed for guardianship over Heath, a legal proceeding Watts said went on without his knowledge.

“I was never notified, never considered,” Watts said. “There was no mention of me on the guardianship information.”

Despite having power of attorney over Heath, Franks convinced the court to give her guardianship.

Arguing that Watts was neglectful, she put Heath in a nursing home and took possession of the couple’s house, Watts said.

Full Article and Source:
Lon Watts, Texas Gay Man, Says Partner Jim Heath’s Sister Forced Them Apart, Evicted Him