My late husband and I made a will in 1998, naming our two grown children as beneficiaries of everything we own. It will be split 50/50. When my husband passed away in 2001, the will remained the same. Is it still a valid will and do all wills wind up in probate court? -- Elsie from Sacramento, Calif.
Read the will carefully. What usually happens is that the surviving spouse gets all of the property, and then, after the surviving spouse dies, the property goes equally to your children. The will is valid. There are times when wills don't have to be probated. It depends on what is in the estate. I suggest you consult with an attorney who specializes in wills and get some advice on this issue. There may be some things you can do so that the will does not have to be probated.
I lost my job in March 2010 and have been unemployed all this time, looking for a job and sending countless resumes. On Aug. 8, I have a job interview with a company representative, and he offered me a full-time job, which I was happy to accept. The start date was set for August 13. Between Aug. 8 and 13, I was invited for a job interview with two other companies, and I refused them since I knew that on the 13th I started my new job. The company hired another person for the same position as me. Then I was informed that they were laying me off due to lack of a job. I am again unemployed having missed opportunities with those two other companies. Is this age discrimination? Do I have a case against this employer? -- Erin from Orlando, Fla.
Based on the facts you've given, I have no way of knowing whether or not there was any age discrimination involved. Age discrimination is difficult to prove. What you have here is a case of bad timing. You need to focus on getting employed instead of going after someone for what happened. Good luck.
I am an elderly person who a couple years ago had some work done on my home through a stimulus package from the government for low income housing. I applied and after the Broward County Minority Builders Coalition came to my home, they decided that I needed some new windows, which were eventually installed through a general contractor, who I assumed worked for the government. After the windows were installed, he said everything was fine and all the work had been done. However, a city inspector came by my house a few days ago and said that the permit for the work was never approved and had expired and that I would have to apply for a new one. I am unable to contact the general contractor so the inspector says it is ultimately my responsibility. I am elderly and know nothing about permits. Can the old one not be reinstated and approved if I were to pay the cost? -- Mavis from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
I am sorry to hear about your problem. Sounds like you were taken advantage of. I urge you to contact the Senior Citizens Law Project at www.adrcbroward.org/lawproject.php, and hopefully they can help you resolve this issue. You'll need help working through the bureaucratic red tape that you will encounter in getting this resolved. Your case should be a lesson for others: you should always make sure that there are permits pulled for any work done on your house.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev. Submit your legal questions, name and city to Jackie by emailing email@example.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass. This column is being provided for informational purposes only. It may not be relied upon by you as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.)Copyright 2012 by Tribune Media Services, Inc.