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Questions Answered by Michael Cherewka
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My parents have been married 40 years. They want to transfer property from only my dad's name to both. What do they do?

He has real estate as well as our house in his name only, and my mom wants her name put on the property as well. How can they go about switching ownership legally from just him to both of them, so that her name can also be on the deed?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Transferring property from a husband to husband and wife jointly (tenant by entireties in Pennsylvania) is easy so long as there is not an outstanding Mortgage loan. Just need a new Deed from your father (Grantor) to your father and mother as husband and wife (Grantees). Since the transfer is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Formation and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: LLC formed in NJ owns rented condo. LLC address was my home address which i sold and moved to PA.

i am trying to figure out what to do with the LLC. i need to changed the LLC's address as it was my sold home in NJ. do i need to file as a foreign PA LLC, create a new LLC in PA? do i need to close the NJ LLC? i am trying understand the best way to 'move' my LLC to PA. what... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Dec 27, 2022

Do not have all the facts here, but it looks like you have several options. The easiest would be to get a Registered Office or Registered Agent in NJ for your LLC. The property is located in NJ, and you have a NJ LLC so that lines up fine. Just because you (as the Member or Owner) moved to PA... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, my mother has a 401 k with Fidelity. She passed away without a will and I need some kind of small estate

document in order to collect funds but I don't know exactly what I need. My mom did not own a home or have any assets can someone give me a clear answer on what I need to do and please talk in layman's terms so I can understand please.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Oct 31, 2022

Since your mother had a 401k plan, she should have designated you as beneficiary (or one of several beneficiaries) to receive the account. If she did not designate at least one beneficiary, then your mother died Intestate (without a will) and Fidelity is describing a Small Estates Petition in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I legally required probate husband's will if he left entire estate to me ?

I am selling commercial property with both our names on deeds. We were in the process of doing this together before his passing but never started any listing etc. I just want to sell as is, no contingency, cash only. Must I probate the will or can I just proceed as we were planning?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Oct 25, 2022

You will need to review the actual language of the Deed to determine how the property is titled. If the Deed lists your name and your husband's name as "husband and wife" or as "tenants by entireties" or as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" then the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My daughter got married a few days ago. She asked me to sign my will and trust before

the wedding. But the lawyer won't let me do. He scheduled about week after her wedding. I am still not signed yet.

I worry what make a difference. I her parter has a will and already signed or his own money.

I would like to know what makes difference.

Thank you

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Oct 20, 2022

Not sure why your daughter was rushing you to sign a Will or Trust prior to her wedding. And it is unclear if it is your attorney or her attorney that advised to wait until after the wedding to sign your documents (and has not scheduled the signing yet). I would step back, take a deep breath and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather left his house to me in his will ,so after the reading of the will can I change the locks on the house
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Sep 28, 2022

As Attorney Asbel has stated, the short answer is NO. The Executor of the Estate has certain procedures he or she must follow in order to carry out the provisions in your Grandfather's Will. These procedures are designed to protect the Executor , as well as the beneficiaries such as... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: In PA how much is the tax rate if there was no beneficiary on a IRA and it goes to an estate then passes to adult child

My Dad never updated his will but he left everything to his girlfriend and she said she is going to distribute everything between her and the 3 children evenly. Wondering about taxes and if I should get an attorney to make sure it’s done fairly. 350k+ in assets and investments mostly... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 14, 2022

Not sure how to read your question, but if you mean by "never updated his will" that your dad DID have a will and his girlfriend received everything under the will, then you will definitely want to meet with a PA estate attorney. if the will is probated and the girlfriend does not file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question regarding priority of claims and a home equity loan that was in both dad and mom's name when dad passed.

My dad died intestate. Bank accounts were jointly owned with my mom (his spouse). Only one account was in his name solely, a holding in a mutual fund, approx 50,000. He also had a credit card in his name solely, approx 10,000. After funeral expenses, etc there is enough left to pay the unsecured... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 11, 2022

Two different questions here. PA Inheritance Tax return you usually report assets in decedent's name alone at 100% of value, and then there is a Joint Asset schedule where (in case of husband and wife) you would report 1/2 of total of joint assets.

The credit card would be deducted as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If my sister and I inherited our father's house, how should I go about having a new deed created?

We Plan on living in the house for at least the next 2 years. The recorder of deeds aid that we need to get a new deed created and that any title company can do it. About how much does this whole process cost? I know there is an $83 recording fee. And what is required or needed to create a new... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 11, 2022

You indicate that you inherited the house. How you inherited it will determine if the process is simple or a bit more complicated. If your father's Deed was joint deed with you and your sister (Joint with Right of Survivorship) it may be as simple as filing a PA Inheritance Tax Return to pay... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I am listed on a relative’s bank account and I and that relative are PA residents, if I die what happens?
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 5, 2022

it depends on how you are "listed". You can be an authorized signer or a POA, and in these cases there are no issues if you predecease your relative. On the other hand, you may be a joint owner of the account, which has different consequences for your "estate" depending on... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Who recieves money left in a checking account?

Father-In-Law passed away in December, there is only his wife (my mother-in law) and my wife (his daughter) surviving him. My Wife is the executor. There's no mention to where it goes in will. Only thing the will says is that the house is left to his wife (my mother in law) and that his... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 4, 2022

The language in the Will generally controls who gets the residual of the Estate and how they get the residual. In a case like this a will would generally state...the rest, residue and remainder of my estate shall be distributed to my wife...In the unlikely case where there is no residual clause... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do we go about selling a house as remaindermen from a life estate.

My stepmother recently passed away. My father had granted her a life estate for his house, with the remainder interest to be divided between my sister, myself, and my stepmother's daughter. What is the process that we now need to go through to sell the house and divide the proceeds. The lawyer... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jul 25, 2022

Your answer will depend on how the life estate was created. If by Deed, then the Deed will be recorded at the county Recorder of Deeds Office and you may need as little as a death certificate and a new deed. If by Will, then will have to open an Estate Administration and the executor of the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have incurable cancer. Would it make sense to transfer all assets with my name on it to my wife?
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jun 14, 2022

First of all sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Second, you should not make any hasty decisions right now. There are many considerations involved in the transfer of your assets or designations of beneficiaries, and you should gather your information and meet with an experienced estate planning... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: In PA, if my sister and I live with my father and he passes away, can we keep living in the house?

Both my sister and I are over 18 oh, and my father passed away. We both have been living in the house helping take care of him. He told us that both my sister and I would be getting 50% of the house. We have not been able to locate a Will anywhere, and I know we are supposed to pay inheritance tax... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on May 24, 2022

There are too many unanswered questions right now to give you a specific answer in this type of forum, but you are fortunate that there are no mortgages or liens on the house. You should meet with an experienced estates attorney to assist you in opening an estate administration (since there is no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: What is the best way to have a great aunt give us her home and car in the event she passes away in Pennsylvania?

The great aunt has a will and the executor is her niece. Does she need to include this in her will? should we do a deed transfer now so we avoid the most taxes? what is the best route to avoid the 15% inheritance tax?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on May 19, 2022

If your great aunt wishes to continue owning the home and car until she dies then she would need to revise her Will to include both of these assets as specific bequests to you.

Your great aunt can gift the house and car to you now if she is comfortable with transferring title to you. As...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: When a married couple in PA has separate wills and the man dies, do all joint accts automatically belong to the wife?

Does this make the estate bankrupt and is the wife then liable to pay outstanding bills?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on May 3, 2022

Although all joint accounts pass to the surviving wife by law, and avoid probate, and therefore are not included in the probate estate which would be available for husband's creditors, the question as to whether the surviving wife could be liable to pay deceased husband's creditors... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Grantor needs to transfer her home into her living trust in PA. Should she use a quit-claim or a special-warranty deed?

She still has a mortgage.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Mar 29, 2022

The first issue to resolve is PA is currently trying to impose realty transfer tax on deeds from grantors to their living trusts. You should consult with a PA attorney on that matter. Once RTT is resolved preference should be for special warranty deed to avoid any title insurance issues for... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father passed away in October 2021, what would be accepted on how to calculate inheritance tax on the house?

Yes, my sister and I plan on keeping the house for the foreseeable future. How would I go about getting this data, county assessed value and common level ratio, to compute what we owe in tax?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Mar 7, 2022

if you are planning to keep the house, the Department of Revenue will usually accept the most recent County Assessed Value multiplied by the current Common Level Ratio as the fair market value on the PA Inheritance Tax Return

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Life Insurance and estate recovery

Can Medicaid Estate Recovery go after life insurance that has already been paid out to beneficiary?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 2, 2022

In general if there is a named beneficiary on the policy (other than the "Estate"), then the life insurance proceeds are not an estate asset and are not subject to Recovery

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Trust owned house

Revocable Trust owns house in with trustees were originally my mother and stepfather. She passed in 2018. He passed in 2021. Successor trustee is me. Can Medicaid take house in estate recovery?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 1, 2022

You will have to take the Trust Agreement to an attorney to review. Much depends on whether your parents were the Grantors of the Trust in addition to being the Trustees, as well as the other assets in the Trust and in your parents' estates.

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