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Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: John does she just sign the original page and have it notarized or redo the original page and have it notarized ? thanks
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Apr 1, 2022

... hello ...

.. she just has to sign the original page - she does NOT have to redo it ...

... with respect to being notarized, some Powers have a notary - some do not ... just follow the document ...

John

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How to authorize power of attorney ,Wife's mother just put in nursing home care Wife is named in will as POA

My wife was second in the Power of attorney ,if her brother could not perform the task ,He passed away 12/31/2020 will was written about 8 months prior. She needs to sell the house and put it in trust for her mother to be used to pay for nursing home care, because of her brothers death she is also... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Apr 1, 2022

... hello ...

... to start, it seems that you may be confusing a few terms ... it also appears that you may be referencing two different documents - a Last Will (you had mentioned an Executor) and a Power of Attorney (you had mentioned that she is the second in that - behind her brother)...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father's estate is in probate in PA. As an heir, do I have the rights to enter house?

The are five sibling and the will specifies that the estate be settled equally; each sibling receiving 20%. My sister lived with my father prior to his passing and continues to occupy the property. She is the executrix of the estate and has specifically denied us access to the house. We want to... Read more »

Stephen M. Asbel
PREMIUM
Stephen M. Asbel
answered on Mar 30, 2022

The executrix stands as your deceased father's personal representative so she can decide who can enter the property. The rest of the beneficiaries have a beneficial interest. If you believe the estate is not being administered properly or the property is not being maintained, you can file a... Read more »

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.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Mar 28, 2022

Either form of deed will serve the purpose.

Warranties, in a deed or any other document, assure the person to whom the warranty is given, and if breached, that person may be entitled to the grantor for the breach.

Inasmuch as the grantor's own living trust will be the grantee,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: If a house is willed to someone but there is a lien on the home who is responsible for the lien?

The lien is from a home equity loan where the primary applicant is not on the deed of the property but the co-signer is. In this scenario, the co signer passed away and in their will they gave the house to someone unassociated with the loan/lien.

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Mar 18, 2022

A Devise of real property subject to a Lien to a Devisee conveys the property to the Devisee with the Lien against the land, but does not render the Devisee personally obligated for the Debt which created the Lien. The Lienor may go against the land but not the new owner. However the Lienor... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Are standard bank accounts eligible for Elective Share?

For example, a husband passes and has standard bank accounts in excess of $50k in his name only that in his will are left to his daughter. His surviving spouse takes Elective Share. Is the surviving spouse eligible to receive the 1/3 share of those accounts? This situation being in Pennsylvania.

Stephen M. Asbel
PREMIUM
Stephen M. Asbel
answered on Mar 18, 2022

These bank accounts are counted as part of the total of assets that count toward calculating the 1/3 elective share even if the accounts were specifically left the decedent's daughter. Whether the surviving spouse actually receives money out of the accounts depends upon whether there are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: The will states "half to be distrib to those as if she was intestate and unmarried". Had no kids. What does this mean ?

She was married and did die intestate in PA. Her husband inherited her very small estate. The question asked appears in her deceased husbands will. How would this be distributed ? She was from the Philippines. No children. Would half her husbands estate be distributed to her family ? Or since her... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
answered on Mar 13, 2022

A lawyer would need to review the Will in its entirety. On the basis of what you have quoted, the Will might be referring to distribution of half of his estate in accordance with the Pennsylvania intestacy laws, i.e., to her family, or the equivalent of half of what was her estate in accordance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Have Covid restrictions extended filing deadlines i.e. estate probate filings, early tax payment discounts?

If the appointment of an estate administrator was 15 months after the death of the estate owner (date of death was Oct 2020, appointment of administrator was Jan 2022), what should be used as the the date Estate formed for generating the estate Tax ID date? Note, the original death certificate was... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Mar 9, 2022

... hello ...

... I would consult an experienced attorney with respect to what date the estate was formed ...

... with respect to filing deadlines for the discount, no ... none of them were extended ...

... good luck ...

... it seems that you may be served to have...
Read more »

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?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Mar 7, 2022

I agree with the preceding answer, but there's another factor to consider: the valuation for estate tax purposes (where the appreciation in value is taxed at 4.5%) becomes the "stepped-up" basis for future income tax/capital gains purposes. The estate tax 4.5% is a way better rate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Trust owns house

Revocable Trust owns house in with trustees were originally my mother and stepfather. They established this in 2007. They were the settlors and trustees. She passed in 2018. He passed in 2021. Successor trustee is me. Can Medicaid take house in estate recovery?

Joshua N. Daly
Joshua N. Daly
answered on Feb 26, 2022

Since it was a recovable trust, and not an irrevocable trust, the trust assets are most likely available to the Estate Recovery Program. However, I strongly recommend taking the trust document to an estate planning or elder law attorney to confirm as much, and also to determine if your parents... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: In the state of Pennsylvania, if I own a property before marriage and get divorced later is that property in jeopardy?

My husband and daughter are co-owners on the deed for the property that we currently have 2 homes on. They have owned this property for 9 years. My daughter is getting married in July. My question is 2 fold. 1. If my husband dies before me, does his share become mine? 2. If my daughter divorces,... Read more »

Stephen M. Asbel
PREMIUM
Stephen M. Asbel
answered on Feb 15, 2022

To completely answer your question, I would need more information. Concerning the first part of your question, what happens in the event of your husband dying before you, it depends upon the form of shared titled your husband and daughter have on this property. If your husband and daughter own... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is a clause in a will that directs the executor to hire a specific attorney enforceable?
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Feb 2, 2022

... hello ...

... no - not at all - never ...

... John

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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?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Feb 2, 2022

Unless the named beneficiary of the insurance policy is the decedent's estate, no.

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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?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Because the house was held by a REVOCABLE Trust, which could have been changed at any time prior to death of the trust grantors, the house has been subject to that power of disposition by both your dad and mom. For that reason, because of that power, the house is probably included in the estate of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dad passed away with no will. I am the sole beneficiary for everything. Can i sign a paper that i dont want it?

He does have a sister also. I don't want the house or car or anything to do with it

Stephen M. Asbel
PREMIUM
Stephen M. Asbel
answered on Feb 1, 2022

In Pennsylvania, you can sign a document called a "disclaimer" which indicates you wish to not receive either all or part of what you would inherit. If you sign a disclaimer, for purposes of the estate administration, you would be considered to have died before your father. The question... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My son is 100% beneficiary for an account he was left...

My son is 100% beneficiary for an account he was left...myself and my sister Are co-executors of the will (50-50) my sister is trying to get part of the account that my son is 100% beneficiary even though it’s in the will that her and I are co-executors does she have legal rights to the account... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 21, 2022

Assuming the will has been admitted to probate, its provisions about the disposition of assets is controlling. If the will has not yet been submitted to the probate court, you should do so without further delay.

Where there are co-executors, one cannot take action without the agreement of...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather died without a will. My mother is deceased. can his 4 granddaughters all be executors of his estate?

We are told there can only be 2 executors. The 4 of us want to co-execute his assets so that they are handled properly and fairly. Please advise.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Jan 20, 2022

… hello …

… that’s a tall order - all of you would have to agree - and nothing would be done if one did not …

… the institutions you will be dealing with also don’t want to deal with 4 people - it’s much to difficult …

… I would suggest that all if your...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it mandatory to hire an attorney if will does not need to go into probate.

All parties are residents of Pennsylvania. Joint OR on all deceaseds accounts. Only one other party in will, can I just calculate the inheritance tax on the joint accounts with a cpa and pay the sum to the only other member mentioned in the will. Or am I required to have an attorney carry this out... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Jan 12, 2022

… there is no requirement that you need an attorney for this in PA …

… however - you mentioned a Will as well as being on all of the decedent’s accounts or joint …

… that doesn’t seem to make sense … whether a CPA can interpret that is up to you …

John

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Good afternoon, As beneficiary of an estate I’m entitled to review all documention, statements, checks, etc?

* Am I entitled. The executor, also a beneficiary, has asked that I not contact them.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Dec 28, 2021

… hello …

… usually - no … that’s why there is an Executor … if you decide to force an Accounting, then most likely …

Good luck …

Let me know if you have any other questions …

John

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Father mother an daughter all on name for house, father passed away with no will do other daughters have claim to house

Father passed away with no will. His name, wife’s name, and daughter 1’s name all on house daughter 1 lives in. Do daughters 2&3 have any claim to the house or does daughter 1 need to buy out other two daughters?

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
answered on Dec 24, 2021

… hello …

… (depending upon the wording of the deed) daughters’ 2 and 3 have no claim to the house …

… daughter 1 does not have to buy daughters’ 2 and 3 out either …

John

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