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Questions Answered by Michael Cherewka
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I need legal document living with wife and sister in law in family home wife sister 50/50 split estate.

Sister in law is executor of will, mother died in 2017, will not settled yet. Worried about paying property taxes, school taxes, home repairs with 50/50 split, etc. Part of estate includes land rented to farmer so money comes in to estate now. Worried sister in law will not provide information... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jan 29, 2024

You (and your wife) need legal documents (including a Deed) to close the Estate and make sure all Inheritance Taxes were paid so you end up with clear title to the property. You should also have an agreement between your wife and your sister- in- law to manage the property. Your wife and sister-... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hi, I want to start running leadership trainings by a certain name. I found another company that does yoga trainings

Hi, I want to start running leadership trainings by a certain name (let's say ABC trainings). I've done a google search and found another company with the same name that teaches yoga trainings (ABC yoga trainings). Can I still use the company name or is this a bad idea? We're both in... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Nov 2, 2023

Much of answer here is going to be dependent on how the yoga company "registered" its name (or if it even registered its name). If it is only a Fictitious Name Registration (which is more of a "notice" filing in Pennsylvania than an "ownership" filing) or the filing... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have a question about my deceased fathers life insurance policy and who receives benefits if no beneficiaries
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Oct 24, 2023

with life insurance policies if there are no named beneficiaries the policy proceeds will be payable to your father's Estate. If your father had a Will, then the Executor named in the Will can probate the Will, open an Estate and then collect the proceeds from the insurance company. If your... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: The successor of my father's deceased lawyer isn’t helping me obtain a will from his files. Is this ethical?

My father recently passed. His lawyer (now deceased) held the original signed will (unsigned copies were with my father and me). I reached out to the lawyer who inherited the files. He confirmed as the successor, pledged to check for the files, and communicate further. Regrettably, he failed to... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 24, 2023

It is unfortunate that this attorney has stopped communicating with you, especially if he has already confirmed that he is the successor to the prior attorney's practice and has his files. Since you have a copy of the Will, I would recommend that you hire your own attorney (assuming that you... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Dad passed, left accounts as payable on death to me, his sole heir. One bank is requiring a short form (don't have yet).

Haven't processed will due to copy issue and dad’s lawyer passing. Short form delay could cost tax savings.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Aug 22, 2023

if all of the accounts are POD or TOD or have named beneficiaries, then there is no need for you to probate Will and get Short Certificate.

if your father forgot to designate a POD or TOD or Beneficiary on one of the accounts you may still be able to avoid probate if the amount in that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: The trustee of my fathers’ estate will not give me an accounting of the estate or release any funds. It has been 14

Months and all the assets are paper. All taxes have been paid to government and state of penn. i live in Delaware father in penn.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on May 5, 2023

If the Trustee ( Execeutor?) is not sharing information with you, you may need to engage your own attorney for Beneficiary Representation to obtain the accounting and release of funds (if that is appropriate). Much may depend on whether your father had a Trust, and this is a Trust Admininstration,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: What process is required to give Personal Rep authorization to windup a PA LLC where the sole member has died?

Sole member of small PA LLC has died. Operating agreement dissolves the LLC upon member death. Personal Rep wants to wind up and terminate the LLC. Personal Rep has letters testamentary. What PA Dept of State forms (filing of certificates), or processes, are required to authorize Per Rep to wind... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Apr 18, 2023

The Personal Rep has the authority to wrap up the LLC as you describe it. There is a Dissolution process in PA for ending an LLC, which includes collecting all revenues and accounts receivable, paying all costs and debts of the business, getting tax clearances from the Department of Revenue, and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Public Benefits for Pennsylvania on
Q: Special Needs Trusts

I know a provision in the Will can request an SNT for the benefit of a disabled child. Are SNTs created and/or funded after the death of the grantor(s)? It’s my understanding that one should not leave assets directly to a disabled child, so they don’t lose their government benefits. If a trust... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Mar 19, 2023

a Special Needs Trust can be created either in a Will, in which case it is not funded until the death of the Grantor, or can be created during the lifetime of the Grantor, in which case it is usually funded (at least partially) when created, and additional funds can be added during the lifetime of... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Decedent had a CD with 2/5 children listed as beneficiaries and all 5 siblings agree to split it, court approval needed?

Since it’s technically not probate property as there were already designated beneficiaries, does this require court approval or does a family settlement agreement suffice?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Mar 15, 2023

Not sure that a Family Settlement Agreement is appropriate here. There is no probate estate. However there will most likely be PA Inheritance Tax due on the account balance. Once the 2 beneficiaries receive the balance of the account and pay or set aside the PA Inheritance Tax they are free to... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I use my virtual office address or my home address to get a business license in Pennsylvania?

I am starting an online business in PA and have a virtual office address for the business along with a registered agent that I used to file the corporation with the state. Can I use that address to get a local business license or do I need to use my home address? I am unsure if I should use the... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 27, 2023

Not sure what you mean by a "business license" in Pennsylvania? if you are looking to form a corporation or an LLC to conduct a business in PA you will need a street address. We usually don't recommend that you use your home address, but since you do not have a business office or... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am getting ready to start a business and I like the anonymity available with a Wyoming S-corp.

I live in and the business will operate in Pennsylvania. What is the best way to set this up? I am not looking to dodge the pa tax, I just don't want my name on the database as the owner. Should I register as a foreign corporation or set up a second domestic S corp with the first as the owner?... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 7, 2023

i agree with Attorney Lanard. if you use a law firm or commercial registered agent you can file the Articles of Incorporation without your name and without your address (or an address associated with you). Out of state incorporation would add a layer of complexity and ongoing expense with very... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother recently passed away. I took care of her. I received a letter from an attorney that my mom's uncle died.

She is listed as 1 of the 5 to receive money. Its her 2 brothers and 2 of her sisters kids because their mom died. Would i get what my mother was being left? I am the only child she had. The woman said she would check because of a form that has to be filled out. My mom's sister is deceased and... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 7, 2023

whether or not you would receive your mother's share will depend on the wording of your uncle's Will and may also depend on whether your mother survived your uncle and then died, or whether she predeceased your uncle. Since you have been contacted by uncle's estate attorney you have... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: If you are left a specified amount in a will , can the lawyer tell you your going to receive less than was specified .

The specified amount was the same for my 2 siblings and 2 charities . I live in nj but the will is coming from pa

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Feb 3, 2023

There is not enough information in your question to give you a definite answer, but if the total estate is not large enough to pay 100% of the specific bequests to you and your siblings and the charities, then yes you can receive less than 100% of the specific bequest. However, typically all of... View More

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... View 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... View 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... View 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... View 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... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am starting an online business in PA and live in NJ. Can I use a virtual address to form an LLC in PA?
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jan 22, 2024

If you are looking to organize a PA LLC it will require a street address for the Registered Office in PA. That can be an office or something simple like a UPS Store "suite" address, or you can hire a Registered Agent in PA.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I would like to establish a PA Revocable Living Trust for my estate. How can I find an attorney experienced in RLTs?

Moving from Maryland to New Holland, PA soon.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jul 27, 2023

you started out well with looking at Justia, as most of us that practice estate planning can respond to your questions. You may also want to check out Wealth Counsel for Pennsylvania attorneys in your area that draft Revocable (Living) Trusts

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Our father died intestate in Pennsylvania. How do we claim remaining assets?

He required round the clock nursing care so was in a nursing home. My sister had POA and we had to liquidate his assets to pay medical bills. One investment firm, Putnam, refused to recognize the POA while he lived, and even though our father passed in 2009, they still hold onto this one remaining... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jun 4, 2023

As a group you and your siblings are eligible to be granted letters of administration and open an estate. May be easier for one of you to apply for letters of administration and the rest to renounce. You can then open an estate account and collect your fathers assets and pay outstanding bills,... View More

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