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Questions Answered by John B. Whalen, Jr.
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My fathers estatehas been in probate for two years. How long does it take for an estate to be setyled in pennsylvania ?
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Oct 24, 2019

... hello ...

... most estates in Pennsylvania take approximately two years to settle ...

... however - without knowing the facts of this estate - this answer could change ...

... there really isn’t an easy answer for this ...

... John ...

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I access my moms estate that had passed away in 2010

I live in California, my mom passed in Pennsylvania. My mom passed away in 2010 and her boyfriend at the time was trying to get me and my sister to sign over all of my moms assets to him so that he can take care of my half brother and sister At the time I was very young, me and my sister ended up... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Aug 16, 2019

... hello ...

... go to the Register of Wills where the Estate was probated ...

... it will probably be archived but they will be able to help you ...

... you may have waited to long to do anything, but good luck ...

John

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Found a will and Testament, drafted in Jan 2010, and decenant passed may 2010. I'm listed to receive half

My guardian passed away in 2010. I never knew or saw a will, and I was yet a young child. Now, I was cleaning out my home and I found the will. I was supposed to get half the house, half the car, half the funds, everything. I received nothing. I'm now 23 and found out my biological father... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jun 29, 2019

... Hello ...

... Visit the Register of Wills in Philadelphia and ask to see the file ... It will give you a plethora of information - and you can start from there ...

... Once you have that information, I would suggest you consult with an experience probate and estates attorney to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is prior court approval necessary for an agent to purchase real estate from the principal at fair market value?

The POA document has general language giving authority to buy, sell and lease real estate.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jun 5, 2019

... Hello ...

... No - but it's always safe to do so ... Even if it is at fair market value, the Agent will always be viewed as self-dealing ...

... good luck ...

... John ...

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother owns a vacation home in Maryland and her full time residence is a rental apartment in Pennsylvania.

Should we try to find an estate lawyer registered in both states? How do we do that?

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Mar 30, 2019

... Hello ...

... You won't need 2 attorneys ... The main focus should be an attorney well versed in the laws of the state where your mother resides (Pennsylvania) ... That attorney will know how to handle items owned by your mother outside of Pennsylvania ...

... Good luck ......
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I did my own will through the Suze Orman website and my will mentions a revocable trust but I didn't do it.

Is it OK that my will mentions this trust but I decided not to do it. There was no way to take it out. According to them it automatically does it and they told me to check with my state to see if it matters that it says there is one and I don't have one.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Mar 12, 2019

... Hello ...

... please please please do not listen to Suzy Orman ... She is based in California, cites California law, and is not an attorney ...

... Estate and Wills law is state specific ...

... Please ensure your Will is proper under Pennsylvania law ...

......
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is the family exemption on rev-1511 funds that the claimant should receive or is something else i do not understand.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on May 28, 2018

... hello ...

I believe you are referencing Rev-1500, the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return ... they are funds that are paid from the Estate to the applicable person ...

... Good luck ...

John

John B, Whalen, Jr., J.D., LL.M. is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Executor did not check box on PA Inheritance Return showing $14,000 gift checks within one year of decedent's death.

Decedent's estate will be probated by an Orphans Court judge as I did not sign the R & R form. I saw an attorney as an initial meeting and he pointed out on the PA Inheritance Return that the executor did not check the box on the form showing that $14,000 gift checks were given by the decedent... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Mar 24, 2018

... Hello ...

... Many problems can come from this ... It was signed incorrectly (I hesitate to use the word "fraudulently" because honest mistakes happen ... But many questions come from this also ... Why didn't you sign the R&R form? ... Were the transfers listed on the schedule on the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How to avoid PA inheritance tax on a house owned by a father still alive. Son wants to know should his name be on deed?

If putting sons name on deed does not avoid inheritance tax what needs to be done to avoid the inheritance tax?

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Feb 28, 2018

... hello ...

... you cannot avoid the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax (which is only 4.5% to children), without creating bigger problems elsewhere ...

... I would consult with an experienced Probate Estates Attorney with a Tax background ...

... good luck ...

John

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My Dad died in 2014 and my mom has not set up estate.I hear my kids are left money.

My parents didn’t get along but remained married. I was told my mom went to settle but didn’t becuase my Dad left most of money to my kids.My father passed in 2014 and I just wanna know how I find out. Not a fan of disputes but it’s a nice sum of money and just sitting. My sister Ibelieve... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jan 14, 2018

Hello ...

My condolences ... You're best first step is to check with the Register of Wills in the County where your father passed away ... That information is public knowledge ... The people at the Register of Wills are very helpful and can answer most of your non-legal questions (they...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can taking $3500 family exemption considered attacking my mom's will? I lived w/her for 4 yrs. Residual to be divided.

I am to get house & nothing else. I want to claim family exemption, to keep some furniture, dishes, pans etc.. The rest is to be divided among 3 siblings. My brother (executor) says this is attacking the will & mom's wishes. Therefore, I receive nothing. Is this possible? PLEASE HELP

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Oct 19, 2017

... hello ...

... no - not at all (and whoever is telling you this is - your brother - should not be doing so) ... further - you can claim the Family Exemption in cash ($3,500.00) and also retain some of the personal property as part of your 1/4 residual share ...

... if you need...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I entitled to any of my deceased wife's money left to her by her father?

My wife's father passed away when she was 19. In his will, he left money to his daughters and his wife. My stepmother guilted my wife into not taking any money because she said she needed the money to live on. My wife passed away at 49. Can I fight this in court and am I entitled to any of the... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Oct 18, 2017

... hello ...

... no ... in addition to the legal obstacles your have to overcome (which I can only hazard a guess), 30 years is just too long a time period to wait ...

... you could discuss this with another probate and estates attorney, but I am sure you would get the same answer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do you get letter of testamentary.

My boyfriend and I bought house together and he passed away and left house to me and in order to put in my name need letter of testamentary how do I get one.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Aug 29, 2017

Hello ...

You have to go to the Register of Wills and Probate his Will or (if you are not named in his Will or he doesn't have a Will) you have to have Letters issued to whoever that may be ...

If you provide more information on your situation, I will offer more advice ......
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Myself and siblings are admins on my mothers estate.

My sister refuses to sign checks so we can get money unless i give half to my children. Can she legally do that

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Aug 17, 2017

... Hello ...

... if you are both co-executors, your sister should do what the Will says ... you don't give enough facts re the provisions of the will to allow me to explain more ... I would be more than happy to answer if you provide more information ...

... good luck ......
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather passed away in May of last year and my father(one of 4 heirs) passed away a month later. Why does my paps

Lawyer want to go through probate and why does he want information about my dads personal assets when my father had no will?

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Aug 14, 2017

... Hello ...

... Whether or not your father had a Will, it appears that your father was entitled to a share of your grandfather's estate ... Pennsylvania has an Intestacy Statute that will handle that ...

... Good luck ...

... John ...

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