Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by John B. Whalen, Jr.
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 »

View More Answers

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

View More Answers

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 Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: my mother passed without a will i am her only child, people told me i need a paper stating i have conrtol of her estate

i am her only child i need help to point me i the right direction

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Dec 25, 2021

… my condolences …

… the paper that they are referring to is called a “Short Certificate” or “Letters of Administration” …

… you should consult an attorney who is experienced in Probate and Estates … many offer a free consultation …

… good luck …

… 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

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Too many details to sum it up in one question.

You responded to my question, but with the wrong information. It wasn't my father who passed, my parents have been dead for years. My problem is... my BROTHER,has nothing in public records where it would be if there was a will or if this was being handled properly.

I realize you people... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Dec 21, 2021

… hello - please forgive me … could you explain your situation again? … I would be more than happy to help …

John

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: evil estate tax

I have been trying to buy a house in pa. After many nightmares closing isnt until dec 28 now! The executor said it has to be done this week or she has to pay $30,000 in estate tax!!! How can that be? It is just wrong! I have thousands of dollars in this house! All our stuff is there!!!! We... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Dec 21, 2021

... hello - that does not seem correct at all ... did she tell you why? ...

John

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: my father died without a will 7 yrs ago. my brother made himself administrator and my mother and father were separated

separated for 40 years. My brother sold my father's 2 properties. he spent the first 100,000 and closed the acct and then sold another property for 180,000 and opened another account. He and my mother will not give me my share of the estate. What can I do?

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

… you would need to pursue court assistance …

… 7 years ago is a long time, however …

John

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother died on August 1, 2021. in mid-July 2021, she asked me to take her money from her safe deposit box and

give it equally to all her grandchildren. But her Will says that her sons should get that money. Do her grandchildren get the money or her sons? Now my brother is taking this to probate. Can he actually get money that was withdrawn from the safe deposit box BEFORE our mother’s death – at her... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Nov 12, 2021

... hello ...

... there are a few issues here ... were you Power of Attorney over your mother? ... why did you have to give the money to her grandchildren? ... how much was given? ...

... the money may or may not be able to be pulled back, but it will be taxed on her Inheritance Tax...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My fiance and I purchased a house in 2016. He passed 8 months later. I am not on the loan, but I am on the Deed.

I want to sell at this time. Will I have issues? There was no will. Just our papers from settlement

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Oct 9, 2021

… my condolences for your loss …

… there will be a “cloud” on the title if his estate was not opened and closed correctly …

… I can provide further details if needed …

… good luck …

John

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can someone read my trust agreement and answer some questions?
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Oct 4, 2021

… yes …

… John …

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm 18 and my parents are asking me to sign them financial powers of attorney. Should I?

They have offered to pay for my college which I'm really thankful for, but reading through the document it seems like I'm essentially hand them full control over everything I own and will ever own. They say it's only to be used in case I get incapacitate but I don't see where it... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Aug 29, 2021

… because of the nature of today’s world, coupled with the Privacy Rules, your parents would not be able to help you at all without a Power of Attorney being signed …

… yes - it is a very powerful document - but they are your parents …

… I think you know what to do …

John

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather just passed on. In his will he said his monies were to be split between his 3 daughters. There is an

Investment worth around a hundred thousand or so. At the reading of the will the sister who was P.O.A and also executor of his will jumped up and said "I am the beneficiary of that" the lawyer tried to explain that Pap wanted the money split 3 ways but she kept saying, I am the... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Mar 15, 2021

... hello ...

... yes she can ... although your father may have wanted it split, a beneficiary designation overrides the Will ...

... good luck ...

... John ...

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a Credit Union drain account to pay for credit card immediately after death?

I am joint owner of the bank account and will be the estate executor and now have no money to pay for funeral.

Edit: The Joint checking account and credit card are both with the credit union. I am not a cosigner on credit card. My mother passed away last week and upon notification of her... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jan 6, 2021

... hello ...

... could you kindly elaborate on your concern? ... I am not quite sure what you are asking ...

... John

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Decedents property and bank accounts were jointly owned by the spouse. What happens to decedent's solely owned CC debt.

Additionally, spouse is beneficiary of an annuity in decedent's name. Am I correct that it seems that there is no estate to pay debts?

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jul 26, 2020

... hello ...

... from the information you provided, the answer would be yes - there are no funds to pay debts ...

... good luck ...

John

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: moms estate and common law marriage

in the state of Pennsylvania my step dad should be intitled to her estate they have been together for 25 years

state law common law before'05

state law states section code 1103

were just trying to see how to go about it without going to court . and the children giving... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on May 19, 2020

... Hello ...

... You are correct in all of your statements ... However, I would consult an experience Probate and Estates attorney to review your options ...

... proving Common Law Marriage is very fact specific and establishing it is difficult - especially without going to court...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother died Without a will and a joint account with my brother. He refuses to probate the estate. What are my options

My brother says since he shared a joint account with my mother when she passed he is not legally obligated to split the estate and inheritance. And all her money belongs to him. She had no Will from what I understand which means her estate should have gone through the probate process.

I... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on May 2, 2020

... hello ...

... your question depends on a few other questions that we’ll need the answer to in order to give you the best answer ...

... please feel free to email me ...

John

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Mother died August 2019. Sister is executrix. There is a will and she and I are the only heirs. To be split 50/50.

I have never received an inventory or accounting and inheritance tax filed. Many items removed by sister without informing me. Would Title 20 chapter 33 subpart a apply to get information.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Feb 13, 2020

... hello ...

... yes (among other items) ...

... she has an absolute duty to explain and disclose everything to you ...

... I would consult an experienced probate and estates attorney if she has not done so ...

... John ...

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: I had erred in my question. I was really wondering if Title 20, chapter 33 subpart a 3301 -3305 was applicable.

Contacted the attorney for the estate and he does not respond.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Feb 12, 2020

... hello ...

... I am very familiar with that statute but I don’t have the beginning of your question ...

... I would be more than happy to assist you ...

John

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: The estate attorney I chose is doing little to move forward with settling the estate, its almost two years and <$75,000.

He has cash in escrow, debtors to pay and a property to sell or settle with beneficiaries.

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jan 24, 2020

... hello ...

... my sincerest condolences about your situation ...

... however - remember that lawyers work for you and you are absolutely free to fire him/her and retain another one ...

... hope I have helped ...

... let me know if I can assist further ...

... John ...

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.