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Questions Answered by John B. Whalen, Jr.
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

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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

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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 ...

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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

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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...
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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

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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... 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 ...

... John ...

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... 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...
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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

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