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Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers

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. 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

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on

Q: Changing deed rights?

I am looking for information regarding the removal of a statement in my deed that my grandmother (Grantor) would now like to have removed. The following is what she is wishing to have removed. "Reserving unto the Grantor a life estate in the within described property." This deed was done in... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 16, 2019

The actual process of removing the life estate is fairly simple (for an experienced real estate attorney, anyway), but it should not be done without legal advise as to income tax, property tax and other implications, such as the effect this might have on Medicaid pre-planning.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can a daughter make a claim on deceased father's estate, so his second wife doesn't take it all?

I dont have the will. The wife omitted me from his obituary.

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 14, 2019

The answer depends on what your father's will says and the age of the daughter. He might have left everything to the daughter. He might have left everything to his wife. Or he might have done something else. Hire a probate attorney in the vicinity of the town where your father lived when he... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: My father has died. his second wife kept him from me. Do I have any right to probate the will?

the wife didnt notify me of his death, omitted me from his obituary. I am his first born daughter. They met while I was living with dad in high school. She moved in, was his college student at the time .

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 13, 2019

The court decides who gets to serve as executor. The first natural choice is the person named as executor in your dad's will. Unless someone steps up to prove that person is not qualified, that is who will be appointed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: Question about quit/claim deed.

My parents have house in Florida. My dad died. My mom would like to add myself to her deed. Would I have to pay inheritance tax on this property? My mom also has it in her will the house is mine. She also wants to continue her insurance policy that would be grandfathered to me as well as long as my... Read more »

Sarah E. Manning answered on Aug 12, 2019

To advise on the Deed used for the Florida property, it would be best to consult a Florida real estate attorney. Does your mother reside in the Florida house or does she live in Pennsylvania with just a second home in Florida? Additional information would be needed to provide an accurate response.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: My father is the mortgagor for my brother.

My brother purchased our childhood home from my father. My father agreed to hold the mortgage which is legally recorded. Does he have to get a new mortgage to pay back the estate in order to settle (there are 4 of us) or can he take his portion of the inheritance and put it towards the balance and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 8, 2019

You can do anything you want if all of the heirs agree.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Pennsylvania on

Q: Mom just passed away. Left me and siblings each 1/3 of house. Oldest brother moved his g/f in, how do I get her out?

I am the youngest of us 3, and I am named the Executrix in my moms will. I can't meet with an Estate Attorney until August 13 and found out my brother moved his girlfriend into my moms house with him. (She has her own key) He thinks he is owed everything and has lived there scott free for 7... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 5, 2019

This is a fairly common scenario and the answer is always the same. First, you need to hire a probate attorney to assist you with getting the house retitled in the names of the three heirs. Discuss this with your attorney, but as executor, you may have the duty to eject your brother and his... Read more »

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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. 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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Is it legal to purchase the rights of someone’s life estate? (I.e: pay them weekly until they die for the rights)

Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 12, 2019

Depends on how the will or deed was written--if it was a grant without qualification such as "so long as s/he shall have use of it" then yes. If it's qualified then likely no.

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. 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 Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on

Q: Questions about ownership of a house

We have a house that was transferred from my grandparents. The deed reads as:

(Dad's name), a married individual, (my name) a single individual, (brother's name), a single individual, as joint tenants with right of survivorship and not tenants in common. (herein called "Grantees")... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing answered on May 23, 2019

JTWROS means whoever survives owns--it isn't something that an estate gets. So you are the owner. 2014/7 deals with a situation where the property isn't titles the way this was.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: In PA, are both spouses required to sign closing documents if only one spouse is listed on deed and mortgage?

Home is in name of spouse and deceased mother. Proceeds must be split between spouse and estate

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on May 19, 2019

Yes also you need to consult an attorney for this. While the property is in both name there are estate taxes that need to be taken care of and if you are married your wife has an interest. You really need to retain an attorney to get you through this transaction.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: How do I revoke my revocable PA trust, which contains bank accounts and properties in PA and CA? I am the only settlor

Mark Scoblionko answered on Apr 10, 2019

If the trust is revocable, you can do a letter to the trustee revoking the trust. If you are the trustee, it would be a letter to yourself, as trustee. The fact that you were the settlor is irrelevant.

You would then change the bank accounts and have to have deeds prepared for the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: Mom has debts(she's deceased) but I don't want to sell her land it's the only thing she left me.

Is there any way around it besides taking on her debt myself?

I grew up in foster care this is one of the very few good things (besides the debt) she did for me.

Mark Scoblionko answered on Apr 4, 2019

If the real estate is in just her name, you will have to open an estate, presumably with the help of a lawyer. If there are debts, they will have to be paid before the estate could convey the real estate to you. Additionally, there will be an inheritance tax of 4.5% on the value of the land, and... Read more »

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. 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 ......
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can the same lawyer represent both sides in the divvying up of an estate/inheritance with 1 party buying the other out?

Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 18, 2019

If both parties are aware and consent, yes. It's called a knowing waiver of a conflict.

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. 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 ...

......
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: My General Durable POA and my Living Will Declaration show my spouse as my attorney-in-fact/surrogate; secondary is my

eldest son. I would like to add a clause that if my neither my spouse nor my eldest son are unable or unwilling that the responsibility would go to my youngest son. Can I just add an addendum myself to the document or do I have to have all new documents drawn up? I live in Pennsylvania. Thank you.

Mark Scoblionko answered on Feb 12, 2019

You will require new documents.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: My brother and I purchased our family's cabin and acreage years ago. Can his wife take over ownership if he were to die?

We purchased the property from our grandparents prior to their passing long before either of us were married. Previously, my brother was advised that in the event of divorce his wife would not be able to acquire ownership as it was property he held prior to marriage, and she has contributed... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko answered on Feb 10, 2019

You would need a lawyer to review your deed and advise you.

As a general principle, if your deed says that you own the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, if one dies, the property passes automatically to the other deed holder. On the other hand, if the deed says...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: My brother was sole executor to our parents estate & has now passed prior to settlement, who will be executor now?

Our fathers will has a residue clause, if anyone predeceases me, his share be given to his then living issue, per stirpes, & in default of any such issue to be divided equally between survivors named above, (my sister & me) Does this include executor responsibilities, since my father has passed?

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Feb 6, 2019

Apparently you father's will didn't name an alternate executor. In that case, a new one will have to be appointed. You and your sister and agree as to which of you may take that role or ask that one be appointed by the court. You can serve as co-executors as well. I highly recommend that you... Read more »

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