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Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My son is 100% beneficiary for an account he was left...

My son is 100% beneficiary for an account he was left...myself and my sister Are co-executors of the will (50-50) my sister is trying to get part of the account that my son is 100% beneficiary even though it’s in the will that her and I are co-executors does she have legal rights to the account... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 21, 2022

Assuming the will has been admitted to probate, its provisions about the disposition of assets is controlling. If the will has not yet been submitted to the probate court, you should do so without further delay.

Where there are co-executors, one cannot take action without the agreement of...
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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...
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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

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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 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 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 and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Two years has passed since my brother did. Nothing has been done. I can't get any information from siblings. Help

My brother passed two years ago in January. My bipolar, control freak sister says she is the executior. Nothing has been done, she says she has a lawyer but won't tell me who. No documents have been filed in public records. A company contacted me stating that I am a beneficiary of the estate.... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Dec 21, 2021

Your father's estate, if your sister probated the Will, is a matter of public record in the Register of Wills for the county in which your father lived at the time of his death. if your sister probated the Will a copy will be in the Register of Wills office along with an Petition for Probate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My husband passed away while our mortgage was on a COVID relief plan and company is giving me a hard time to get off.

My husband passed away while our mortgage was on a COVID relief plan and company is giving me a hard time to get off.

He was the only one listed on the mortgage. We are both on the deed and I have been trying to get off the plan for 3 months to resume regular payments. Now the mortgage... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Dec 9, 2021

For title purposes, there appears to be no need for you to put the property through a probate proceeding, if that is the sole or most significant asset in your husband's estate.

Mortgage interest rates are near historic lows. Your best path appears to be to refinance the mortgage debt...
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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 Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother isn't good, her boyfriend that's been there 15years says once she passes he's taking everything, no will
Corey Adamson
Corey Adamson answered on Oct 26, 2021

If your mother passes without a will, her boyfriend is not someone identified in the intestate statutes who will inherit anything. Everything would pass to you and any other surviving children your mother may have. However, you may want to make sure your mother’s boyfriend has not exercised any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I die and leave my house to my child, can I stipulate in my will that my boyfrnd lives there indefiniteltly

With his children

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Oct 12, 2021

Yes, you can make those arrangements by specific provisions in your will. One way is to give what is called a life estate in the property, which gives your boyfriend control of the property until his death, or until he no longer wants it.

There are other ways, using testamentary trusts,...
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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

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Oct 9, 2021

So sorry for your loss.

If you held the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship (that wording should be on the deed itself), then when he passed, you became the sole owner by operation of law. For record purposes, you should record the Certificate of Title, connecting to the...
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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 …

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Mom passed Jan 2021.Owned Prudential Life Ins stock.To date PLI says stock not sold yet; we cannot settle estate.

All requested paperwork/forms has been forwarded to PLI. Folks buy sell stock everyday. Why would it take this long? Any info on this type situation / stock sale would be helpful. Thank you.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Sep 29, 2021

If your mother held shares of stock in her name, and held the original stock certificates, you don't need to look to Prudential to sell that stock. Any stockbroker could do the sale for you, or at least, for the court-approved personal representative of the estate.

If, on the other...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Both of my parent's recently died within 13 months of each other. They did not leave a Will.

Prior to their deaths, my youngest sister (among 5) took over handling all of their finances, at the request of my Mother, and became their power of attorney ("POA"), which I'm not sure was ever made official.

Following my Mother's most recent death, my sister ~ the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 3, 2021

It sounds like a probate was opened by your sister. Probate is a kind of court case and the records are public. You can go to the courthouse nearest where your mother died and ask to look at the file. You will probably find answers in the file. If you do not understand what you are seeing, you... Read more »

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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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My husband recently passed away, we have a will and a trust of which I am beneficary but I never put my name on deed.

Do I have to probate the will, and how do I transfer the deed to myself? Thank You, Anne Marie Ball

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jul 9, 2021

You need to contact a lawyer to help you. In short, the Will needs to be probated and an estate opened. You, as Executrix, would then execute a deed, unless the property is already in the Trust. As indicated, you need to meet with a lawyer to review everything.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If it would cost me more to probate a will than I would actually get, am I required to do so? What are the implications?

My mother passed away last year, and we didn’t have any issues with inheritance, except for a 1099 showing dividends from an employee stock plan. The account is very small, so it would be more expensive to probate it then it’s actually worth. We’d like to simply ignore it, but we know we’ll... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 8, 2021

No but before you decide not to did you look under unclaimed money on the Treasurer's website? Look under both her married and maiden names.

https://www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/

Also if she had a car you want to pass title to, a house you would need to open a simple...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is there a way to protect an inherited IRA and any distributions from a spendthrift spouse or divorce?

Is an inherited IRA protected from a divorce? If distributions from an inherited IRA are made into an account solely in the name of the IRA recipient, are those distributions protected from divorce? Can those distributions be made directly to the recipient's living trust that has a co-trustee... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 30, 2021

Drafted correctly, a trust or trusts as beneficiary(ies) would not have any different tax consequences than naming individual beneficiaries. Look for an attorney in your area that understands how to draft a "see-through" retirement plan trust.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am a senior citizen with no immediate family in the area & want to get a will, beneficiary, living trust for property

Since I have no family and on a limited income; I want to make my best friend my beneficiary & once everything is liquidated; she will delegate certain amounts to charities & people that I want to leave a little something to. Also, can I have a backup beneficiary since we're always... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 7, 2021

You are on the right path, and the things you are wanting to do are do-able. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you see this through. Most likely you are going to want to create a revocable trust with a will just in case. I would also recommend a general durable power of attorney... Read more »

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