Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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.

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jan 24, 2020

I am not sure what your question is. If you are dissatisfied, you can make an appointment with another lawyer for a second opinion.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: We live in Pa. My ex husband passed away. He had me named as his beneficiary on his life insurance policy.

he never changed the beneficiary. Am I still the beneficiary?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 21, 2020

This is actually not a simple question. You should take this information together with a copy of your divorce decree to an experienced probate attorney in your area. The life insurance company might very well pay the policy proceeds to you, but depending on how the divorce decree is worded,... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Was my dad's Income Only Medicaid Asset Protection Trust a good idea? Need to use trust income to pay for elder care.

About 6 years ago, my dad went into an assisted living facility and, AT THAT TIME, a lawyer put most of his assets in an Irrevocable Income-Only Medicaid asset protection trust. At the time, costs were reasonable ($3500/month) and he had a good Long Term Care policy. My dad went through with this... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 4, 2020

Except in California (where the lookback period is only 2.5 years), the Medicaid lookback period is 5 years. That means Medicaid pre-planning must be done at least 5 years in advance of the need for long-term care. When it comes to Medicaid pre-planning, an accurate crystal ball is extremely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: If a decedent has no assets do we have to do anything legal after his death? Has term life policy individual beneficiari

A decedent has no assets, and has not had any for 7 years. He has no will, but he does have a term life insurance policy which names specific beneficiaries rather than his estate. He was a Pennsylvania resident. Does anything legal have to be done concerning his death? Do we need a lawyer?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 22, 2019

The primary purpose of probate is to retitle assets. If there are no assets that need to be retitled, then no probate is required. If you get calls from creditors of the decedent, be sure to tell them that the decedent had no assets.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Ex died, have marriage agreement and quadro signed before he died for 50 percent of retirement. I am alternate survivor

How do I file to enforce quadro order if ex died

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Dec 16, 2019

Are you sure you're a surviving beneficiary and not just the alternate payee? If you're the alternate payee, it's quite possible that your payments are supposed to extend only while your ex was living. If you really were kept on as a surviving beneficiary, then you would be entitled to receive a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I responsible (if NOT a POA or guardian) to stay in a home 24/7 for a mother and father with undiagnosed dementia?

The office of aging claims that she can be legally responsible for them (mother and father). She DOES want to be helpful and a good daughter but does she need to be there 24/7? She has had to leave her job and is a ‘prisoner’ to their home. This is all until they are placed in a nursing home.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2019

Pennsylvania is unusual (compared to other states) in that it does impose on relatives the obligation to care for and maintain or financially assist indigent persons.

Here is the Pennsylvania statute:

§ 4603 Relatives' liability; procedure

(a) Liability.--

(1)...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father passed away without a will and he is survived by my sister and me. What are our rights to his personal items?

My father is predeceased by his parents and has no spouse. His home was signed over to the state of PA in order to pay for medical care, but his belongings remain in the home. After his death, other family members including his sister, brother and step mother have gained access to the home and... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Dec 14, 2019

Unless the state of PA would claim the personal articles, they would potentially pass to you and your sister. In order to get the remaining articles or the ones that were that were improperly taken, however, you would have to open an estate, and the estate would then have to sue. It would... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: If someone dies without a will and owned a house with two of her children will grandchild by a 3d deceased child inherit

House is in Pa. No will can be found. House Owned jointly by deceased and two surviving children. Third child died many years ago, never on the deed. Do the deceased daughter's children inherit anything?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Dec 12, 2019

No.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in DUI / DWI and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How to interpret Living Trust name: John Doe TTEE UA DTD 5/11/12 FOR THE John Doe TRUST, 201 Greenwood St Millerstown?

Sorry clicked before completed question - how to interpret the name of a living trust: John Doe TTEE, UA DTD 5/11/12 FOR THE John Doe TRUST, 201 Greenwood Street, Millerstown PA?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 10, 2019

Another way of putting it would be John Doe as Trustee of the John Doe Trust dated 5/11/12, and the rest is clearly an address.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Contingent Beneficiary

My mother passed away shortly after changing her will to place my step-father as beneficiary/executer and placing myself (only natural child) and included my step-sister as contingent beneficiaries upon his death. He had a will made up saying the same.

Due to the nature of my moms sudden... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 2, 2019

You can get a copy of your mother's will from the court where her estate is being probated. A will cannot be changed by anybody but the testator. After the testator dies, it cannot be changed by anyone at all.

However, if your stepfather inherited your mother's entire estate outright,...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: my husband parents are deceased since 2006 how can we get the deed changed in my husband name no mortgage on home?

any resources to find an affordable estate lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Dec 1, 2019

You will need to hire an attorney. I’m in the Pittsburgh area and am happy to help you. Beth Tarasi emt@tarasilaw.com 412-391-7135

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: G-mom passed & left a bank account naming my dad as 20% beneficiary. My dad predeceased what happens to his share?
Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 12, 2019

Your question cannot be answered without having a lawyer look at the relevant paperwork. However, I will give you a conditional answer, based on several scenarios:

If the bank account was a joint account, and if your father died before your grandmother, his interest in the account would...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My daughters father passed away in Jan, we were not together. His will was excuated prior to her being 18.

His girlfriend was excuator and my daughter received nothing not even any personal belongings. Can this happen?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 11, 2019

No one other than a spouse is, by law, granted rights in an estate. Therefore, in answer to your question, yes, it can happen. If the dad wrote a Will in which the daughter was excluded, that Will is enforceable.

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have a revocable trust drawn up in FL where I live. I have property in Pennsylvania I would like put in the trust

Does the PA lawyer need to see the whole trust? Can I just do a quit claim?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 7, 2019

The PA lawyer should see the entire trust so that you can be properly advised. In all likelihood, you can just do a quit-claim deed to the trust. However, you need to speak to a lawyer first.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My Brother and I previously acquired our family cabin for $1. No deed survivor clause, but how can my sons get it?

I want to ensure my 2 sons eventually acquire the cabin and acreage. Although I have a basic Will noting my sons are to receive my 1/2 ownership, can my Brother do the same to ensure his ownership doesn't go into probate to his wife and subsequently leave the original family, or is there something... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 6, 2019

If your deed did not convey to the two of you as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, you each own half as tenants in common. That means that each of you can pass your respective interests by Will. However, in Pennsylvania, as in most other states, a spouse is protected by being entitled to... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: If only the beneficiary can I request an account of what the lawyer has done 9 months after my fathers death ?

I am the beneficiary of my fathers estate but not the executor. Can I have the laywer give me an account of what he has put out and taken in through the estate and what so far he has done?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Oct 16, 2019

There are a few key facts missing here, first being WHO is the Executor? The Executor has an obligation to administer the estate, which includes keeping the beneficiaries informed as to the status of the administration. If the lawyer is the Executor then you certainly have the right to ask him or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: What can I do with an attorney who won’t pay what is owed so that we can close my dad’s estate?

My dad was an attorney in PA and passed away in 2012. His law practice was still open when he got sick and he passed his open estates on to another attorney. They had a signed contract with a breakdown of how much was coming in from each estate & what percentage each of them would receive. It... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 30, 2019

File a complaint with the State Bar of Pennsylvania.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: My siblings tried to get over on my so I had to get a separate lawyer ..

The estate owed me money for cleaning out my mothers home and I was paying all her bills including her credit cards because she had no will and since I lived with my mother my siblings were telling me I had to pay for everything , well I did I found out when I got a lawyer that I was not bounded to... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 27, 2019

You really should discuss this with your lawyer, who knows this case and your situation better than anyone in this forum.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: In Pennsylvania, does property in a trust that is held for a specific person automatic pass to that person upon death?

It is stated in the trust that the property passes to a named beneficiary. Does title immediately pass upon death, similar to how it would in a will?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 25, 2019

Sorry to say, but more information is needed. In general, however, just like under a will, such distributions are usually not "automatic". There is a process to be followed. With a will, the process is called probate. With a trust, the process is called trust administration.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: In PA, if an account of the spouse is TOD to another family member does the surviving spouse get 1/3 elective share rig

In PA, Marital asset being willed to another family member and account has a Transfer on death to another family member. If the surviving spouse is not left 1/3 of assets can they elect a 1/3 if it’s a TOD? Financial investment guy says it doesn’t matter if the surviving spouse doesn’t get... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Sep 16, 2019

The spousal election is taken against all of decedent's assets as a whole, and not against individual assets. The statute is specific as to what assets are included in the election, and it also excludes a few. The eligible assets are NOT limited to probate assets. For example, jointly held... Read more »

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.