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Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If house is left to 3 siblings , do all siblings have to sign for the sale of the house ?

My understanding of Will is I own 1/3 . Will siblings need my signature to sell house ?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 2, 2021

The simple answer is- yes. Your siblings cannot sell/transfer your interest in the real estate if you are a record owner of it. However, if the property is held in a pending probate case, the executor/administrator may have a power to sell the property, subject to notice to all heirs at law and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father passed away in early January. We live in Pennsylvania and he passed away without a will.

He was living with his girlfriend at her house at the time of his passing. He has a fairly large gun collection of about sixty or so firearms including some handguns. My brother is the named executor of the estate that he had to file to open. My father's girlfriend is refusing allowing us in... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Mar 24, 2021

First of all since your brother is named Executor he has the responsibility and the authority to collect and protect all personal property of your father. Since you call your brother the Executor I am assuming there is a Will and the girlfriend is either not named in the Will or was not bequeathed... Read more »

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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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a PA Estate Lawyer charge 6% on the inheritance taxes that we pay
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Mar 8, 2021

In Pennsylvania the estate attorney's fee is negotiated with the executor of the estate. There are court cases with guidelines as to calculation of the fees. I have never heard the fees being calculated as a percentage of the inheritance taxes paid by the estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Sister-in-law (executor) has not paid inheritance taxes after mothers death in 2017, what can I do to protect my wife?

My mother-in-law died Feb. 2017. Sister-in-law took will to courthouse Feb. 2018. Will was drawn up in Ohio, and does not meet PA standards, she needs notarized statements to authenticate mother’s signature. After 3 year she has done nothing. Court has no records that inheritance taxes have... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Mar 7, 2021

if your sister-in-law "took the Will to the courthouse" I will assume that your sister-in-law is the named executor. if that is the case neither you nor you wife can do anything other than (i) demand that she hire an estate attorney and finish the estate administration (including payment... Read more »

5 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father in law died in Oct. He owned a home had a life insurance policy and a union pension. No will help?

My father in law died in Oct. He owned a home had a life insurance policy and a union pension. He had no will in PA. We are having trouble getting information about the policy, deed for the home, actually ever thing we try is an issue we only have a death certificate. Need probate I believe but not... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 5, 2021

Where there is no will, the PA statutes explain, in detail, who will be the "heirs at law" who inherit a decedent's property.

Whenever real estate is involved, unless it is held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and the co-owner survives, a probate is necessary to...
Read more »

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

I am a joint owner on my mothers checking account. After her death the credit union automatically transferred all of the money from the checking account to pay off her credit card (also from credit union). I now have no way to pay for her funeral. I was under the assumption that creditors would... Read more »

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Jan 31, 2021

Please see my answer on your January 6, 2021 posted question which is the same as this question.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Probate and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dad died Aug 17th 2019 and I just found out that my dad left me monies but I think my brother and sister stole what

What was left for me can I get it back or is it too late to do anything

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Jan 25, 2021

You will really need to sit down with an experienced estate attorney to review what has happened so far. Since dad died in 2019, you should have been formally notified whether an Estate was going to be opened. If dad had a Will you would receive Notice that an Estate was opened and you were a... Read more »

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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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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father is in the hospital and not expected to survive. Someone is living on his property and I'll need them to leave.

My father is unresponsive and deteriorating. This was unexpected and he doesn't have a will. My parents are divorced and I am the oldest of his 2 adult children. He owns a trailer in a mobile home park and a former girlfriend is living there. My father was living there originally but got an... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Dec 29, 2020

You will have to hire a lawyer and open an estate. Either all of the siblings must serve as co-administrators or the other siblings can sign a renunciation form so that you can serve as the sole administratrix.

If the lot is rented to your father, even though she pays the rent, once the...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My brother passed away no kids or wife. No will that we can find. There are four remaining siblings, who becomes the

executor of his estate or how can I become the executor.?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Dec 17, 2020

In intestate (no will) cases, an Administrator, or Personal Representative, not an Executor, or Executrix, is appointed,

But each serves the same fiduciary function, to gather up and maximize the value of the estate for the benefit of the legal heirs.

The PA statutes designate the...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dad wants to give his house to my sister before he dies. Will this effect his estate after death?

If he transfer deed now. Will he need to redo his will, which states his estate is shared among his seven children?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Oct 30, 2020

if your dad wants to give his house to your sister he may do so by deed now. He should however meet with an estate planning attorney since the gift of the house may change his mind about sharing the rest of his estate equally among the 7 children (since your sister would then get the house + 1/7... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: my aunt sold her property in joint tenancy with another aunt in 7/2010; she executed a will 10/2010; who has rights?
Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Oct 2, 2020

you will have to look at the Deed. "Joint tenancy" can be either Joint tenants with the right of survivorship (in which case the survivor of the two joint tenants owns 100% of the property) or tenants in common (in which case your aunt can state in her Will who inherits her 1/2 of the property)

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dad passed away. He was living in was in his deceased mothers home. I don’t want the property, how can forfeit it?

The house is in his mothers name. He never transferred it to his. The house is a Lost cause and will cost more than it is worth. I don’t want the property.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Aug 28, 2020

You will need to meet with an estate attorney to review the Deed and your dad's Estate (if there is one). There are several steps you can take to protect yourself, including not opening an estate and having the executor refuse to accept the property, but you will want to review your options... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I have to file a 1041 if the estate does not/never did generate income?

The estate was just a bank account consisting of around $76,000, of which I have already paid funeral and state taxes. Additionally, all beneficiaries have received their share.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Aug 27, 2020

You do not have to file a 1041 / PA-41 if the Estate did not have any income. Some individuals file a -0- income 1041 and PA-41 and check the "Initial Return" and "Final Return" boxes on the returns to create a record that the Estate did not have any income and will not be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Banking for Pennsylvania on
Q: My husband and I are in the divorce process. I just found out he refinanced the house w/o my knowledge. Is this legal?

My husband (soon ex) and I built a house together 3 years ago. Due to criminal charges and domestic he was evicted from the home and I live here with our children. We are both on the deed as well as his father (who helped us) but I am not on the home loan, just my husband and his father. I just got... Read more »

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Aug 1, 2020

If he signed mortgage documents without you joining in, you are unaffected by the new mortgage documents.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My adult daughter died suddenly without a will in PA. She was disabled, owned nothing & only has a bank account.

How do I proceed to obtain the money in the bank account? It's under $2000.

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jul 29, 2020

Unfortunately, if your name is not on the account, you will have to open an estate, and, even more unfortunately, it will likely cost you more than $2,000.00, even under the “small estate” procedures.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: What does it means to no longer live in a home pertainining to a Will

My Mother left a Will pertaining that my if my sibling no longer live at resident the house has to be sold.The sibling wasn't living there when the Will was written hasn't live there for over 2 yrs. never changed there mailing address so all the mail goes there,another sibling and... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Jul 25, 2020

This is a case where cannot give you an answer without reading the exact words of the Will. But in general conditions in a Will such as this are enforceable. So if the Will names a particular sibling, and states that the house is to be sold if that sibling is not living there, and that sibling is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I provide for my son and my husband provides for his son in our wills, if I pass first,does his son get everything?

We have separate wills. I have provided for my son and my husband has provided for his son. If I pass first, would my husbands son receive everything and my son nothing?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Jul 20, 2020

You state that you have separate Wills, but it is not clear if you are leaving everything to your husband if you die first (in which case his Will would control all assets when he dies (and vice versa if he dies first) or if you are leaving your husband out of your Will and trying to leave all... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Separate wills and separate benificiaries?

My husband and I have separate wills. In my will,I provide for my son if my husband does not survive me. In my husband’s will, he provides for his son if I do not survive him. If I should pass first, does everything go to his son after my husband passes and my son does not receive anything?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 17, 2020

Your statement of facts answers your question. You wrote, "In my husband’s will, he provides for his son if I do not survive him." Other than that, there is no way for any attorney in this forum to answer your question without actually reviewing your husband's will.

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