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Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers

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...
Read more »

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 »

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

Q: How do you transfer a real estate deed to a court appointed administrator when the deceased did not have a will in PA?

My 18 year old daughter is the court appointment administratrix of her grandfathers estate. He died intestate. She is the only living relative besides step-children who we were told are not entitled to his estate.

Our lawyer is telling us we need to get homeowners insurance on the home... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Jan 24, 2019

Talk to your attorney he should help you navigate this.

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

Q: Two organizers on a real estate LLC and one dies, does #2 own it all? Bradford PA

I am about the organize a real estate LLC and would like to pass the properties to my niece upon my death - if I ask her be an organizer will she own the properties upon my death?

Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 23, 2018

You need to review this with a lawyer. However, if you write a Will and leave your interest in the LLC to her and, at the same time, insert a provision in your Operating Agreement to express that that is your intent, you should be able to accomplish this.

Remember that there will be an...
Read more »

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

Q: What are the procedures for a West Va. estate to transfer the interest in Pennsylvania real estate to WV beneficiary?

Decedent has a 1/3 undivided interest in 22.86 acres located in Mercer County.

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Nov 7, 2018

The estate has to transfer the deed to the beneficiary

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on

Q: My mother remarried, she recently died. My stepfather is saying that his attorney told him he does not have to go to

Orphan's court and file for probate. She had a 401K, we haven't been able to see the will. He's already moving assets and removing her from accounts, she died 2 months ago. Do we (her children) have any rights to see the will to find out what is in it?

Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 3, 2018

If there is a will it should be probated. Ask for the name of his attorney; tell him if he won't tell you you hate to do it but you'll have to hire one. If the 401k has someone else as beneficiary he can't change that. Assuming you are all adult, then her will governs. He can't play keep away.... Read more »

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

Q: Is stipulation withdrawing w/prejudice issues of estate, adopted as order, agreed to by all parties, final?

Father died, mom was in nursing home. Turned in discharge for home-base care.Under the advice of an attorney, mom transferred her interest in property to me. 3 wks latter I received petition by SNF attorney to have mom adjudicated incapacitated. Went to hearing and explained to master we were in... Read more »

Cary B. Hall answered on Nov 1, 2018

I'll be honest . . . your situation is way too complicated to get a competent answer here. You really need to sit down with an attorney who practices regularly in the Orphans' Court, and discuss your situation in detail with him/her. At that point, you can pose your question. And you should do... Read more »

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

Q: Is it typical for an attorney to charge for managing an estate as well as doing litigation for asbestos claims ?

Both of my parents are deceased but we still get some awards from asbestos litigation. These funds are all the estate they had. The attorney wants to get his share from the litigation and then charge an additional 9% to manage each estate. The lawyer is in Baltimore.

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Oct 31, 2018

yes that is the practice

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

Q: My mother passed away as life estate grantor to my brother, his wife, and myself. I want to drop off new deed.

New deed to be brother and his wife joint grantor to their 2 children (my nieces). If I just drop off do I have to worry about gift issues? Should I sell my interest for $1 and if so should contract be with all parties?

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Oct 2, 2018

In the deed you would state $1 as the consideration. Also because it is between family members you are exempt from realty transfer tax in Pennsylvania. No gift issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on

Q: My mother passed while she was on medicaid. All she had were 2 small insurance policies ( 5k per). Do I need to probate

She resided in PA. She had no beneficiaries listed on the insurance policies. Should I probate, not probate and collect the monies as her sole heir, or just sign the monies over to the Pennsylvania for estate recovery? The insurance company stated that if I did not probate her estate that they... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Sep 23, 2018

The insurance policy usually names a benificiary. Generally you do not probate when the only assets are insurance policies.

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