Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Pennsylvania Estate Planning Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What happens once the funds in an estate are not enough to cover the inheritance tax on the realestate?

The house is co-owned by his girlfriend of 20 years and she was named the owner in the will and on the deed. I did not inherit the realestate. I am his son and the executor of his estate. I keep getting conflicting information on what is supposed to happen and I'm getting very confused.... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Mar 29, 2020

First of all, if you have not already done so, you need to consult a lawyer to represent the estate.

Inheritance taxes are obligations of the inheritor, not of the estate. Most often, however, a testator writes a Will that shifts that tax burden to the estate. Thus, the first question is...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: My wife is not on the deed to our home. Do I need to record a quit claim before a Revocable Living Trust ?

We would be the only trustees on the trust.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Mar 19, 2020

there are a number of open questions here. Is there a mortgage on the home? Is the Living Trust in your name only or is it a joint living trust? also, a caution. the PA Department of Revenue is reading Living Trusts very closely and taking a very narrow view of what qualifies as Living Trust... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother died with no will. My stepsister and my aunt forged my mother's death certificate and took all of her money

My stepsister forged my mothers death certificate by saying she is my deceased mothers child, but in fact she is not related to my mother at all. The funeral director knowingly lied also, as he had conducted my step sisters mothers funeral a few years before my mother died. I was out of state... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 15, 2020

All of the acts you describe are wrongful, and the law does supply remedies for such wrongful acts, but you are going to find it very difficult to pursue your remedies on your own. Start by scheduling an appointment with a probate litigation attorney in the vicinity of where you mother had lived.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mom just passed away. It's only me & my oldest sister left but she refuses to be in contact with me to discuss

Anything with me regarding my moms arrangements or her personal belongings. What can I do to force her to give me my half of my moms belongings and deal with her final arrangements?

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Mar 12, 2020

Very difficult to give you a complete answer with so little information. In general, if your sister fails to be in contact with you you can file a Petition with the Register of Wills (you are probably Lebanon County) to be appointed Administrator of your mom's Estate. Since your sister is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If money from deceased’s account goes to the state, how long does it take before a family member can request it?

My aunt passed and as her POA I wanted to take care of her bills and get a grave marker but found out that my “duties” ended at death and I could no longer access her account. She has $1700 between her bank account and the money that will be returned from the nursing home. Her husband and... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Feb 28, 2020

You are going to have to meet with an attorney experienced on estate administration to help you figure out this one. the summary above raises a lot of questions. If there are grandchildren alive they are first in line to become the Administrator of the Estate. If the funeral bill needs to be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: The settlor of trust ABC transfers property P into ABC. P carries a standard lien to its mortgagee, a local bank. OK?

Is the answer the same if mortgagee is a private company or individual? Is the interest that will be paid by the Trust tax deductible against its rental income from the property?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 8, 2020

It is not possible to answer this question without reviewing the mortgage instrument. Take it to a real estate attorney for review along with a copy of the trust instrument.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother died in PA with no assets in PA. Her estate is in a trust in Virginia. Does PA inheritance tax apply?

(i) Her permanent address was in PA for the last three years. (ii) Assets were bank account, stocks, and bonds. No real estate. (iii) Revocable trust domiciled in Virginia.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Jan 29, 2020

This question has too many unknowns at this point to answer in this short space. The three biggest questions are: (i) in what state was mom domiciled (her intended permanent residence) at the time of her death (just because she died in PA does not necessarily mean she was a resident here); and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My fathers house is in his will, he has had a stroke and may have to sell his house. What does that mean for the will?
Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jan 29, 2020

A lawyer would have to review the Will. Generally, if the bequest is specifically limited to the house, since the house would no longer be part of the estate, the bequest becomes meaningless. If, however, the bequest is meant to include the proceeds of sale (which would be unusual), the recipient... Read more »

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... 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.--...
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...
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

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.