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Pennsylvania Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and International Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather passed away (resident of California) but had a property in France.

Two years before he passed, he and my grandmother filed wills in France giving each portion of the apartment to me (apartment). How does this get handled in the US and in France?

Stanislav Kshevitskii
Stanislav Kshevitskii
answered on May 5, 2024

According to French law, there are two forms of inheritance acceptance:

acceptance of inheritance in a simple form (complete);

acceptance of the inheritance with the condition of drawing up an inventory.

Full acceptance of the inheritance can be carried out explicitly, by...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and International Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandfather passed away (resident of California) but had a property in France.

Two years before he passed, he and my grandmother filed wills in France giving each portion of the apartment to me (apartment). How does this get handled in the US and in France?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 8, 2024

In this situation, the handling of your grandfather's estate will involve both U.S. and French laws. Here's a general overview of what you can expect:

1. U.S. probate: Your grandfather's estate will need to go through probate in California to settle any debts and distribute...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Who own the property? The bank ejected us while they were not the current owner of the property.

The bank took us to court on an ejectment case and won the case on 9/2023. However when the court granted the ejectment the bank was not the owner of the property. Another entity is listed as the owner in the recorder of deeds and on the tax statements. The bank lost possession of the property... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 28, 2024

Ownership of a property is determined by who is listed as the owner in the official records at the recorder of deeds and on tax statements. If another entity, not the bank, is currently listed as the owner there and the bank had lost possession prior to the ejectment, then the legal ownership would... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I switch name of ownership on a house that has taxes that are still owed?

My dad passed away in 2015 he has a house in PR that me and my mother have been taking care of. We are trying to switch the title over to our name but taxes still need to be paid. Do we have to pay the entire amount before we can switch names?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 13, 2024

In most cases, you can transfer the ownership of a property even if there are outstanding property taxes. However, the unpaid taxes will typically remain attached to the property, meaning that the new owners (you and your mother) will become responsible for paying the taxes once the title is... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it my responsibility to confront a neighbor about water from their property flooding my property?

I’ve had water pooling in my yard since early September 2023. I contacted my borough manager and was advised to contact the water company. They were here twice and found no leaks in their system. The borough then referred me to the engineering firm contracted by the borough. No help. Repeated... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 14, 2024

If you are the property owner adversely affected by the property tort damage coming from an adjacent property, then it is your right to sue for the damages. It will not be a simple suit. You will need at least a contractor, probably an engineer, and of course, a PA attorney. SOL's can run... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I need legal document living with wife and sister in law in family home wife sister 50/50 split estate.

Sister in law is executor of will, mother died in 2017, will not settled yet. Worried about paying property taxes, school taxes, home repairs with 50/50 split, etc. Part of estate includes land rented to farmer so money comes in to estate now. Worried sister in law will not provide information... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Jan 29, 2024

You (and your wife) need legal documents (including a Deed) to close the Estate and make sure all Inheritance Taxes were paid so you end up with clear title to the property. You should also have an agreement between your wife and your sister- in- law to manage the property. Your wife and sister-... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can forgery invalidate security interest in a mortgage?

Lender believed that the address on the mortgage, note, and notice of assignement were incorrect. To correct it, they completed a modifcation document with the assigned servicer and forged the signature of the borrower. Because there was no real mutual agreement based on the forgery, do the... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 16, 2024

Forgery can have significant legal implications, and if a signature on mortgage-related documents, including a modification document, has been forged, it raises serious concerns about the validity of those documents. In Pennsylvania, as in many jurisdictions, a forged signature can potentially... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: In phila, Pa I aquired my mothers house by survial and im on deed. If I sell the house what taxes do I pay and how much?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 8, 2024

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when you sell a house that you acquired through inheritance, you are potentially subject to capital gains tax. This tax is based on the difference between the selling price of the house and its value at the time you inherited it (known as the 'stepped-up... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Seller asked to leave shed on property for 30 days. It’s now after 30 days. Is it ours now?

We closed on a house Dec 1. We had an addendum written that states the seller can leave their shed for no more than 30 days, along with paying for removal and any damages. The problem is, they haven't picked up the shed and it is now over 30 days. Is it our shed now?

Unfortunately,... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

In Pennsylvania, the ownership of a shed left on a property after a specified period, as outlined in a contractual addendum, can be determined by the terms of the agreement. If the addendum explicitly states that the seller can leave the shed for no more than 30 days and that ownership transfers to... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What should we do with my widowed mom's house to protect the heirs against capital gains upon her death?

My mom and dad bought the house in the early 70's for about $35,000. The house is now likely worth over $400,000. My dad is deceased, and my mom is 82 and relatively healthy. There are 3 kids, and we want to know if we should do something now to protect against heavy capital gains taxes... View More

Stephen M. Asbel
Stephen M. Asbel
answered on Dec 19, 2023

From the information given, it appears that the best thing to do to protect against capital gain tax on your mother's house after her death is to do nothing. If she holds ownership of the house until her death, there will be stepped up basis for calculating capital gain. That is, the capital... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What should we do with my widowed mom's house to protect the heirs against capital gains upon her death?

My mom and dad bought the house in the early 70's for about $35,000. The house is now likely worth over $400,000. My dad is deceased, and my mom is 82 and relatively healthy. There are 3 kids, and we want to know if we should do something now to protect against heavy capital gains taxes... View More

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Dec 18, 2023

The PA "death tax" on an Estate, when the heirs are the children of the deceased, is like five percent of the fair market value of what's distributed. No heavy tax.

The Federal 'unified tax and estate' tax has a deductible of several million, so you needn't...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: We live in Benton Pa in a mobile home park for 18 yrs.we have been feeding stray/feral cats on our porch for 8 yrs.

The park was sold new owners were ok with feeding now have said we are in violation of park rules.rules state can feed on porch.is there anything they can do to us

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 25, 2023

Whether or not your mobile home park can prohibit you from feeding stray/feral cats on your porch depends on a number of factors, including the specific language of the park's rules and regulations, the laws of Pennsylvania, and the local ordinances in your area. In general, mobile home parks... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a parent leave a house to their adult children if there's outstanding debt?

My father doesn't think he can leave my sister and I the house because he says the bank still owns it technically. He doesn't know where the deed is, but the courthouse should have it. I don't know what to do. He's in a rehab facility currently, he's 82. He says he said the... View More

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Oct 18, 2023

Yes, of course, assuming the property is located in PA. The owner of the property (him) owns the property, and the bank with a mortgage against the property has a mortgage lien against the property. So long as payments are made in accordance with the mortgage Note, the bank had no right to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Identity Theft for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father lost his fortune to a network of scam artists. I am looking to obtain power of attorney and recoup his losses.

elderly gaslighting, manipulation. social security fraud, real estate/financial malfeasance

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Oct 1, 2023

A Pennsylvania attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. You could consult with a local attorney about signing a power of attorney, or you could check with some of the online services that offer basic legal forms, which can include power of attorney forms. Good luck

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Regarding second mortgage?

I have a 3.25 interest rate on my mortgage, is it a good idea to cash out as a second mortgage for 5.99 or higher? Thanks.

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
answered on Sep 16, 2023

I have no idea. It would depend on a variety of factors, including the outstanding principal balance of your current mortgage, the amount you are considering borrowing, the market value of the property now and what it may be when you may sell the property, what type of property is involved, the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: When someone was removed from deed years ago, does their next of kin have any rights to the house?

My moms ex BF was removed from the deed, he willingly signed off. 2 years ago she added me to the deed with her. Now the ex BF is in Hospice and his daughter is inquiring about the house. Does she have any legal right to it since he willingly signed off of the home?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Sep 1, 2023

When an Estate is created under PA law, either by probating a will, or a guardianship, etc., the new personal representative can 'reach back' for up to four years to recover transfers of assets that did not return "fair market value" the one whose property makes up the Estate.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: The property they sold me does not have all the land that it is supposed to be, there is a piece that is not in deeds

What do I do if my property does not say all the land that can be seen, can I fight that piece that does not appear in the deeds but that the owners are supposed to have sold me?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 28, 2023

You will need to hire a PA lawyer to sue for breach of contract and to reform the deed. If the missing acreage is owned or possessed by someone besides your seller, then they must be joined as defendants. A survey may be necessary.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my friend sell me his paid off house in payments until it’s paid off without using a mortgage?

Something happened where he had to move out of the country. His house is paid off and he is willing to sell it to us in monthly payments

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 28, 2023

A mortgage protects the seller and is against you. If you get by with a note and he gives you a deed, it is to your advantage. But he will want a note secured by a mortgage, along with the deed, so he can foreclose.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What does this mean exactly in a deed in PA?

Excepting and reserving to "John Smith", during the term of his life, a parcel of land 240 square fee, located on the westerly side of FR Rd; (goes on to provide the boundaries)

Is this a life estate?

What rights does a new owner have on that parcel, if any?

Does... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 24, 2023

That is apparently a Life Estate, but you did not state who gets the Remainder or even a Reverter. Life Tenant can sell an estate for his life. New owner only gets possession at death of Life Tenant, but could buy out the Life Tenant's interest. Unless some other estate is created in... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What kind of lawyer do I need as an heir?

My brother is Power of Attorney and has moved his family into the property He was supposed to sell the inheritanted house doesn't have the money to pay He is taking loans out on property

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 17, 2023

If you inherited the house, you should revoke the POA you gave to your brother and list the house you inherited for sale yourself.

A POA only lasts until you revoke it or die. If your brother is not doing what you want, revoke your POA so he no longer has your authority to do anything with...
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