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Pennsylvania Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I suspect a POA agent of abusing principal's finances, is it up to me to ask for a court's review of expenditures?

Or, does a court review expenditures, as a matter of process, after a POA has been appointed? I can only guess it was a general POA. The principal (a PA resident) has, since, passed and, while I understand the POA was terminated with the principal's death, I fear the estate (small) is less than... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Oct 1, 2019

this is a very broad question so at best can give a general answer. If this was a POA pursuant to a written General POA signed by the principal (as opposed to a court appointed guardian or agent) then there is not much oversight unless the principal or someone on behalf of the principal reports... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Probate was opened in pa and eight years later will was filed
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 18, 2019

What is your question?

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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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a stricter county's public defender "withdraw from your case" if they simply do not want to fight for you??

Too long to get into. Never been charged with any crime until now. Lazy public defender has told me to shutup and accept plea deal. I'd like to hear the opinion of someone who knows criminal law; i have read and understood the PA Title 18 Codes and there's a few (I see) as fightable defenses. I was... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Sep 14, 2019

In which county are you being charged?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: In PA. My wife has an investment account created during the marriage. Can she will it all away or am I entitled to it?

Money was from a malpractice suit that occurred during the marriage. She placed the money in stocks and bonds and she set it up to go to her family upon death. Can a marital asset be willed away from a spouse at death? We used funds from the account for a down payment on a second house and have... Read more »

Karen Ulmer Pendergast
Karen Ulmer Pendergast answered on Sep 13, 2019

In the event of death, a spouse may will their assets to anyone, however, the spouse has an elective share of 1/3 of the assets. This means that if your spouse leaves you less than 1/3, you can elect against the will to get the 1/3 of the assets.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Constitutional Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hi,Can a buyer/mortgage holder/beneficiary be demanded to do this or be threatened to go to court?

In the event of a Triggering Event Consisting in the death of Grantors, or an intent to gift, lease, extend options for use or purchase or other transfer of beneficial interest in the surface estate to the Premises to anyone other than a Grantor, prior to effecting any such transfer, Grantors, or... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 30, 2019

It depends on a number of factors, such as whether this is a private agreement or it is on the record. If it is not on the record, then it would not be enforceable AGAINST a buyer or a mortgage holder because they had no notice of it, but it still would be enforceable against the Grantor for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Changing deed rights?

I am looking for information regarding the removal of a statement in my deed that my grandmother (Grantor) would now like to have removed. The following is what she is wishing to have removed. "Reserving unto the Grantor a life estate in the within described property." This deed was done in... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 16, 2019

The actual process of removing the life estate is fairly simple (for an experienced real estate attorney, anyway), but it should not be done without legal advise as to income tax, property tax and other implications, such as the effect this might have on Medicaid pre-planning.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Mom just passed away. Left me and siblings each 1/3 of house. Oldest brother moved his g/f in, how do I get her out?

I am the youngest of us 3, and I am named the Executrix in my moms will. I can't meet with an Estate Attorney until August 13 and found out my brother moved his girlfriend into my moms house with him. (She has her own key) He thinks he is owed everything and has lived there scott free for 7... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 5, 2019

This is a fairly common scenario and the answer is always the same. First, you need to hire a probate attorney to assist you with getting the house retitled in the names of the three heirs. Discuss this with your attorney, but as executor, you may have the duty to eject your brother and his... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Found a will and Testament, drafted in Jan 2010, and decenant passed may 2010. I'm listed to receive half

My guardian passed away in 2010. I never knew or saw a will, and I was yet a young child. Now, I was cleaning out my home and I found the will. I was supposed to get half the house, half the car, half the funds, everything. I received nothing. I'm now 23 and found out my biological father... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jun 29, 2019

... Hello ...

... Visit the Register of Wills in Philadelphia and ask to see the file ... It will give you a plethora of information - and you can start from there ...

... Once you have that information, I would suggest you consult with an experience probate and estates attorney to...
Read more »

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
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 Criminal Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am looking at being revoked of my probation for smokong marijuana. What exactly does that mean

And what options do i have to not lose years of my life over this? I have completed everything that probation has asked of me. I have nothing but paying my fines and showing up left as a criteria. I stopped smoking successfully before this time has been harder for me and has taken longer than last... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 19, 2019

I'm not hearing why they think you did. Assuming you didn't tell them you did, it may be from a bad urine screen? You have a right to know why. Suggest you contact an attorney. They shouldn't be bouncing you for just that.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Pa. Father dies during divorce decree (final order 2008) cause has been established more than two years separated

Legal division of assists. Father gets homestead he dies 30 days before order is distributed. Mother is benefactor of his will, she is informed in 2010 hearing that she cannot inherit or take elective share due to final divorce decree. Mother dies in 2015 father died 2008. C3 children get fathers... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Jan 23, 2019

..."Executor comes along in 2016 for mother’s estate claiming owner ship of fathers house lower court gives it to them." The house would go to mothers ..."real or residual remaining"....

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
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Nov 7, 2018

The estate has to transfer the deed to the beneficiary

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
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Oct 31, 2018

yes that is the practice

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: When does an inheritance have to be received in Pennsylvania?

What is the longest time...

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Sep 26, 2018

You might want to try again with this question, giving just a bit more information. Are you asking how long you have to wait before you receive something you inherited? That would depend on quite a few factors, such as what it is, is it being divided among other heirs, is it in a form that would... Read more »

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
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.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My gram passed away, she left me some money. I lent that money to my mom, she spent it all, how can I get it back?

I lent my mom the money about two years ago, When I asked her for it back she said that she spent the remaining $25,000 last week, $25,000 is all I was asking her give back to me. The original total my gram left me was $37,000. She is now refusing to pay me back. How can I get back the money my... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Aug 21, 2018

You may have to sue your mother in civil court -- although if she has no money in which to satisfy any civil judgment against her, all you'll be left with is the judgment paper itself at the end of the day. Perhaps she'd be willing to enter into some kind of repayment plan?

Best of luck to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Civil Litigation and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: my late husbands, ex wife is still named beneficiary to his psers pension. do I have any right to any of that?

their daughter took my copy of their, now closed divorce agreement, and refuses to give it back.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Aug 2, 2018

Highly doubtful. If you were to receive any portion of his pension, that would've been accomplished during your divorce proceedings -- and by something known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced "quad-dro" by family law practitioners). If that wasn't done then, you most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I move out of state on unsupervised probation? Pennsylvania

I’m on unsupervised probation in the state of Pennsylvania for 1-23 months and my fines will be paid by the end of the week. The conditions allow me to “travel” out of state freely. It also says to notify my probation officer if my address changes. I plan on talking to him tomorrow about... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 23, 2018

Do talk to your P.O. -- he'll know what your local jurisdiction can do (and not do) about you moving away and/or transferring your probation to New York. I think you'll have little chance to terminate your probation early at this point, however. Maybe serve a year of your probation first, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hi.. I have an estate and special needs trust question as the bengiciery. Estate is in Pittsburgh PA

My father was a liver transplant patient and he was also my grandma's care taker whom he lived with. I believe it was 2008 my grandma became very ill and we thought we may loose her so in an effort to save my dad from any issues with his disability/SSI he hired an attorney to draft a special needs... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Jul 22, 2018

I would need to read both wills and the trust to answer your question.

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