Klenk Law

Category: Estate Litigation

Does Theft Disqualify A Beneficiary From Inheriting?

Posted on Tue Aug 30, 2016, on Estate Litigation

Ask a Question” mailbag: Isn’t it true that theft from estate disqualifies beneficiary from inheriting from that estate? “As the executor of my mother’s estate I was able to prove that my brother stole from my mom. The judge ordered him to return the money. My mother’s Willdivides the assets between all the children equally. Is my brother disqualified from inheriting his share?”

What can I do to protect myself from being taken advantage of by my Dad’s landlord in Delaware County?

Posted on Fri Jan 22, 2016, on Estate Litigation

My Dad passed away this month. When he died, I found out that I was still on his Delaware County apartment lease as a cosigner. The lease was signed in 2011. I had moved out in 2013, letting the management company know that I wanted off the lease. When I asked if the management company had anything for me to sign, they replied ‘no’. When I had moved out, my Dad had let his brother, his son and his grandson move in. They are still there and the landlord’s been asking them for money for each day they are there past the end of last month. When my Dad died, I just thought I would be morally obligated to remove my Dad’s property and clean. Instead, I am getting a feeling that the landlord wants to hold me responsible for damages, utilities, and possible future rent. My Dad had nothing and I am a stay at home mom of special needs children.

I was served with a Petition for Accounting from the Bucks County Orphans Court, what do I do?

Posted on Sat Jan 16, 2016, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my father’s estate in Bucks County. My sister and I do not speak, so the process has been terrible. She refuses to sign the family settlement agreement I sent her, and instead has petitioned the Orphans’ Court to make me account. Do I need to respond?

Delaware County Litigation

Posted on Mon Dec 28, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my mother’s estate in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I have advertised the estate and paid all the valid creditors. However, a neighbor of my mother has made a claim for $10,000 that has no validity. Can I make distribution without paying him?
The quick answer is yes, but the correct answer is that you should not.

How do I get a Personal Representative to hold up their end of a will’s terms?

Posted on Mon Nov 16, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My Mom’s will says that all estate money is divided equally between her children. The Personal Representative said she would be writing us equal checks. It has been 9 months and I have not received a check. How do I get her to hold up her end of the will terms?

New Jersey gives the Personal Representative a great deal of unsupervised power to handle the estate. If you feel that this power is being abused, you have the right to force her to appear in court and explain herself. You can hire an attorney experienced in Surrogate’s Court litigation who can file for you a Petition forcing the Personal Representative to file a Schedule of Distribution, which is her road-map plan of how she will distribute the estate’s assets.

When to challenge a forged will in Chester County?

Posted on Sun Nov 1, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My neighbor said that she was going to leave me money in her will. But, at my neighbor’s death, a friend of hers filed a will with the Chester County Register of Wills that gave everything to the friend. I think the will is a forgery. Is there a statute of limitations period for me to challenge the will?

Yes. If you had acted before the will was filed, you could have had your Chester Probate Attorney file a caveat with the Chester County Register of Wills. This would have prevented the friend from obtaining Letters Testamentary until you had the chance to review the Will and decide if you were going to contest it.

If the executor is untrustworthy, how do I protect myself?

Posted on Fri Oct 23, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died a resident of Bucks County and named her sister as her executor. I am the beneficiary of the entire estate. My aunt filed the will last month, but has changed the locks on the house and refuses to answer my calls. She has a history of alcohol abuse and I am worried that she is spending the estate money on herself. Is there any way that I could freeze the accounts and protect my inheritance?

Pennsylvania executors are given a great deal of power to act on their own, without court supervision, and are not obligated to share much information with you on demand. This works well when the executor is honest, as the estate can be managed less expensively.

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