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Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

Posted on Thu Sep 10, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

Most Recently Updated July 21, 2018.

“My brother has had money problems his whole life. At various times my parents lent him money and he made a few efforts to repay, but he owed most of it still at their deaths. As executor I brought these loans up and he now says they were gifts, not loans. We split the estate equally, but if he gets to say these were gifts he will have ended up with much more money than I, which is unfair. What can I do?”

Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

As the executor you are tasked with gathering the estate assets. Loans are assets, so you do have the right to gather information to prove the validity of the loans. As executor you also have the right to hire professionals to assist you, such as accountants and attorneys.

What You Should Do

It is time for you to hire a professional to review the evidence and advise you. You could take the position that these are loans and reduce his share of the estate, but if he refuses to sign a release he will be free in the future to file a petition forcing you to account and demanding a larger share of the estate. It is best to settle this matter now.

Your attorney can review all the paperwork, cancelled checks, and those payments you described to advise you if you have the documentation to support the position that the exchanges were loans. If so, your attorney can then prepare a formal accounting that lists the loans as an asset and formally divides the estate giving your brother the loans as a portion of his inheritance. Your brother may object, but you will then be prepared to present your case to the judge.

More Probate Questions?

Distinguishing between loans and gifts in Philadelphia is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining loans vs. gifts. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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