Klenk Law

Tag: Avoiding Probate

Can a Trust Help Avoid Probate?

Posted on Thu Jan 28, 2016, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have been reading about trusts to avoid probate. Can a trust help my estate avoid probate?

Trusts come in all shapes and sizes and can help you meet many different goals. If your goal is to avoid probate, you could use a Revocable Living Trust, or you could use any number of different Irrevocable Trusts. Both categories help your estate avoid probate.

Can I avoid my deceased husband’s creditors by not opening his estate?

Posted on Mon Oct 19, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died a resident of Burlington County without a will. All his assets were owned joint accounts with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail saying a bank had issued a statement and proof of claim against my husband’s estate and requesting immediate payment in full. It is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?

When someone dies without a will and all their assets are held jointly with a spouse, there is no need to file a will. The assets pass to the surviving spouse because of the joint ownership. That being said, avoiding probate this way does not mean that your husband avoided his creditors.

Which kind of trust is the best to avoid probate in New Jersey?

Posted on Sun Oct 18, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: There seem to be many different types of trusts. Which one is the best to avoid probate?

Trusts are very flexible estate planning tools. They can be used to avoid creditors, shelter assets from divorce, reduce taxes, and to avoid probate. To avoid probate in New Jersey, you could use a Revocable Living Trust or you could use any number of different Irrevocable Trusts.

Do I have to pay estate creditors in Gloucester County if no estate is opened?

Posted on Fri Aug 7, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died a resident of Gloucester County without a will. All his assets were owned jointly with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail from a creditor saying they had issued a statement and proof of claim against my husband’s estate. Also, they requested immediate payment in full. It is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?

When someone dies without a will and all their assets are held jointly with a spouse, there is no need to file a will as the assets pass to the surviving spouse because of the joint ownership. That being said, avoiding probate by using a joint ownership does not mean that he avoided his creditors.

Is there any inheritance tax on real estate transfers in Philadelphia?

Posted on Fri Jun 19, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother transferred her Philadelphia County home to me two years ago. She recently died. I am going to sell the house soon, but do I have to pay Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

Not in your case. The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax of 4.5% applies to transfers to children at death, and includes all gifts made within one year of the date of death. If the house was transferred properly into your name 2 years ago, it will not be subject to the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

Do I need to Probate my mother’s estate if she only held a couple assets at death?

Posted on Thu Jun 18, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My entire life, I have lived in Gloucester County, New Jersey. My parents also lived in Gloucester City. My father died two years ago, and my mother passed away last week. I was an only child, everything in my mothers Will was left to me, and I am executor. Do I need to probate her will or open an estate? Her only assets were our family home valued at $600,000 and her car.

The short answer is no, you can not transfer the deed without going through probate. In New Jersey, there are only a few cases where there is no need to probate a will. The two most common situations are:

when a person dies with no individually held assets or
an individual dies with no assets whatsoever.

Do I Need to probate a will if I’m the only heir in Burlington County, New Jersey?

Posted on Thu Jun 4, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Our entire lives, my parents and I have lived in Burlington County, NJ. My father died two years ago, and my mother passed away last week. I was an only child and everything in my mother’s will was left to me. I am executor. Do I need to probate her will, or open an estate? Her only assets were our family home (valued at $600,000) and her car.

The short answer is: no, you cannot transfer the deed without going through probate.

Do lifetime transfers avoid estate tax in Delaware County, PA?

Posted on Fri May 8, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbox: My father wants to transfer a rental property he owns in Delaware County into my name. If he does, will this gift avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

As a Delaware County resident, at your father’s death, all assets he leaves you at death (except life insurance) will be subject to the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax at the 4.5% children’s rate.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.