Klenk Law

Tag: creditor claims

Can an Estate Pay for Care a Child Provided to a Parent?

Posted on Sun Feb 7, 2016, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Before he died, my dad lived with me in Gloucester County, New Jersey for several years. My wife and I took him to the doctor and cared for him when he became bedridden. He died without a will and all his assets are being divided between my brothers and I equally. They never helped with his care. This is not fair. Can I make the estate pay me for my time?

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.

Delaware County Litigation – How to Protect Yourself Against Claims

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.

Can my creditors go after a disclaimed life insurance policy in Chester County?

Posted on Wed Dec 23, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Last year, my mother died in Chester County and named me as beneficiary of her life insurance. As my children were the contingent beneficiaries, I decided to disclaim the inheritance, so the insurance money passed to my children. I was recently in a car accident. If I am sued, can they claim that life insurance money?

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.

Gloucester County Landlord Creditor of Estate

Posted on Mon Oct 5, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My Dad passed away this month. When he died, I found out that I was still on his Gloucester County 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 moved out, my Dad had let his brother, his brother’s son, and his brother’s grandson move in. They are still there and the landlord knows of the situation, asking them for money for every day they have been there past May. At best, when my Dad died I thought I would be morally obligated to remove my Dad’s property and clean. Instead, the feeling I am getting is that the landlord wants to hold me responsible for damages, utilities, and possible future rent. Dad had nothing and I am a stay-at-home mom of special needs children.

You have mentioned a number of potential issues. First, the only person who has the authority to act for your dad after he has died is the Personal Representative of his estate (if he had a Will) or the Administrator of his estate (if he had no Will). It sounds like your dad (or his estate) owes the landlord some money.

Who pays the funeral bill in Lehigh County?

Posted on Wed Sep 30, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father-in-law died in Lehigh County without a Will. My wife has one brother who is younger than her. Who is responsible for his funeral bill, as the funeral director is billing us?

Typically, when a person dies the family will make arrangements with the funeral director to pay the bill themselves and then are reimbursed by the estate. Often, the funeral director will not take on the expense of the funeral without knowing they will be paid. Your question makes it sound as if you did not agree ahead of time to be responsible for the bill. If so, then you are not responsible to pay the bill, though I am sure the funeral director would prefer that you pay that bill.

Trust Options to Protect Against Future Creditor Claims

Posted on Wed Sep 2, 2015, on Revocable Trusts and Living Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s and need to create a way to have my son assist me as the disease progresses. Can a Revocable Living Trust help my son assist me with my diminished capacity and against any creditors that may arise in the future?

You are wise to start planning now to address your Alzheimer’s. Most people put off this planning, and that rarely ends well.

Creating a Revocable Living Trust that names both you and your son as co-trustees, each able to act independently, is a good system to help prepare for the future.

When should I distribute estate assets as administrator in Bucks County?

Posted on Tue Aug 18, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the administrator of my brother’s estate in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I have advertised the estate and paid all the valid creditors, but a neighbor of my brother has made a claim for $50,000 that I believe has no validity. Can I distribute the estate funds without paying him?

The quick answer is yes, but the right answer is that you should not.

As the executor, you are free to make “at risk” distributions. An “at risk” distribution is that may put your personal assets at risk. Your Bucks County Estate Administration Lawyer works hard to keep you out of trouble. If you ignore your brother’s neighbor, you could be putting yourself at risk.

If my son doesn’t get a prenup, can I shelter his share of my Philadelphia estate?

Posted on Wed Aug 12, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My son is getting married this fall and his fiancé refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement. I am worried that if I die, his share of my estate will end up going to her in a divorce. What can I do?

As part of your estate plan, we could incorporate in your will a trust to hold your son’s share of the estate. Simply put, if your money pours into a properly drafted trust rather than into your son’s hands, then your future daughter-in-law will have no claims to the assets in a divorce.

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