Klenk Law

Tag: Distributions

How do I sell a deceased relative’s stock in Pennsylvania?

Posted on Fri Oct 23, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My grandmother died in a Delaware County senior living facility without any real assets, except for a small bank account and some stock held in just her name. Her will said it was supposed to be used to pay her last bills and then anything left would be divided among her grandchildren. We’re confused as to how to sell the stock once we do the transfer paperwork. Do we have to sell it through Computershare or can we sell it through any brokerage?

During her lifetime, the stock and bank account could only be accessed or liquidated by your grandmother. Now that she is dead, the accounts will sit until an authorized person contacts the bank and brokerage. As your grandmother had a will, and she lived in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, that person will be the Executor under the will.

Distinguishing Between Loans and Gifts in Philadelphia

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

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: 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?

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.

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.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Philadelphia Executor

Posted on Thu Sep 10, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: The will says that all funds are to be equally divided between the siblings. The executor is dividing things unevenly. We had an agreement how things were to be divided. What can I do if the Executor is not holding up her end of the will?

I believe what you are describing is an estate that has been opened with the Philadelphia Register of Wills and Letters Testamentary issued to one person, the Executor. The Will says that the estate is to be divided up equally between the deceased person’s children but, the Executor has decided on her own to divide up and distribute the estate’s assets unequally.

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.

Do children or spouses inherit a portion of a family estate when a sibling heir dies?

Posted on Thu Aug 13, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: One of four siblings is now deceased since death of our parents. Do the deceased sibling’s three children or his surviving spouse inherit his share of the estate?

There are two different answers depending on the order of the deaths.

If your sibling died first, and then the surviving parent died without a will, then that parent’s probate estate is divided up under the New Jersey intestacy rules which give 1/4th share to each surviving child and a 1/4th share to be split among the deceased child’s children. Your sibling’s spouse receives nothing.

Executor Bad Acts – Request a Schedule of Distribution

Posted on Fri Jul 24, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My stepfather died about a year ago and left me a very nice truck in his will. The executor stopped taking my calls about when I would get the truck. I just found out he used the truck to haul his boat on a recent fishing vacation. How do I get the executor to give me my inheritance?

Just when I think I’ve heard it all about bad executors, you give me a story of an executor who drives estate assets on his own fishing trip.

How long should I wait before distributing Bucks County estate assets as executor?

Posted on Tue Jul 21, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father died a few months ago as a resident of Bucks County. I was named as executor in his Will. My siblings and I need our inheritance now to pay off some bills, but we are worried about my dad’s creditors coming forward and asking to be paid. Is there a statute of limitations for creditors to come forward? If I don’t wait, can I ever be personally responsible for the estate debts?

Your father’s death did not end his obligation to pay unpaid bills. By taking on the job of executor, you have the power and duty to marshal his assets and pay his outstanding bills. Compared to other states, Pennsylvania is creditor-friendly. If you have notice of a creditor, you are expected to address the claim.

Estate Distribution Options for Executors in Burlington County, NJ

Posted on Mon Oct 6, 2014, on Probate and Estate Administration

Question: My mother’s Burlington County Will directs me to distribute money directly to my brother, who is mentally ill and has a spouse who will squander the funds. What recourse do I have?

As the executor of a Burlington County will, he has a duty to follow through with the terms of the will. Should the brother not wish to cooperate, he has a legal right to have his Burlington County Probate Attorney petition the Surrogates Court to force the executor to turn over to him his inheritance.

Executors and Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax in Chester County, PA

Posted on Thu Oct 2, 2014, on Probate and Estate Administration

If an executor sells his mother’s Chester County home, does he have to pay the Pennsylvania probate tax before dividing up the sale proceeds with his siblings?

First, let’s clarify a few things. In Pennsylvania, the “probate tax” is the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax. Because the estate is being divided up between the mother’s children, that rate is 4.5% on the date of death value of her entire taxable estate. The taxable estate includes the house.

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