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Tag: Estate Litigation

How to defend my use of Power of Attorney in Camden County, New Jersey?

Posted on Thu Jul 2, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother named me her Agent under her Camden County, New Jersey Power of Attorney, and I cared for her for years. Now my sister claims I embezzled and stole money using the Power of Attorney. How do I clear my name?

As Agent, you are permitted to retain a Camden County Surrogates Court Attorney to assist you in filing a Formal Accounting of all your actions as Agent. This accounting is then provided to all interested parties, who are free to either accept the terms or object.

Klenk Law

How do I get answers about an inheritance in Gloucester County?

Posted on Wed Jul 1, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband’s aunt willed him a share of the proceeds of her jewelry, but the executor told us that the money was mine and sent me a check. We looked up the will ourselves at the Gloucester County Surrogate, and it looks like my husband should get more money. The executor will not answer our questions, so what can we do?

As an heir listed in the will, your husband has the legal right to force the executor to account for the estate. New Jersey has a system where the executor, or personal representative, is given a great deal of freedom without official oversight. This system relies on the heirs bringing mismanagement to the Surrogate’s attention.

Klenk Law

What are the consequences of making an at risk distribution?

Posted on Mon Jun 29, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my Mother’s estate in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I have advertised the estate and paid all the valid creditors, but a neighbor of my mother has made a claim for a five-figure sum of money that has no validity. Can I make distribution 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, meaning a distribution that may put you personally at risk. Any experienced Chester County probate lawyer should advise you that ignoring your mother’s neighbor could put yourself at risk. Remember, even when your attorney’s asking you to slow down or take a few extra steps, they’re trying to prevent you from causing yourself more problems later on. You might be motivated to close out your duties quickly, but that neighbor could make some major hassles for you—even if their claim’s not valid.

Klenk Law

How do I challenge a will that doesn’t give something promised to me?

Posted on Thu Jun 18, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My neighbor promised to give me her Philadelphia house in her will. She died recently and her son, who did not talk to her for 10 years, has filed a Will from the 1970s that gives him everything. Can I challenge that will?

If I understand the facts correctly, your neighbor died and — to the best of your knowledge — her most recent will was the one her son filed with the Philadelphia Register of Wills. That will is very old, but — again, as far as you know — is the most recent Will she signed. Though she verbally promised to give you the house in Philadelphia, she failed to write a new will that backs up your claim.

Klenk Law

How do I get answers about an inheritance in Atlantic County?

Posted on Tue Jun 2, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband’s aunt willed him a share of the proceeds on the sale of her jewelry, but the executor told us that the money was mine and sent me a check. We looked up the will ourselves at the Atlantic County Surrogate, and it looks like my husband should get more money. The executor will not answer our questions. What can we do?

As an heir listed in the will, your husband has the legal right to force the executor to account for the estate. Even though the money landed in your household, there could be plenty of reasons for you to insist that the cash is properly accounted for.

Klenk Law

How can I defend my use of Power of Attorney in Gloucester County, New Jersey?

Posted on Tue Jun 2, 2015, on Power of Attorney

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother named me her Agent under her Gloucester County, New Jersey Power of Attorney, and I cared for her for years. Now my sister claims I embezzled and stole money using the Power of Attorney. How do I clear my name?

As Agent, you are permitted to retain a Gloucester County Surrogate’s Court Attorney to assist you in filing a Formal Accounting of all your actions as Agent. This accounting is then provided to all interested parties, who are free to either accept the terms or to object.

Klenk Law

How to finalize an estate as executor in Philadelphia when faced with conflict?

Posted on Sat May 30, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my mother’s estate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have sold the real estate, liquidated all the assets, and am ready to distribute, but my sister will not give me a release of liability. What can I do?

You are right to be concerned.

Prior to making distributions from the estate, you should insist on getting a release of liability. This is typically done informally by using what is broadly referred to as a Family Settlement Agreement.

Klenk Law

When should I expect to receive my inheritance?

Posted on Tue May 19, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My Grandmother died three years ago in Lehigh County leaving me a lump sum in her Will. The house is sold and the taxes are paid, but I have not received my inheritance. The executor will not return my calls, what can I do?

As the heir of a Lehigh estate, you have the right to force the executor to provide you with a timeline for when you will receive your inheritance. If the executor will not give you one voluntarily, you can have your Lehigh County Orphans’ Court lawyer file a Petition for Accounting with the court. The executor must reply, or face potential removal and surcharge.

Klenk Law

Compelling an Executor to Release Inheritance in Delaware County, PA

Posted on Thu Apr 2, 2015, on Estate Litigation

My Grandmother died three years ago in Delaware County leaving me a lump sum in her Will. The house is sold, the taxes are paid but I have not received my inheritance. The executor will not return my calls, what can I do?

As the heir of a Delaware County estate, you do have the right to force the Executor to provide you with a time line when you will receive your inheritance. If the executor will not give you one voluntarily, you can have your Delaware County Orphans’ Court lawyer file a Petition for Accounting with the Delaware County Orphans’ Court.

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Anne W.

I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

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Andrea Wilson

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

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