Klenk Law

Tag: Formal Accounting

Inheritance

In New Jersey How Long Does It Take to Get an Inheritance?

Posted on Wed Aug 17, 2016, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “My Uncle died 4 months ago in Burlington County, New Jersey. I am in the Will. How long does it take to get an Inheritance?”

The time it takes to get an inheritance can vary widely between estates in New Jersey. Many factors that can impact a Personal Representative. The concern I have is that the Personal Representative is not adequately communicating his or her plan of action. An Executor or Personal Representative should clearly communicate to you an estimate of when you are receiving your inheritance.

Philadelphia Power of Attorney Formal Accounting – Agent Wrongdoing

Posted on Sat Oct 31, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother has Alzheimer’s, and my uncle has been handling her money for several years as her power of attorney. My sister and I are not given any information about how he is handling her money. Recently, he took his family on a long cruise that I know he could never afford on his own money. My sister and I feel he must have used our mother’s money to pay for his vacation. What can we do?

Your mother’s Power of Attorney names your uncle as her “Agent.” As Agent, he has a fiduciary duty to use those powers to care for your mother. In Pennsylvania, the Agent is given broad powers and very little oversight, but an interested person being able to easily get a court order for the Agent to account for every penny counter balances this flexibility.

If the executor is untrustworthy, how do I protect myself?

Posted on Fri Oct 23, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died a resident of Bucks County and named her sister as her executor. I am the beneficiary of the entire estate. My aunt filed the will last month, but has changed the locks on the house and refuses to answer my calls. She has a history of alcohol abuse and I am worried that she is spending the estate money on herself. Is there any way that I could freeze the accounts and protect my inheritance?

Pennsylvania executors are given a great deal of power to act on their own, without court supervision, and are not obligated to share much information with you on demand. This works well when the executor is honest, as the estate can be managed less expensively.

Delaware County Rules on Loans versus Gifts

Posted on Thu Oct 8, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My sister and her husband are always broke. They asked my father for a loan to help them pay off a bunch of debts and he gave it to them. They were supposed to repay him monthly, but only sent him one or two payments over the years. Now that he has died, I am the Personal Representative of his estate and I asked for them to repay the loan. Suddenly, they claim these loans were “gifts”. What can I do?

One of your jobs as Personal Representative is to gather together all the Estate’s assets. Any loans your father may have made are an asset of his Estate, so you have the power (and obligation) to collect the debt.

Can I contest charges the executor has paid from the Montgomery County estate?

Posted on Wed Oct 7, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My uncle left my brother and I each half of his estate, which included all his personal property. I found out that the executor gave much of the personal property to a non-heir. The executor is now listing as an estate expense the transportation costs and storage fees to get the property to this other person. Can I object to those charges?

Pennsylvania Executors are given a great deal of flexibility to manage the estate with little oversight, which in general saves estates money. When the executor behaves badly, though, the probate system is not alerted.

As an heir of the estate, you are given power which counters the Executor’s power.

I Was Served With a Petition for Accounting, What do I do?

Posted on Tue Sep 29, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my father’s estate in Lehigh County. My sister and I do not speak, so the process has been terrible. She refuses to sign the family settlement agreement I sent her, and instead has petitioned the Orphans’ Court to make me account. Do I need to respond?

Yes, you must respond to the petition. As a beneficiary, your sister has every right to ask that you file a formal account with the Court. She does not have to show that you have done anything wrong, only that she is a beneficiary. She may have done you a favor, because it is clear that she was never going to sign your family settlement agreement. This would mean dragging the estate administration on potentially for years. Now you get a court-mandated end date.

How do I close an estate in Bucks County, Pennsylvania?

Posted on Thu Sep 24, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have served as the executor for my grandfather’s Bucks County estate for over a year and wish to close the estate, but my uncle claims that I have embezzled money from the estate. This is unfounded, but how can I close the estate while he makes these claims?

As the executor, you could make an “at risk” distribution of the estate assets. This means you distribute the money without getting a release. This is not advisable, as your uncle could then use his inheritance to hire a Bucks County Orphans’ Court Lawyer to force you to file a formal account. Because you would have distributed the estate funds, this cost would come out of your pocket.

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