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.

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.

Philadelphia Power of Attorney Formal Accounting

Posted on Fri Jul 31, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother named me her power of attorney. For years, I used it to pay her bills and care for her. My mother recently died in Philadelphia without a will. My sister thinks I stole some money, but that is not true. She has served me a citation to account for my actions under the power of attorney, what do I do now?

By accepting the position of agent through your mother’s Power of Attorney, you became a fiduciary. As a fiduciary, you owed your mother a duty to look out for her best interest. But that job also comes with the obligation to explain your actions as Agent to certain people.

Executor Wrongdoing in Camden County, New Jersey – Steps Needed

Posted on Wed Jul 29, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: For years, my parents lent money to my cousin and his wife to pay their children’s education. To my surprise, at their deaths, my cousin’s wife was named executor. She “hired” my cousin who is a CPA to handle the estate’s books. Over a year has passed and they refuse to give me any information about the estate and are calling the loans to them, “gifts”. What can I do?

I take it that you are the residuary beneficiary of the will? If so, you have the right to demand through a formal accounting to know where every penny went and a justification for every expense. You also have a right to investigate whether all those years of funding education and other money transfers were gifts or loans.

Elder Financial Scam Allegedly Left No Estate Money, Philadelphia

Posted on Wed Jul 29, 2015, on Elder Financial Scams

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: When my father became very ill two years ago, we hired a full time caretaker to help him. We live in California and my father lived in Philadelphia, so we could not be there at all times. At his death, we were shocked to find out that his will was changed and the caretaker was the executor. She says all his money was spent on medical care, but that is impossible. We are now being told we are the heirs, but there is no money. I suspect she has stolen his money. What can I do?

You have a few options. If the will has been filed and accepted by the Register, you could appeal the validity of the will to the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court.

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.

Protecting PA Inheritance from an Untrustworthy Executor

Posted on Wed Jul 15, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am a beneficiary in a will that has been through probate. Unfortunately, the executrix is very untrustworthy, and I feel that she has been spending all the money in the deceased’s accounts. Neither she, nor her attorney, have provided me with any accounting of any accounts. Is there any way that I could freeze the accounts before all the money is spent?

Executors in Pennsylvania are given a great deal of power to act on their own, without court supervision. This works well when the Executor is honest, as the estate can be managed less expensively. If the Executor is untrustworthy, though, this system can fail unless the beneficiaries enforce their interests.

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.

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.

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