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Tag: Informal Accounting

How Do I Prove A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty?

Posted on Sun Sep 11, 2016, on Estate Litigation

From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “My mother died in Montgomery County, PA, and set up a trust for me in her will. The Trust pays out now that I am 40. I recently found out the trustee failed to pay the Trust’s income taxes for ten years. How do I prove that he committed a breach of fiduciary duty? Can I make him pay the interest and penalty?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Can I close my mother’s Lehigh County estate if I’m facing embezzlement claims?

Posted on Tue Jun 16, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have served as the Executor for my mother’s Lehigh County estate for over a year and wish to close the estate. However, my brother claims that I have embezzled money from the estate. This is ridiculous, 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 brother could then use his inheritance to hire a Lehigh County Orphans’ Court Lawyer to force you to file a formal account. Because you would have distributed the estate funds, this cost would have to come out of your pocket.

Klenk Law

Precautions to Avoid Liability as a New Jersey Executor

Posted on Thu Mar 5, 2015, on Estate Litigation

I am the personal representative of my brother’s Gloucester County, New Jersey estate and all the assets pass into trust for his minor children. I am worried his ex-wife will object to everything that I do as executor as she is unhappy that she doesn’t get control over the children’s money. What can I do to avoid trouble?

This is one of those situations where no good deed goes unpunished. You are serving as your brother’s executor to make sure your nieces and nephews are properly cared for, but by serving as personal representative you are also responsible for any mistakes or errors you make that reduce the children’s inheritance.

Klenk Law

What information must a Trustee give a Beneficiary in Pennsylvania?

Posted on Mon Jan 26, 2015, on Estate Litigation

My parents were both residents of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. When they died they put my inheritance in a trust and appointed my brother as trustee. What information is he required to give me as trustee of my Trust? As a Beneficiary, is the trustee required to give me updates and financial information of my trust?

In 2006, Pennsylvania adopted the PA Uniform Trust Act. This law imposes a duty on trustees to inform Beneficiaries about the existence of the trust, along with certain current information on the trust.

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What Our clients are saying

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Sharon S.

I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link for a question regarding a will. While I was expecting only a few minutes, it was a lengthy conversation. He made sure he understood the situation by asking many questions before offering advice. He then went through my options and results of each one. He left it up to me to decide if I wanted to proceed and did not push me toward one or another. His website has very useful information which I definitely researched before I called him. While I decided not to proceed at this time, I feel I had enough information to make that decision. I would not hesitate to hire him should I need to in the future.

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Kevin K.

I was referred to Peter after my divorce to put documents together to protect my assets. He suggested a number of documents that would help protect my children and their future. Also, he put together wills, power of attorney and living wills. I initially spoke with him on the phone, he took 30-40 minutes to understand my situation and explain the benefits of having such documents. After a week or two, I met with him in his office and signed the documents. Everything else was remote phone calls and emails. He re-explained these documents and what whom to share. I am in good hands.

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B.A.

Peter Klenk and his associates are responsive and professional - It is a pleasure to work with their team. If you have needs in estate planning or administration, they are the firm to go to in the Philadelphia area!

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Tom Mettinger Sr.

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Sean Quinn

Great firm. Great people. Happy to refer folks in need to estate planning to Peter and his team. They do great work.

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