Klenk Law

Tag: Litigation

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Process for Removing a Trustee in Camden County, NJ

Posted on Sun Oct 5, 2014, on Estate Litigation

Question: Can a Trustee be removed because he did not inform the beneficiaries of the irrevocable trust when they came of age? This Trust is in Camden, New Jersey.

Maybe.

A trustee removal action can be a long and painful process, so no action should be taken without having an experienced New Jersey Surrogates Court attorney review the trust and interview the interested parties.

Correctly Timing Orphans Court Discovery

Posted on Mon Jun 30, 2014, on Estate Litigation

Whenever a fiduciary files an Orphans’ Court Accounting, whether the filing is by an Agent under a Power of Attorney, a Trustee of a Trust or the Executor of an Estate, a person interested in that accounting has a handicap. The person filing the accounting has all the information; the beneficiary has only what the fiduciary has given them.

Interested persons do have a right to object to an accounting, but if, for example, the beneficiary does not have access to the bank statements, how exactly does the beneficiary know if the charges reflected on the accounting are accurate?

Fiduciary Reporter selects and publishes Glen Ridenour’s important Pennsylvania estate litigation case

Posted on Fri Sep 6, 2013, on Estate Litigation

Case included in selected Pennsylvania cases involving trusts and decedent’s estates

One of Attorney Glen Ridenour’s estate litigation cases has been selected for publication by the Pennsylvania Fiduciary Reporter. The case, in the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, deals with the Estate of Robert T. Fawley, Sr., deceased.

Read the full case in PDF or Word format.

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