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Tag: Philadelphia

Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Philadelphia Executor

Posted on Thu Sep 10, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: The will says that all funds are to be equally divided between the siblings. The executor is dividing things unevenly. We had an agreement how things were to be divided. What can I do if the Executor is not holding up her end of the will?

I believe what you are describing is an estate that has been opened with the Philadelphia Register of Wills and Letters Testamentary issued to one person, the Executor. The Will says that the estate is to be divided up equally between the deceased person’s children but, the Executor has decided on her own to divide up and distribute the estate’s assets unequally.

What is a Pour Over Will and should I get one in Philadelphia?

Posted on Wed Sep 2, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I had a Revocable Trust formed years ago, which I thought replaced my will. Now I hear I also need a “pour over will.” What is a pour over will?

A Pour Over Will is a will that simply states that if you have any asset in your name at death, it should “pour over” into the Revocable Trust and names the executor who will have this power. If you have moved all assets into your Revocable Living Trust or have your assets pour into the trust at your death, then there is likely no need for a Will…but there is still a chance you will need a will filed.

Do my stepchildren inherit any of my wife’s assets in Philadelphia?

Posted on Fri Aug 21, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My wife passed recently. We own a house together in Philadelphia in both names. She died with no other assets aside from our joint checking account. We have three children from our marriage and she has three children from her prior marriage. Does her half of the house go to my stepchildren?

First, Pennsylvania has no requirement that you leave your children any portion of your estate. So if your wife had a will, she could leave her entire estate to you and the children would have no claim. Assets can also be left at death by contract.

How do I find out more about my Philadelphia inheritance?

Posted on Fri Aug 21, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My sister willed me a share of the proceeds of her stamp collection. The executor (our brother) told me that he sold the collection and sent me a check. I think the collection was worth much more. How do I get the executor to explain?

You have the legal right to force the executor to account for the stamp collection and give you the details of the sale. If you believe your share should be greater, you can object to his accounting.

Who inherits my father’s pacemaker?

Posted on Thu Aug 20, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Who inherits my father’s pacemaker? My father was cremated, but the attendants first removed his pacemaker for safety purposes. My sister says she wants it so her son can take it apart, as he likes gadgets. After doing some snooping around, I think that she wants it to sell on the black market. Who has a right to the pacemaker? I don’t want my sister to sell my dad’s pacemaker on the black market.

I have to admit, this is a new one to me. Some research has shown me that there are no pacemakers approved by the FDA for multiple use in the USA. So, without more information about the specific pacemaker, I cannot tell you if a sale is even possible (legally). Let’s address your question about who owns the pacemaker.

As executor of my uncle’s estate, what do I do with his mountain of gay porn?

Posted on Wed Aug 19, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I was surprised to learn that my uncle named me executor of his estate, but now I think I know why. My uncle was a private guy. In opening up a storage locker he had rented, I found what I could only describe as a mountain of gay porn. My uncle was a single man who never came out. I think he knew that I would handle this discovery discreetly, as his sisters are very homophobic. If they knew about this locker they would be really upset. I was going to just dump the locker contents, but a friend told me that this stuff might be worth as much as $20,000. As executor of my uncle’s estate, what do I do with his mountain of gay porn?

As executor, you have a duty to gather together estate assets for the beneficiaries. The porn you found is an asset, which might be worth a substantial amount. If you dump it into the trash and the beneficiaries find out and complain, you could then be found responsible for a ,000 loss, be “surcharged,” and have to put your own money into the estate.

How do I get reimbursed for care I provided my mother while she lived with me?

Posted on Tue Aug 18, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Before she died, my mother lived in my Philadelphia home and required around-the-clock care, which I provided. My brother and sister did not even visit. Now that she has died, her estate is being divided up between us and my siblings refuse to compensate me for all the work I did caring for our mom. Can I make a claim to be paid?

Your mother’s estate is to be divided up between the heirs as her will dictates, or through the rules of intestacy if she had no will. Prior to the division of the assets, all creditors will be paid. If you have no agreement showing that you were doing the work for a fee, it will be difficult to prove that you are a creditor.

Who inherits my Phillies baseball tickets?

Posted on Mon Aug 17, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Who will get my Phillies baseball tickets at my death? I have season tickets and I go to most games. So, if I died during the season, I would have all the remaining tickets for that season. But, who would be able to buy the seats the following year? My will does not specifically say who gets the tickets. All my assets are divided between my two children, but they do not get along and they both would like the tickets. (But only one can really afford to pay for them each year.)

If your will says that all assets are divided equally between your children, then your remaining Phillies seasons Tickets would be part of that calculation. Your kids could split them equally, or one child could take them and the other some other asset of equal value.

If my son doesn’t get a prenup, can I shelter his share of my Philadelphia estate?

Posted on Wed Aug 12, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My son is getting married this fall and his fiancé refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement. I am worried that if I die, his share of my estate will end up going to her in a divorce. What can I do?

As part of your estate plan, we could incorporate in your will a trust to hold your son’s share of the estate. Simply put, if your money pours into a properly drafted trust rather than into your son’s hands, then your future daughter-in-law will have no claims to the assets in a divorce.

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