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Tag: Probate Lawyer
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My children would just endlessly fight each other, so I want to name a lawyer as my executor. I see most lawyers charge a percentage of the estate to serve as executor, but your website says you charge by the hour. Which is better?
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My grandmother died in a senior living facility in Philadelphia. She died without any real assets except for a small bank account and some stock held just her name. Her will said the stock was supposed to be used to pay her last bills and then anything left over would be divided among the grandchildren. We’re confused as to how to sell the stock once we do the transfer paperwork. Do we have to sell it through Computershare or can we sell it through any brokerage?
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father died a resident of Delaware County, Pennsylvania and named his girlfriend as beneficiary of his life insurance policy and pension. I was listed as a secondary beneficiary. Can my father give his life insurance and pension to his girlfriend instead of his children?
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My friend who lives in Philadelphia asked me to pay off his bills from his checking account if he passes away. Am I able to use that as proof or do I need something signed saying so?
Posted on Sat Nov 21, 2015, on Fees
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My dad died recently and his estate-planning attorney wants to charge us a percentage of the estate to act as the probate lawyer. I see that you charge hourly. Which is better?
I have found over the years that charging a percentage of the estate as the estate’s lawyer is seldom fair. Usually the percentage is disproportionate to the work done. I find that being paid hourly for actual work done is fair for everyone. Either way is legal and proper, I just feel more comfortable charging by the hour.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania survived by three sons. She had no will. One of my brothers has signed the renunciation giving me the right to serve as the Administrator. My other brother is homeless and I don’t know where he is, so what can I do?
The Register of Wills may issue Letters of Administration to give authority to someone to act as the Administrator of an estate if the person died without a will. The statue spells out who has a right to serve, and if the person dies without a spouse then each child has the right to serve. Most often, the children will agree on one person to serve and the other children will complete renunciations in favor of that person.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I filed my father’s will with the Surrogate and was named the Personal Representative, but am having second thoughts. My family is litigious. Can I be sued and found personally liable?
By accepting the position of Personal Representative you became a fiduciary with a duty to the beneficiaries. If your family is litigious, you are right to be concerned. All the beneficiaries have the right to petition the Surrogates Court and ask the court to surcharge you should they feel any action you took reduced their inheritance. This could be a sale of land at too low a price, a fee you paid to a creditor, or even your salary.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My grandmother died in a Delaware County senior living facility without any real assets, except for a small bank account and some stock held in just her name. Her will said it was supposed to be used to pay her last bills and then anything left would be divided among her grandchildren. We’re confused as to how to sell the stock once we do the transfer paperwork. Do we have to sell it through Computershare or can we sell it through any brokerage?
During her lifetime, the stock and bank account could only be accessed or liquidated by your grandmother. Now that she is dead, the accounts will sit until an authorized person contacts the bank and brokerage. As your grandmother had a will, and she lived in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, that person will be the Executor under the will.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Before she died, my aunt lived with me in Burlington County, New Jersey for several years. My wife and I took her to the doctor and cared for her when she became bedridden. She died without a will and all her assets are being divided between my cousins. They never helped with her care. This is not fair. Can I make the estate pay me for my time?
Under New Jersey rules, your Aunt could have made a will and given you the entire estate, or had a will that said you would receive some of her estate to reflect the work you did. Because she did not make a will, the New Jersey intestate rule divides her assets between all her children, equally.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My aunt’s will names me as her personal representative and divides the estate between all her nieces and nephews. We are not a close family and there have been disputes in the past. I am worried that my cousins will be angry that I was named the personal representative and may cause trouble. Can they sue me as the personal representative?
If you agree to be sworn in by the surrogate as the estate’s personal representative, then you have a fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries to act in their best interest. You will be given broad powers and will be largely unsupervised by the Surrogate. To counter these broad powers the beneficiaries are given the right to Petition Surrogate’s Court to review every action and expense.
What Our clients are saying
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.
When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...
AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!
Great friendly staff
Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.
I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.
Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!
Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.
Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.
Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem
Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.
Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.
Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!
You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.
Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.
Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.
Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.
Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.
Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.
Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.
Peter and his associates made things easy for us.
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