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Klenk Law

Tag: Probate Lawyer

Can I avoid my deceased husband’s creditors by not opening his estate?

Posted on Mon Oct 19, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died a resident of Burlington County without a will. All his assets were owned joint accounts with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail saying a bank had issued a statement and proof of claim against my husband’s estate and requesting immediate payment in full. It is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?

When someone dies without a will and all their assets are held jointly with a spouse, there is no need to file a will. The assets pass to the surviving spouse because of the joint ownership. That being said, avoiding probate this way does not mean that your husband avoided his creditors.

Proper Place to File a Will After Death

Posted on Sat Oct 17, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

That will depend on what her death certificate says. If the death certificate says her residence was Florida, then only the Surrogate in Florida will probate the will. Likewise, if the death certificate says her residence was Philadelphia, then only the Philadelphia Register of Wills will probate the will. If your mother was only visiting Philadelphia when she died, then she was still a Florida resident. If she had moved up here and then died, then she is Philadelphia resident.

Can an Executor Sell Estate Property Without Beneficiary Approval?

Posted on Thu Oct 15, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father recently died a resident of Chester County, PA, but he owned a nice parcel of land in Susquehanna County, which has a Marcellus Shale gas lease. I found a buyer at a great price, as I am worried that the recent drop in oil prices could reduce the land’s value.

My brother was left out of the will, for very good reasons. He contacted the buyer and told him he plans to challenge the will. Now, the buyer might try to back out, as he doesn’t want to get stuck in litigation. My brother is full of bull: he never will challenge the will, as he knows it is bulletproof, but he knows he can draw this out and cause me trouble. What can I do?

Normally, your brother has one year from the date of the will’s filing to bring his Will Challenge. So, if you do nothing, then you just have to wait for the year to expire.

How is an estate attorney paid in New Jersey for probate services?

Posted on Wed Oct 14, 2015, on Fees

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother named me the Personal Representative of her estate. I am happy to serve, but I have a family and a job, so I just don’t have the time to do all the work. I want to hire an estate attorney to help me, but I am unclear as to how they are paid. Do I have to pay the attorney from my own money?

Every Personal Representative in New Jersey has the right to hire an attorney to assist them. These attorneys are paid out of the estate’s funds, not out of the Personal Representative’s pocket. An experienced probate lawyer will have a staff available to economically help you with the probate process, the sale of estate assets and protecting you from personal liability.

Can I hire you just to prepare a New Jersey Estate Tax Return?

Posted on Tue Oct 13, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My brother is the Personal Representative of our aunt’s estate. He took care of nearly everything, but is stumped by the tax returns. All he needs help with are the tax returns, can you assist him?

We are happy to help with as much or as little work as you need. The various New Jersey tax returns can be tricky, but my Probate department completes them regularly. We would be happy to help out by only assisting with those returns.

Philadelphia Special Needs Trust and PA Inheritance Tax

Posted on Fri Oct 9, 2015, on Special Needs Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My son is a special needs child and I have formed a Special Needs Trust in my will for his care. How do I fund this Trust without paying the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

If you are unable to fund the trust until your death, then the only way to fund the trust without paying the 4.5% Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax on transfers to children (or to trusts for children) is to use life insurance.

Thanks to a skilled lobbying group, life insurance is exempt from the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

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.

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.

What does “Close the Estate” mean in Chester County, Pennsylvania?

Posted on Tue Oct 6, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father named me the Executor of his estate. I filed his will with the Register of Wills in Chester County, paid the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, and took care of all his bills. There was very little money left for my sister and I, and I divided that between us. How do I now “Close the Estate”?

You will not find anything in the packet of information from the Chester County Register of Wills about how to “Close the Estate,” because it never really happens. The term refers to when the final assets of the estate are distributed, which normally means that the Executor has run out of things to do.

Camden County Lost Will – What do I do now?

Posted on Mon Oct 5, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died four months ago as a resident of Camden County and my sister and I cannot locate her will. We thought it thought it would be in the safe deposit box, but it was not. I cleaned out all of her papers in the house. Now, I think I may have accidentally thrown out the will. What can we do?

If your mother’s will cannot be located, then your mother is considered to have died “intestate,” meaning without a will. When someone dies without a will in New Jersey, the New Jersey Rules of Intestacy apply. These rules dictate who is eligible to serve as the Administrator of the estate and how your mother’s assets will be divided up. If we can find a copy held by the lawyer, it is possible to file the copy, but I would need to know more facts.

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Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

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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.

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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...

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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!

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Great friendly staff

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Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

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I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

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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!

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Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

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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.

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Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

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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!

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You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

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Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

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Surprisingly easy

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Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

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