Estate Matters
The Klenk Law Blog



Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

My father wants to transfer a rental property he owns in Philadelphia into my name. If he does, will this gift avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

As a Philadelphia resident, at your father’s death, all assets he leaves you at death (except life insurance) will be subject to the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax at the 4.5% children’s rate. That includes all gifts made within one year of the date of his death. So, if he transfers the rental property into your name and lives for at least one more year, at his death you will avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax payment. Read more »

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Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

I am a resident of Gloucester County, New Jersey. If I have recently formed a Revocable Living Trust and moved all my New Jersey assets into the trust, do I still need a will?

If the goal in forming your Revocable Living Trust was to avoid probate, then you must either transfer all your assets that would otherwise be Probate Assets into the trust during your lifetime or have them pour into the Revocable Trust at your death. That is often done by using a Payable on Death Account or naming the Trust as Beneficiary. Read more »

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Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

First, if your Mother’s attorney is serving as the executor and will also be providing your mother’s estate legal services in Philadelphia County, the attorney should not be charging both an executor’s fee and a fee for legal services based solely on a percentage of the estate. Read more »

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Posted on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 by Adam Reid

If you can’t find your loved one’s Will – or can only find a copy of the Will – what happens? Let’s look at an example of a judge addressing a typical case. In Falcone Will, the Orphans’ Court Division of Chester County analyzes what happens when beneficiaries attempt to probate a copy of a lost Will in Pennsylvania. Read more »

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Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

My Grandfather, a resident of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, died of dementia 12 years ago. Shortly before his death, his will was changed giving everything to my Aunt. We believed that my grandfather died broke, but now that my Aunt died we found out that he had a joint account with her containing a large sum of money. The prior will stated that I would receive one-fourth of his estate. Can I challenge the will?

First, a Will challenge case alone based on incapacity or undue influence, even if successful, would not help you. You stated that the funds were in a joint account. A joint account passes outside of probate, meaning the Will has no effect on the joint ownership. Read more »

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Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Adam Reid

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. Read more »

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Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by Adam Reid

President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address was a throwback in some aspects. Specifically, Obama’s proposal included removing a veteran staple in the estate planning attorney’s playbook, the so-called “Angel of Death” tax loophole. Let’s take a look at exactly what the “Angel of Death” tax loophole is, and why you should care about it. Read more »

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Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

My Mother transferred her Bucks County home to me two years ago. She recently died. I am going to sell the house soon, but do I have to pay Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

Not in your case. The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax of 4.5% applies to transfers to children at death, and includes all gifts made within one year of the date of death. If the house was transferred properly into your name 2 years ago, it will not be subject to the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax. Read more »

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Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by Adam Reid

In this recurring piece, I’d like to inform you about recent tax news that can affect or guide your estate planning. In this edition, we’ll cover two topics: inflation rates and the gift of tuition. Read more »

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Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

My mother’s Will gives me the option to disclaim on my inheritance, how is this done and how long does it take to prepare a disclaimer?

A disclaimer is an heir’s legal refusal to accept a gift or a bequest. If you properly execute a disclaimer, the asset disclaimed will pass to whoever would have received it had you died before the person who left the asset to you. Read more »

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