Estate Matters
The Klenk Law Blog



Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am in a long-term, same-sex relationship with my partner. She happens to be much older than I, and I am concerned about the expenses of caring for her as she gets older. Would Long Term Care Insurance be a good option?

I have had clients use Long Term Health Insurance as a useful tool in their estate plan. Clients typically get the best use from this tool when they thoughtfully look ahead to the potential expenses of old age and work closely with their financial advisors. Specifically, I ask clients to examine whether their savings for retirement are adequate to address the costs of an unexpected, serious health problem. Read more »



Posted on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

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. Read more »



Posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have served as the Executor for my mother’s Delaware County estate for over a year and wish to close the estate, but my brother claims that I have embezzled money from the estate. This is ridiculous, but how can I close the estate while he makes these claims?

It is unfortunate that your brother is making these claims, but there is a forum available to you that will allow you to bring the estate to a close. Read more »



Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

From our “Ask a Question” mailbox: My father wants to transfer a rental property he owns in Delaware County into my name. If he does, will this gift avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax?

As a Delaware County 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. Read more »



Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

From our “Ask a Question” form: I am a New Jersey resident serving as the Personal Representative of my mother’s Burlington County, New Jersey Estate. I hired a Burlington County attorney to probate the estate and help me administer the estate, but I cannot get her to return my calls. What can I do?

As the Personal Representative, the Probate Attorney works for you. You hire the Probate Attorney, and you can fire the Probate Attorney. Read more »



Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

Since more than 1 in 5 Gloucester County households include residents over age 65, Long Term Care should be a serious consideration in your personal financial plan. Read more »



Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

My mother, who lives in Camden County, New Jersey, is having serious health problems. She wants me to be able to use her general power of attorney, but it requires a doctor’s note saying that she is incapacitated. Is that normal?

Your mother has a “Leaping” Power of Attorney which, at one time, was the normal document that Camden County Estate Planning Lawyers would prepare. A Leaping Power of Attorney gives the “Agent” the power to act for the person if…and only if…that person has become incapacitated, and the Agent can secure a letter from the person’s doctor stating that the person is incapacitated. Without the letter, the power of attorney is useless. Read more »



Posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

I am a resident of Camden County, New Jersey and want to modify my Will. My two children are older and I want to name them as co-executors. Is naming my children as co-executors a good idea?

Naming your children as co-executors (or “personal representatives”) of your Will can be a fine idea, or a terrible idea, depending on your children. You need to be honest with yourself about how well your children’s personalities work (or do not work) together. Read more »



Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

I have signed a General Power of Attorney giving my daughter the power to act for me, but I don’t want her to have it yet. I only want her to have it when (and if) I become unable to care for myself. Should I keep it in my safe deposit box? We both live in Delaware County, so she is close by.

The problem with putting your General Power of Attorney in your safe deposit box is, if you become incapacitated, your daughter will likely be unable to get into the box. If you have died, there is a process to open the box… but it is much more complex if you are alive, but incapacitated. Read more »



Posted on Monday, April 6th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

I am the executor of my mother’s estate in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. I have sold the real estate, liquidated all the assets and am ready to distribute, but my sister will not give me a release of liability. What can I do?

You are right to be concerned. Prior to making distributions from the estate, you should insist on getting a release of liability. This is typically done informally by using what is broadly referred to as a Family Settlement Agreement. Read more »