Matthew Brian Lovewell’s Answers

Matthew Brian Lovewell

Pittsburgh Elder Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 9
  1. What if a person refuses to sign Final Accounting paper from the estate?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. John B. Whalen Jr.
    2. James Paul Coletta
    3. John Andrew Tomlinson
    4. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    5. James P. Frederick
    5 lawyer answers

    Did the personal representative get Court approval for the sale of the real estate? If not, the distribution was at risk. If the attorney did get court approval, then you had to get notice and an opportunity to appear in court. Even though the estate may not be able to get the property back, there is a chance that the fiduciary breached his or her fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the estate. I am not say that he or she did in fact breach such duties—perhaps that sale was prudent under...

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  2. My mother and brother passed away

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Charles C. Bell
    2. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    As stated by the previous attorneys, your question is a bit confusing. In addition, there is more information that would be need to provide you any helpful advice. Although you mention that there is no executor, there is no requirement that an executor before real property can be sold because of delinquent taxes or failure to pay a mortgage. Under section 301(b) of the PEF Code, “Legal title to all real estate of a decedent shall pass at his death to his heirs or devisees, subject, however, to...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  3. My sister borrowed my mother's photo albums which were in my possession when she died. Are they legally mine?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2. Eric Jerome Gold
    2 lawyer answers

    The photo albums are part of your mother's estate. Neither you nor your sister own the albums. You ask about small claims court. In Pennsylvania, only the Orphans' Court has jurisdiction. What other probate assets did your mother own at death? Inheritance tax is owed on such property, as well as certain nonprobate assets. If an estate is opened, the personal representative can compel the return of the photo albums. If not returned, the personal representative can seek a monetary surcharge. If...

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  4. How do I revoke someone who has a DPOA for my Mother, and rereplace them with my sister?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2. James Clifford Bates
    3. Charles Edward Mcwilliams Jr.
    3 lawyer answers

    The previous two attorneys have provided some good advice. I just want to point out that just because an individual can make medical and personal decisions does not mean that that person has the capacity to make financial decisions. You could seek a guardianship of her estate, albeit if she is still able to make personal and health care decisions. However, the previous post is absolutely right that this type of action can become costly quickly. Perhaps, you and the family should discuss this...

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  5. If Guardianship has been filed for a developmentally disabled adult, can a judge deny the petitioner & give it to another?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2. Ryan William Velo-Simpson
    2 lawyer answers

    Not retaining an attorney will hinder you ability to represent your side of the case. If you call the local bar association, you may be able to find an attorney who can help you at a reduced rate. At the hearing, the judge will need to (1) decide if you daughter is incapacitated under the statute and (2) if so, then who should be appointed guardian. The guardian ad litem is appointed to represent your daughter’s best interests, so it will be important to demonstrate to him or her that you would...

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  6. 89 yo Father left IRA to mother who predeceased him 18 hrs; no contingent named for IRA. Daughter is executor & sole beneficiary

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    3 lawyer answers

    There are not enough facts to really answer this question. IRAs and Retirement benefits are very complex, so you should meet with a lawyer to represent your interests. Was this your father’s IRA? Or was it an inherited IRA? Different rules apply in different situations. However, an estate does not need to stay open during the IRA distribution life. I will try to be as simple as possible. When an estate inherits an IRA, it is not a designated beneficiary under I.R.C. § 401(a)(9). The executor...

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  7. My husband left me three years ago -- he filed for divorce but we never pursued finalizing it. We are still married.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. John Edwin Daniel Larkin
    2. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2 lawyer answers

    I would recommend retaining an experienced estate litigation attorney to secure legal advice. Based on the facts you stated, you are married; however, being married in and of itself does not prevent forfeiture 20 Pa.C.S. 2106(a). In addition to other applicable statues, there are two grounds under 20 Pa.C.S. 2106(a) that may prevent you from receiving a share as a surviving spouse under 20 Pa.C.S. 2102. Ultimately, it is highly important to retain an experienced estate litigation attorney to...

  8. My dad died 5 years ago without a will. I am the administrator of his estate. Can I walk away from a mortgage on his property?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. John B. Whalen Jr.
    2. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2 lawyer answers

    If you are represented by counsel, I would contact that counsel. If not, I would retain an attorney with experience in handling insolvent estates in your area. As someone who has handled insolvent estates in Pennsylvania, there are numerous concerns that jump to my mind. As an administrator, you have risk liability to both the creditors and potential beneficiaries. If the property had equity at the time your father died (the use of “currently underwater” is what leads me to think that the...

  9. I have Power of Attorney for my sister who is disabled and resides in a nursing home.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Steven J. Fromm
    2. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    3. David L. Carrier
    3 lawyer answers

    As stated by Attorney Fromm, this is a very unique and complicated set of facts. I would guess that you are simply confused on the nature of a POA. Was a guardianship ever initiated for your sister or her daughter. Even if you were appointed guardian of your sister, you would not step-into-your-sister's-shoes with regard to your sister's parental rights. I strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced guardianship lawyer. In addition, it may be necessay to meet with a family lawyer....

  10. How does Guardianship affect me personally?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Matthew Brian Lovewell
    2. Arthur Harold Geffen
    3. Gilbert W. File IV
    3 lawyer answers

    As already mentioned, you should hire a competent Maryland licensed attorney who deals with guardianship. The short answer is that your father's debt does not become your personal debt; however, the house is still his asset. A transfer of the house to the detriment of the creditors could be viewed as fraudulent. Working with an expereienced guardianship attorney, however, will provide you with the best position to protect assets.