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Matthew Brian Lovewell

Matthew Lovewell’s Answers

38 total

  • My mother and brother passed away

    my mother and brother passed away they were the owner of the house and there not a executor now .my mother missed some payment because she went to puerto rico after too many years after we receive notice from the mortgage company that there was a...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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 all the powers granted to the personal representative by this title and lawfully by the will and to all order of the court.” With regard to the mortgage, the mortgage company has a secured interest in the property and the property can be sold if the mortgage falls behind—even if an estate is never opened. A judgment in this type of case is referred to as “in rem”, which means that it is against the property and not against the individuals or the estates of the individuals. The most appropriate thing to do would be to meet with an experience estate law attorney to discuss the matter before trying to do anything else. Because the house was owned by two individuals who are both now deceased (at least this is how I understand your question), there could be different outcomes on how to handle the matter depending on the precise wording of the deed. In conclusion, I recommend that you contact an experience estate law attorney to discuss the matter.

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

    He drowned while vacationing with his girlfriend of one year. There is no signed will. The girlfriend and my husband's brother are taking over the home and removing items. Do I have the right to stop all this and shut it up til the legalities a...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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 discuss the matter in detail before moving forward.

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  • 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?

    The property is in South Carolina abd is currently underwater. My dad bought it as an investment property a few years before he diedI've been paying the mortgage the last 5 years through an estate account. The property is listed in the estate's ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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 property potentially had substantial equity when your father died), then you face potential liability for mishandling the estate. Further, you risk being surcharged for walking away if you fail to account for your administration of your father’s estate. You did specify how the property is owned--but if outright, then you should consult an experienced estate attorney in South Carolina with experience in handling insolvent estate. If the property is owned through an entity such as a corporation, then you should consult an experienced estate attorney in the state where your father's estate was opened (possiblely someone in Philadelphia if your father lived where you reside. The most important thing is to retain an attorney with experience in handling insolvent estates.

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

    When my mother was alive, she allowed me to take her deteriorating photo albums to place the photos in new albums. I did this.These albums were in my possession when she died. My sister borrowed them two years ago and refuses to return them. Ar...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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 the photo albums are the only asset, then it would be best to try to negotiate a resolution. You are not likely to get a positive result with hard tactics. Perhaps you can offer to pay for reproduction of the photo album at a neutral shop. Try to find common ground because there is no economic reason to fight and a good reproduction is now likely just as good as the original photos. If this photo album is the only asset, then don't waste time and money on a legal battle.

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  • What if a person refuses to sign Final Accounting paper from the estate?

    I agree that all of the accounting in the estate was correct. I do not agree with the fee associated with the executor who is also an attorney. He sold it to someone for $30k less than what is valued at. It was not listed on the market as I ins...

    Matthew’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    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 certain facts and circumstances. However, there are not enough facts to really give you advice. I would recommend that you retain an attorney of your own who practices in this area.

    Under Pa. Orphans’ Court Rules 6.10, parties in interest may file objections to an account in accord with the local rules. I do not practice in Erie County, but the preeminent local rule seems to be 6.10.1 of the Erie County Local Orphans’ Court Rules. I assume that you are a beneficiary; however, there is law to support you even if you are a co-fiduciary. There is case law dealing with a co-executor wanting to object to an item in an account. Thus, it is important to retain a competent attorney in your area familiar with the Erie County Local Rules.

    Again you have not provided me with enough information, and perhaps, you do not have enough information. There is the right to use discovery in Orphans’ Court with regard to objections; further, there is no requirement that a prima facie case be established before the use of discovery.
    If an objection is overruled, then an exception can be filed in accord with Pa. Orphans’ Court Rule 7.1. In conclusion, I would not sign any document until you have a competent attorney in this area of practice familiar with the local rule to review the facts with you. Again, I recommend that you retain an attorney of your own who practices in this area.

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

    My sister is the mother of a 6-year old and her only contact with the child is through me or her grandmother. Legal action was taken to obtain visitation rights for grandmother. The case has been settled but now the POA is becoming an issue beca...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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. This is not the type of situation that anyone should try to handle on their own. Remember that this involves a 6-year girl, and you want to make sure this is handled correctly. I recommend that you contact a lawyer ASAP.

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  • How does Guardianship affect me personally?

    My father is in critical care and I am looking into obtaining Guardianship. Upon doing so does his debt then become my debt? His credit is horrible but I want to save my grandmothers house and land...I was wondering if in the state of MD if I have...

    Matthew’s Answer

    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.

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  • Can my sons probate their grandfather's will for their father's part?

    My father-in-law in Canada passed away. I was married to his son. My husband passed away in 1981. When my husband was 2 his parents got divorced. His father adoped a son so he would have an heir. We had 2 sons. They have kept in touch with t...

    Matthew’s Answer

    As the previous attorney stated, you will need to find an attorney in Canada. In addition, you will need to find an attorney admitted to the appropriate Provincial Bar. Further, you will want an attorney is the appropriate city. In deciding whether to pursue this issue, you may want to take into account anything you know about the potential assets of father-in-law. I am not urging you to pursue or not pursue the issue. Rather, if your father-in-law did not have any substantial assets, it is likely not financially worth pursing. If you have reason to believe he had assets, however, it may be worth your time to pursue the action. Either way, you should contact an experience Canadian attorney.

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  • The bank wont cash a rebate check from health ins co,its made out to the estate of my late husband. I never had an estate acc.

    The Bank said i need to get an estate account set up. this seems silly its for 650 dollars, how do i get this check cashed? He really dident have any money to speak of

    Matthew’s Answer

    You sat that your husband didn't "have any money to speak of." Did he have any other property? When did your husband pass away? Under a special provision of the PEF Code in Pennsylvania, "Any insurance company which upon the death of an individual residieng in this Commonwealth owes his estate a total amount of $11,000 or less under any policy of life, endowment, accident or health insurance, or under any annuity or pure endowment contract, may at any time after 60 days following his death pay all or any part of that amount to the spouse, any child . . ." This provision is missed by most practitioners because the bold title only refers to life insurance. If you need assistance, feel free to contact me.

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