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Jan Matthew Tamanini

Jan Tamanini’s Answers

343 total


  • Do I need an estate lawyer?

    My father's girlfriend wants me to resign my father's estate, 401K and bank account, to her. Since I refuse, she wants to sue me for the life insurance that he has left me, 401K, and his bank account. But I have already claimed and received the li...

    Jan’s Answer

    Life insurance passes to the named beneficiary, period; the same would apply to your father's retirement account. The bank account would pass to a joint owner if one exists, but since your father's girlfriend is asking you to give up your rights to the account, it's unlikely she is a joint owner of the account.

    You shouldn't need an attorney unless and until this woman files a legal action against you, but from the information you have given she seems not to have any legal basis for a claim against you. If you feel you are being harrassed, however, you might want to ask an attorney to send a letter to the woman and her daighters on your behalf to request that they stop bothering you.

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  • I inherited mother's house w/ brother. have cash to buy him out. lived there last 5 years. how long for me to legally move in ?

    the property was gifted in the will to my brother and I. I was sole care giver to them both due to their health problems. my car and all my mail goes there. my sister who is the executor does not want me living there stating I am a liability. ...

    Jan’s Answer

    Your sister will have to file your mother's will for probate in the county in which your parents lived at the time of their death. When the will has been presented for probate, you may go to the county Register of Wills office to get a copy of the will. As to you rlife insurance policy, if you know the name of the insurance company you may be able to get information on the policy from the company, but you would have to provide identifying information to confirm your identity.

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  • What happens to the house if a homeowner has no will, is the sole owner of the house, dies and leaves a wife and young child?

    As his wife would I get the house even though he has no will and my name is not on the deed?

    Jan’s Answer

    Note that the Seattle attorney who answered this question has no knowledge of Pennsylvania law. The answers here are the law for Pennsylvania residents who die without a will. When you read answers, look to see whether the attorney answering is licensed in the state from which the question originates. Every state's laws, especially in the estates area, are very different and what's true of one state is likely not the case in any other state.

    Now to answer your question:

    If the homeowner lived in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania attorney's answer is correct IF the child is the child of both you and your husband: the first $30,000 of your husband's estate assets plus half of the remaining assets would go to you, the other half of remaining assets go to your child. If your child is under age 18, the local court would have to appoint a guardian of the property for the child (the remaining parent is not necessarily the one who would be appointed). If your husband's child is NOT also your child, the estate would be split 50-50 between you and your husband's child, and if the child were under 18 at the time of your husband's death, the court would appoint a guardian or trustee to handle the property for the child.

    A valid will ensures that the estate passes as the will's maker wants it to be distributed, rather than as the government has decided it should be distributed. Generally speaking it's more costly to go through estate settlement without a will than when there is a will. For instance, you may have to go through hearings in front of a judge to take care of matters that a will would specify (such as appointing guardians or trustees for minor children or special needs adults).

    Many people assume that if there's no will the surviving spouse gets everything. As you can see, that is NOT the case in Pennsylvania. Even if a deceased person no children, if he or she has any surviving parents, the surviving parent(s) get the share that would otherwise have gone to a child.

    Bottom line: make a will. It will save your survivors significant time, money, and trouble after you're gone.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

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  • What are Pennsylvania state laws regarding small scale, internet based crafts business?

    I crochet and craft frequently, and was thinking about starting an online shop where I'd sell patterns of my own design and the occasional finished product. Estimated yearly sales would be less than 500.00 dollars. Do I need to file for tax permit...

    Jan’s Answer

    In answer to your question about taxes, you would need to collect the 6% Pennsylvania sales tax on any sales to Pennsylvania residents. Regardless of the amount of your sales, if you are conducting a business selling goods, you could be subject to fines and penalties from the PA Department of Revenue if you don't collect sales tax from PA residents.

    There are currently no requirements to collect sales tax from residents of other states, but this is likely to change in the not-too-distant future, as many states are looking to online sales as a revenue source.

    You might want to start by looking at the PA Open For Business website at http://bit.ly/MyjvdA. This is a site specifically for startup businesses to assist you in getting through all of the requirements you may find.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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  • Can I take a personal loan from my power of attorney agent?

    My son has power of attorney over all of my finances. I need to borrow money from him. Is this legally ok? Since he would be using my money to pay himself back.

    Jan’s Answer

    You should have a written loan agreement with your son, specifying that:

    - you are borrowing X dollars from him at X rate of interest (even if you are doing a zero interest loan, you should include that as the interest payable so there are no questions);

    - you agree to pay back the borrowed amount over X months/years at X per month;

    - if you should pass away before the loan is repaid it should be considered a debt of your estate, payable to your son before the estate proceeds are distributed to your beneficiaries; and

    - that as your attorney-in-fact under the financial power of attorney executed on [date], your son may act as your agent in paying the loan from your account to his under the terms of your loan agreement.

    If both you and your son sign an agreement with these provisions, there should be no question from anyone else inside or outside of your family about the terms of the loan agreement. Consider having a notary witness your signatures and sign/stamp an acknowledgment to give the agreement added credibility (if you're a AAA member, there are notaries at their offices).

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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  • How do I "take over" my Deceased Grandmothers reverse mortgage?

    My grandmother has been deceased for 3 yrs, no one else in the family has any concern for it. I am assuming proof of relations, also is there a way to get some sort of inheritance document for the house?

    Jan’s Answer

    If the house was titled in your grandmother's name alone, who has been paying the taxes on the property since she died? A tax lien could take the property for the local government to sell at a sheriff's sale.

    If she had a surviving spouse, and the house was titled to them as tenants by the entireties, the house now belongs to her surviving spouse without the need for an estate to be opened.

    If your grandmother shared title to the property with anyone else, that person (or those people) would have a claim to at least their proportionate share of the property -- and if they were joint tenants with right of survivorship, your grandmother's interest in the house passed to the other owner(s) upon her death.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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  • My cousin recently died intestate, what if I claim the estate as sole relative and not tell his sisters who never cared for him?

    It is possible that his sisters (in a nursing home, no children) don't know he has passed away, they left home when he was a boy. He and I are the same age and we grew up as brothers when his parents died in an accident. No one would be surprised...

    Jan’s Answer

    If you apply to be the administrator of the estate, you would be required to notify everyone who would be intestate beneficiaries under the law. If your deceased cousin had no surviving spouse, parent, or child, then his siblings (being the next-closest relatives) would inherit his entire estate in equal shares.

    You say you grew up "as brothers" -- did your parents adopt your cousin? If so you may have a claim to his estate. But unless there's a legal adoption making you his brother, you would otherwise get nothing, since he has surviving siblings, who are closer in the intestate distribution scheme under the law than you.

    What you're contemplating (not telling any of your other relatives) would be criminal fraud, and yes, you would be subject to charges, fines, and possible jail time (as well as restitution of all of the estate property you would take).

    If your cousin wanted a different estate distribution than the intestate distribution law provides, he should have made a will. So many people think wills are unnecessary -- until a relative dies without one, and the survivors discover that the law of estate distribution is very different from what they might have thought.

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  • Death and estate

    My exhusband died over a month ago and didnt leave a will. His daughter is not blood. We got married when i was preg. with her and she took his last name on birth cert.His sister is trying to take said property away from her because of this can sh...

    Jan’s Answer

    Your ex's sister may not be able to claim a lack of relationship if your ex considered himself as your daughter's legal parent, including being named on the birth certificate, and if he paid child support to you after the divorce (if your daughter was still a minor child at the time). There is more to parenting than genetics, and if your ex represented himself as the father even though it wasn't his DNA, then in all likelihood she would still be considered his child for inheritance purposes.

    I'd suggest you consult an estate attorney in your area. If your ex died in your county, the estate could be opened there; if he died elsewhere, the estate administration would be through the Register of Wills in the county where he lived at the time of his death.

    Your posting says you live in Johnstown; if your daughter lives there also, or if your daughter is a minor, contact the Pennsylvania Bar Association's lawyer referral service at (800) 692-7375 to find an attorney who practices in this area. The initial consultation is generally under $50 for a half-hour.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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  • If someone gives you money as a gift can he take you to court to get it back?

    A year ago my friend gave me $3000.00 for a gift. Now he lost his job and is threating me to pay him back or he will take me to court.

    Jan’s Answer

    If you have any emails or other correspondence from the time when you received this money, that will be helpful to prove your claim that this was a gift. However, if there is no written evidence of the giver's intent that this should have been considered a gift, it's questionable whether your claim that the money was a gift would be credible in any action in small claims court. Unless there was an occasion where an extravagant gift would generally be customary (a wedding, graduation, or other notable event), someone who is not independently wealthy making such a large gift would be very unusual.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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  • Can I get a down payment back?

    So i recently met up with a friend who was selling tickets she previously bought for herself but was unable to go to the event so i offered to buy them from her. There were three tickets that she needed to sell, $600 in tickets total, my two frien...

    Jan’s Answer

    If you had no written agreement, this is a case of "she said/she said" and to get the money back from the seller you would have to sue in small claims court, which will cost you a $50 filing fee and there would be no guarantee you would succeed in your claim. Your best bet would be to help your friend the seller find other buyers, if the event is still in the future, and hope that someone else will purchase the tickets so you can get the money back.

    Perhaps your friend the seller would be willing to give you half of the money you paid to her if the friendship is worth preserving, but perhaps you should consider letting it go for the same reason. Perhaps she didn't take steps she otherwise would have taken to sell the tickets since you told her you were buying them, and that's why she feels you were taking advantage of her by making an offer and then revoking it.

    Deals between friends are often the most informal, and therefore the most difficult to resolve the conflicts that arise when something doesn't go as expected. Consider it a learning experience no matter what the final result may be.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

    If you feel this answer has been helpful, please consider checking the "mark as helpful" box below.

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