There is no such thing as "original copies" of a will. There is the original will, which was the document hand signed by your mother. If she signed more than one and they were witnessed (and hopefully "self-proved" by a Notary Public), they are "duplicate originals." Otherwise, there is only one original. The rest are copies.
As a copy, the document which you have with you has no legal power, even if offered to probate. There are a very limited set of circumstances in which the Register...
In fact, if the will says that the three of you should inherit the house, the proper way to satisfy the will would be to have the executor of the estate deed the property to the three of you.
The party deeding the property, known as the Grantor, is the only one who is required to sign the deed.
Before you hire the attorney, call his or her office and ask if the attorney is licensed in both states.
Many of us who practice at or near the PA/NJ border, in fact, have licenses to practice law in both states.
Congratulations for doing the smart thing and planning your estate with the help of an attorney. I wish you the best!
I agree with the answers of my two fine colleagues and add only the following:
Are you SURE the paper you're being asked to sign is to prevent you from contesting anything?
In Pennsylvania, to open an estate without a will, someone must apply for Letters of Administration. For these Letters to be issued, anyone who is an "Heir at Law", which generally means a son, daughter, or grandchild (depending upon who is left to survive the deceased) must sign a paper called a "Renunciation." This...
There's some important information missing from your question.
Most importantly, did Mom have a will or did she die without a will, or intestate?
If she died with a will, the will serves as the map to divide her assets.
If she died without a will, Pennsylvania Law determines how this division should be made.
If the proposed division of Mom's estate isn't being made according to these standards, then the Orphans' Court of Montgomery County (if Mom died a resident of that county) must...
There is absolutely no way we can tell that the document which you say is a "will" is, in fact, a will without seeing it.
Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than two witnesses and a notary seal for a will to be a document with legal power. A lawyer is best equipped to examine the document to tell you whether your friend's paper meets the legal requirements.
Also, you should know that for a will to take on legal power, two things have to happen: 1) the Testator (willmaker) must...
You say you want a lawyer to administer an estate on a contingency basis? May I respectfully ask, "contingent" upon what? If your goal is to find a lawyer who will charge you a fee contingent upon the settlement of the estate, then there is no contingency in that proposition. The estate will be settled, whether by Family Settlement Agreement or Adjudication--but it WILL be settled.
I may be wrong, but if your goal is to find an attorney who is willing to be paid contingent upon the dollar...
As Ms. Arnold has pointed out, the "words" which were spoken to you about keeping the house are only just words. They have no legal power.
I've noted in earlier responses I've made on Avvo about this subject that, assuming you paid no rent while you acted as caregiver, you were "paid" for the care you gave by the ability to live rent-free. In other words, one washes out the other.
Nonetheless, you may wish to consult with an estate planning attorney just to make sure that I am right.
In our office, assuming no difficulties or problems, distribution of an estate is finalized after we receive what is called the Notice of Assessment from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division. This is a document which tells us whether the Inheritance Tax Return REV-1500 was accepted as filed and whether the Commonwealth agrees with our calculation of tax paid.
Once the Commonwealth has "blessed" the tax return, there should be no impediment to...
I agree with Mr. Proy. A life estate is certainly one way to accomplish what your folks want.
There is, however, another way in the event that your folks are convinced that they want to part with total ownership.
What I've done in the appropriate case is to deed to the house over to the kid and then have both parties sign a lease where the parents have the right to live in the house for the next "fifty years or so" at rent of a dollar a year.
The cases in which I've used a lease, as...