Joseph M. Masiuk’s Answers

Joseph M. Masiuk

Southampton Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 13
  1. How do I find out if my mothers Will is valid

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Gail Marcus
    3. Estela Matta
    3 lawyer answers

    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...

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  2. How can I set up a will or living will?

    Answered about 2 months ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Heidi Rai Stewart
    3. Jacques H. Geisenberger Jr.
    4. Helayne Barrie Levy
    4 lawyer answers

    I suggest that you contact an attorney who is skilled in preparing these documents. A Will is different from a Living Will. One divides up your property after your death and one specifies your medical preferences in the event that you are in an end-stage medical condition or state of permanent unconsciousness. In our office, we believe that the most basic estate plan should include no less than a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney for property and finance, a Durable Power of Attorney for...

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  3. Can an inherited house be deeded to a will's beneficiary if the beneficiary is in prison?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. John B. Whalen Jr.
    3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    3 lawyer answers

    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.

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  4. May a lawyer licensed in New Jersey prepare valid estate plans for a resident of Pennsylvania and on death prosecute them?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Yvette E. Taylor-Hachoose
    3. Jeff Tomberg
    3 lawyer answers

    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!

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  5. How do i find out if my mom had a will?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Karen Lynn DeMarco
    3. Jacques H. Geisenberger Jr.
    4. Charles Adam Shultz
    4 lawyer answers

    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...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. Children are disagreeing over mom's estate. What to do?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Nicholas Bernard Proy
    3. John B. Whalen Jr.
    3 lawyer answers

    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...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. If you have limited power of attorney to sell real estate, does the document have to be recorded by the office of deeds?

    Answered 4 months ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Heidi Rai Stewart
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    4. Ruth Elaine McMahon
    5. Cheryl A. Rowe
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    With all due respect to my out-of-state colleagues, the original of the power of attorney should be presented to the title clerk at closing so that it may be filed together with the deed. With respect to our new Power of Attorney law, if you want to use the old, unwitnessed power of attorney, be sure that settlement takes place BEFORE the end of this year. The information which I received at the latest Pennsylvania Estate Law Institute held in November suggests that it should be acceptable...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. Beneficiary on a will

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Richard Alan Raiders
    3. Russell E Farbiarz
    4. Alan James Brinkmeier
    5. John M. Miles
    5 lawyer answers

    She is entitled to an Executor's Commission under Pennsylvania law, the amount of which will depend upon the amount of work that she performs. A skilled estate planning attorney will be able to advise her of what amount that might be. She should know, however, that whatever commission she receives will be considered "income" by the Internal Revenue Service and taxable as such.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. My friend made a will and had it notarized and had 2 witnesses to the signing. It this will legal in the state of PA?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Steven M Zelinger
    3. Jacques H. Geisenberger Jr.
    4. John B. Whalen Jr.
    4 lawyer answers

    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...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. How can I get an attorney whose area of expertise is in estate administration, stocks, bonds, real estate, and financial assets?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Joseph M. Masiuk
    2. Paula Brown Sinclair
    3. Bernard Harley Greenberg
    4. Rochelle S. Rabin
    5. Robert V Cornish Jr.
    5 lawyer answers

    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...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

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