Adam S. Bernick’s Answers

Adam S. Bernick

Philadelphia Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 13
  1. Giving tax-free gifts to my children

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Amy S Mac Isaac
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    3 lawyer answers

    There is a combined federal estate gift tax system. You alone can give $14,000 to as many people as you want generally or make a combined gift with your spouse of $28,000 (even if just one spouse is providing all the funds). So, if you were married, you and your spouse could give $28,000 to child A and $28,000 to Child B etc... without using any of the federal estate gift tax credit. You should consult an estate planning attorney before making gifts, as there are frequently more efficient...

    13 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Will the state of Pennsylvania take the home of someone who medicaid took care of in a nursing home?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Jay G. Fischer
    3. Robert C. Gerhard III
    4. Lawrence A Friedman
    5. Kelly Scott Davis
    5 lawyer answers

    Under federal and state law there is a provision called "Estate Recovery" under which a state agency paying for room and board in a nursing home and other medical expenses can recover from the estate of a deceased individual that benefited from such payments. While there are several exceptions and deductions/credits before the state is due reimbursement, the state may have the right to probate her estate if you don't and then take the house or compel its sale. You need to have an attorney...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. My two sisters and I would like to review the POA that my Stepmother used to make decisions for my Father's affairs; can we?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Kelly Scott Davis
    3. Lawrence A Friedman
    3 lawyer answers

    You have three distinct legal issues. First, for the POA, you have a right to file a petition to compel an accounting, and petition for discovery for production of documents. She has no obligation to produce any documents or records without a court order. If a Will is not on file you can commence litigation to compel filing of same or commence litigation to start probate if you do not have the will, but the surviving spouse generally has the automatic right to be apponted. Probate...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Can I use a paralegal for probate in PA.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. John B. Whalen Jr.
    3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4. William Ray Pelger
    5. Jonathan Craig Reed
    5 lawyer answers

    If your mother died without a will, and you cannot reach an agreement in the family as to who is to serve to administer her estate, then first you need to check the records of the Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds regarding any real estate owned by her to make sure no one changed the deed, and with the Register to make sure no one filed anything without your knowledge. If nothing is on file with the Register then you need to hire an attorney to prepare and file a petition to have you...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Living will do I need a lawyer or can I do it on my own

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Roman Aminov
    2. Brendan James Gilbert
    3. Fallon Gomez
    4. Adam S. Bernick
    5. James P. Frederick
    5 lawyer answers

    Any legal document should be prepared by an attorney. If you are modest means and cannot find counsel on AVVO call your local bar association as frequently they have lists of attorney's who will prepare these documents for reduced fees. A living will or health care proxy is a document that states what should happen medically if you cannot communicate with a doctor your medical wishes. A will deals with disposition of material property such as a house, money in the bank, furniture.

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. My sister appointed me Executrix of her will and just passed away. Her two grown children are the beneficiarys.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. John B. Whalen Jr.
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    4. Ruth Elaine McMahon
    4 lawyer answers

    I am sorry for your loss. Unfortunately at times like these it is not uncommon for unresolved emotional issues to come to the service. Indeed, I recently had a family fighting over Humel figurines, and I can assure you they are of only limited value. If your sister died in PA then you need to hire a PA probate attorney to file a petition with the Register of Wills to compel your sister to produce the original or in lieu there of allow you to probate the photocopy as if it was the original.

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. Opening up a small estate in Pennsylvania to get medical records

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Michael Leo Potter
    3. David Thomas Dorer
    3 lawyer answers

    A lot depends on the medical records in question. Generally my experience has been that the doctors will not release records to anyone who is not the administrator of her estate. If she had no probate assets in her name an estate can be raised for lawsuit purposes only, to reduce the filing fees. Once appointed the administrator of the estate would need to obtain a short certificate for each doctor/hospital to obtain the records.

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. How is a PA estate handled when there is no will? What happens - the literal ABC process? Is no will more costly in the end?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Steven M Zelinger
    3. Charles C. Bell
    3 lawyer answers

    It depends on whether the property passes via probate or not. For instance, if the decedent held all property as joint tenants with right of survivorship with another individual, then there may not be a need to start probate; but there may be a need to file an inheritance tax return. So, the first step is to determine the type of assets owned by the Decedent. Assuming that there are one or more assets owned by the Decedent in his/her name or there are assets that pass to the Decedent's...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. Do I really need a prenup

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Adam S. Bernick
    2. Randi Joy Silverman
    3. Paul Dominic Edger
    3 lawyer answers

    You need to have your own attorney review the documents he gave you. Do not sign them or provide any information without talking to your own attorney, as you may be waiving your rights to a share of all of his assets not just the family business.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Is a 25% fee normal for a probate research company, if I am found to be an heir of an estate?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    2. Adam S. Bernick
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    Do not sign any documents. First contact a local probate attorney to review the document and if necessary contact a probate attorney where the person died to review the document. Most probate courts will look with disfavor on such contracts but depending on the state and county where your cousin died it may be enforceable if executed by you.

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