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My Father's estate is to receive $1,000 From an asbestos settlement. My Mother has Alzheimer's. Can I be the Legal Rep. to sign?

Butler, PA |

I do not have a POA for my Parents. She is in a Personal Care Home where they are the Payee for her.

Attorney Answers 2


If the check is payable to your father or his estate, the first question would be who has the legal right to administer/collect on behalf of his estate? Was there a probate of his estate and an executor named? If so, and that was your mother, then you need the legal authority to sign on her behalf (such as that authority given under a Power of Attorney, Revocable Living Trust or Conservatorship/Guardianship). If nobody was appointed to legally administer your father's estate, then you may be able to acquire the authority to collect on behalf of his estate, either through a probate or a small estate affidavit or other similar tool if available in your state.

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Your dad's will needs to be probated so that the executor hopefully you or your mom can be named to act for the estate. If the will names your mom and you are the alternate, then you need to show that she can not serve; this will allow you to become executor. If he does not have a will then you go to the register of wills to obtain letters of administration to act for his estate. Once named, you need to get an EIN for the estate and then you can set up a bank account and deposit the money into this account and pay it out according to the will or under the laws of intestate succession.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He can be reached at 215-735-2336 or at the email address listed below. He has received a 9.7 rating from AVVO and recently was featured as a 5Star Wealth Manager in the Philadelphia Magazine, November 2009 issue on page 123.
Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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