No one has been appointed a d no one has signed off to appoint anyone to administer the estate. my sister has changed the locks, my mother isnt even buried yet. she refuses to give me a key to get my daughters belongings out. no lawyer has bee...
I agree with Mr. Cohen regarding the titling of the house on the deed being all important, but with regards to the rest, please permit me to express another point of view.
You say that "no lawyer has been contacted as of yet." My immediate response is, "Why not???"
Assuming that mom and dad owned the house together, your sister had no right to change the locks and refuse you access. This isn't the Wild West where an act such as your sister's out-of-bounds act has to be met with an act of force such as breaking the lock or the door. This is Pennsylvania and we have laws and rules here controlling the handling of estates.
There is a legal way to straighten all this out so that the estate may move forward. And the legal way is the right way. Without a will, you could qualify as an Administratrix, but you need to have a proper direction. A lawyer could help you.
Good luck.See question
My mother's estate is less than $50,000 after accounts with named beneficiaries are taken out. The only remaining account is $45,000 at a bank that tells me I need the short certificate to open an estate account to pay my mother's bills at the tim...
Again, I completely agree with my western colleague, Ms. Stewart.
The advantage in probate here as opposed to petitioning the court to create a small estate is, as Ms. Stewart has aptly said, one of time, cost and convenience.
As opposed to moving your petition through the Orphans' Court system, the Register of Wills, may grant your application for Letters of Administration, which will result in your obtaining a Short Certificate, which is notice to all the world that you have been duly anointed as your Mom's legal representative for purpose of settling her estate.
Contrary to what many believe, probate in Pennsylvania is actually quite simple and, in my judgment, is preferable in your situation.
Don't forget however, that because there will be $5,000 after the bills are paid, there may be other things you will be required to do before your Mom's estate may be considered settled. That's what a lawyer may be able to help you with.See question
siblings in rivalry over 81 year old father's assests and whom is still living
I agree with my colleagues and add the following:
If you as "rivals" can't agree among yourselves now, what makes you think that that job is going to become any easier if all four of you are named attorneys-in-fact or executors?See question
plain and simple
Let me ask you, with all respect:
Do you do your own plumbing or electrical wiring?
Do you fill or do root canal on your own teeth?
If you've ever fractured a bone, did you set it yourself?
Did you build your own house?
Have you ever repaired the transmission on your car?
If you're like me, or like the overwhelming majority of people I know, your answers to each of the above questions will be "NO" and why is that so? Simply put, we hire trained specialists to do the important life tasks in which we have no (or very little) training or experience.
With a will, the need for a trained professional is even more important because if it is drawn wrong or badly (as is the case with many laypeople who try), you'll never have a chance to fix it because you'll be dead by the time that that will takes on legal power.
If most of us will not take a chance with our own plumbing, why would anyone not trained and experienced take a chance on the distribution of all of one's earthly possessions?See question
Mother in nursing care and applying for Medicaid hoe do certificates of deposit are affected by the words in trust, and, or in th certificate
I would add only the following to Ms. Stewart's fine answer:
It is all too common that people believe that they can avoid having an asset counted for Medicaid purposes in whole or in part by somehow tinkering with the ownership language. It's a very common misconception that if you have an asset jointly titled with another person, the asset is only half countable.
The rule, as Ms. Stewart has told you, is that unless one can prove that the asset consists entirely of one's own funds, Mom's name somewhere on the title to the asset means that the entire asset is available for Mom's care.See question
We sold her furniture to help pay for her funeral expenses and returned her car to the dealer which she still owed money on it. She had under $10000 in assets. My sister is the beneficiary on her pension. My mother had no spouse so we thought what...
Yours is a fairly common problem. Many people believe that when someone dies, things just automatically "happen". As you're learning, things just don't happen by themselves. There is a process to be followed.
The Problem is that people are afraid to go to lawyers because of the mistaken belief is that we are greedy, unfeeling, scary, intimidating and too expensive. For the overwhelming number of us, this is simply not the case. We're here to help, to have people understand the process, and to do what we can to assure that the process runs smoothly.
My suggestion to you is to go to any one of a number of good, skilled attorneys up there in Wyoming County to explain your concerns. Many of us do not charge for an initial consultation, but if there is a charge, I'm betting that you will come away with the feeling that you got your money's worth.See question
My mom is in a nursing home and I Don't think she's going back to her assisted living.
There is no simple answer to your question, because we don't have all the facts. You really need to sit down with an experienced elder law attorney who specializes in Medicaid issues and lay out your mom's entire financial situation with him or her.
With respect to your question of whether "they will take her life insurance", please know that the state does not "take" anything. If the face value of your mom's life insurance is more than $1,500, however, the state may require that you cash it in to help pay for mom's care until that money is gone.
You really need to get with a qualified professional who will explain this stuff to you.See question
My parents' estate includes a 2004 car independently valued by an auto dealer at $2500. If one of the two beneficiaries wants to keep the car and the other beneficiary agrees, how is the estate distribution made equitable if the one beneficiary r...
Another way to look at the situation in addition to the way that my colleague from California has pointed out, in an estate, everything has a cash value, whether it's stocks, real property, socks and shoes, or cash. Giving the car to the beneficiary amounts to $2,500 on his or her side of the ledger that you didn't get,, so your side should include a distribution of cash or property equal to $2,500 that he or she didn't get so that both sides balance.See question
when applying for Medicaid and money for vets or their wives in a nursing home setting ,do they include monetary gifts of $13,000-legal limit-given to family members within the 5 year look back/
I couldn't improve on Ms. Stewart's answer if I tried. This question comes up over and over in my practice, too.
The big takeaway from your question (and Ms. Stewart's fine answer) is simply this:
What may be a terrific strategy for tax planning via estate reduction (i.e. annual gifting of less than $14,000 per beneficiary) is a lousy strategy for Medicaid planning (i.e. getting caught in the five-year lookback).
Planning should be done with both factors in mind.See question