• John B Whalen Jr Esq •

Tag: Pa Trustees (Page 1 of 2)

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide

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Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – Intro

The best gift you can give your loved ones is to have your Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning complete. Unfortunately, to a great extent, misinformation about critical terms such as Pa Inheritance Tax, Federal Estate Tax, Pa Probate, avoiding probate, simple will, and Pa Living Trust, tends to lead to misunderstandings of Pa Estate Planning. These misunderstandings, in turn, tend to lead to mistakes in Pa Estate Planning. These mistakes, again, in turn, tend to lead to unintended results after one’s death. In an effort to eliminate such misinformation, misunderstandings, and mistakes, this article will hopefully serve as a review – in very simple terms – of the basic, core issues of estate planning and its basic documents.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Summary

There are four primary Pa Estate Planning documents that tend to form the foundation of most good estate plans. These documents are a

  • Pa Power of Attorney,
  • Pa Advance Directive for Health Care (a Pa Living Will),
  • Pa Last Will, and (at, times)
  • Pa Trust

Although each document has a different purpose, each document designates someone who is responsible for carrying out the wishes set forth in the document.

I refer to these people – those in charge – as “The Bosses.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Bosses

Each document has a boss who is in charge of carrying out the terms of that particular document. Under Pennsylvania law, the proper terms for the bosses are:

  • Pa Agent (under a Pa Power of Attorney),
  • Pa Surrogate (under a Pa Living Will),
  • Pa Executor (under a Pa Last Will),
  • Pa Trustee (under a Pa Trust).

Although a technical knowledge of these terms can be useful, it is not the point of this article. The focus is to illustrate that an Agent, a Surrogate, an Executor, and a Trustee are just the bosses of that respective document.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Powers

Each boss has powers, and these powers can be summarized very simply.

  • Pa Agent (under a Power of Attorney) can help manage all of your affairs
  • Pa Surrogate (under a Pa Living Will) can ensure your end of life decisions.
  • Pa Executor (under a Pa Last Will) can administer your Pa Estate
  • Pa Trustee (under a Pa Trust) can monitor and manage your Pa Trust.

Again, and although a technical knowledge of the parameters of these various powers can be useful, it is not the point of this article. The focus is to illustrate that a Pa Agent, a Pa Surrogate, a Pa Executor, and a Pa Trustee can generally possess broad powers to act for you under that respective document.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Traits

Although all four of the documents require bosses that possess certain traits or characteristics in order for that document to be as effective as possible, I have experienced that two traits should be inherent in all of the bosses of all four of the documents

  • Ability
  • Willingness.

Although the bosses of each of the documents should also possess additional traits for that particular document to be effective (all of which shall be addressed later), unless your boss is able and willing to act on your behalf, your desires and wishes may not be followed.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Documents

There are four primary documents that tend to form the foundation of most good estate plans. A succinct review of each, and the misunderstandings of each, follows.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – Powers of Attorney

A Pa Power of Attorney can grant your boss (Pa Agent) the ability to control all of your affairs. It is a very powerful document; it can permit your Pa Agent the broadest of powers to do anything which you could have done (i.e., give all your money away), but yet, inherent in these broad powers, is the reality that your Pa Agent may actually do anything which you could have done (i.e., give all your money away).

A Pa Power of Attorney can be durable (effective after you are incapacitated), current (effective now), or springing (effective upon the happening of a future event (i.e., the decision by your treating physician that you can no longer act for yourself).

A common misconception is that a Pa Power of Attorney eliminates your ability to act for yourself. Quite to the contrary, and until you are deemed incapacitated, a Pa Power of Attorney should properly be viewed as a shared authority – you still retain all of the powers and decision making ability that you possessed before you executed the Pa Power of Attorney.

With respect to additional traits that your boss should possess (in addition to being able and willing), I have found that your boss (Agent) should also be:

  • Levelheaded
  • Familiar with your affairs.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – Living Wills

A Pa Advance Directive for Health Care can grant your boss (Pa Surrogate) the ability to execute your end of life decisions and decide whether life-sustaining measures should be used. The common misconception of this document is when it will become operative.

There are two triggers that must occur before your Surrogate is even given the option of acting: the first is that you must be unable to communicate your own decisions, and the second is that you must have been diagnosed with a terminal condition or as being permanently unconscious.With respect to additional traits that your boss should possess (in addition to being able and willing), I have found that your boss (Surrogate) should also be:

  • Stoic
  • Strong.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – Last Wills

A Pa Last Will can grant your boss (Pa Executor) the ability to administer your Estate.

The most common misconception that surrounds a Pa Will is the process called Pa Probate and the seemingly universal theme that it should be avoided at all costs.

Again, and virtually to the contrary, the word probate is merely the Latin infinitive verb that means to prove, and, although some states do have onerous probate procedures (where the avoidance of probate may be a prudent strategy), Pennsylvania is not one of those states. In fact, probating a Will in Pennsylvania is very simple.

Also very important is the fact that a Will only disposes of the assets (1) that you own in your individual name alone and (2) that possess no beneficiary designations (i.e., no tags). Consequently, items owned jointly with another are controlled by property law (not Will law) and will pass to the joint owner(s) at your death, and items that have beneficiary designations will be controlled by contract law (not Will law) and pass to the designated beneficiaries at your death. With respect to additional traits that your boss should possess (in addition to being able and willing), I have found that your boss (Executor) should also be:

  • Honest
  • Diplomatic. 

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – Trusts

A Pa Trust can grant your boss (Pa Trustee) the ability to monitor and manage your Pa Trust. The types of Trusts can be viewed simply as being either (1) revocable (which are created during your life and which become irrevocable upon your death), (2) irrevocable (which are created during your life and become irrevocable upon their creation), and (3) and testamentary (which are created under your Will and which become irrevocable upon your death

Vital is the fact that they can be extremely useful for individuals with Special Needs (i.e., autism, addictions, minors, etc). With respect to additional traits that your boss should possess (in addition to being able and willing), I have found that your boss (Trustee) should also be

  • Attentive
  • Decisive.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Taxes

Another area of misconception in the Pa Estate Planning area involve the taxes that are imposed on the value of your assets on the date of your death.

Basically, two death taxes can be imposed on Pennsylvania residents: the

  • Federal Estate Tax, and
  • Pa Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

Unlike the income tax, which is very descriptive in its title – as it is imposed upon your income – the phrases “Federal Estate Tax” and “Pa Inheritance Tax” are misnomers in that may tend to belie the actual fact that these are taxes imposed by virtue of your death.

Federal Estate Tax

The Federal Estate Tax begins at a wealth threshold.

If you possess less than the wealth threshold at your death, the federal estate tax will not be applicable. If it is applicable, the tax is imposed on a percentage scale according to the amount of wealth (i.e., potentially 47% of the value of your assets above the current $1,500,000. 00 wealth threshold). This threshold has been, is, and is scheduled to continue to increase. In 2005, the threshold is $1,500,000. 00; in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the threshold is $2,000,000. 00; in 2009, the threshold is $3,500,000.00; in 2010, the Federal Estate Tax is scheduled to be eliminated; but in 2011, the Federal Estate Tax is scheduled to return with a threshold of $1,000,000.00.

PA Inheritance Tax

The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax has no wealth threshold and starts immediately. It is imposed on a percentage based on the relationship of the beneficiary

  1. 00.00% = Spouses and Charities are taxed at a 00.00% tax rate, 
  2. 04.50% = Lineal descendants are taxed at a 4.50%,
  3. 12.00% = Siblings brothers and sisters
  4. 15.00% = Collaterals (everyone else).

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide – The Pointers

In conclusion, there are four basic pointers for all who are faced with estate planning.

  1. Title your assets with the utmost care (i.e., joint ownership, beneficiary designations, etc.)
  2. With respect to transferring your assets (i.e., re-titling, gifting, etc) during your lifetime, get advice before you do so (before the bombs go off).
  3. Always have your estate planning documents up-to-date because laws, taxes, and people change.
  4. Most importantly – pick your bosses very carefully.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

The Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.

John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb (obtaining over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements) premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law.

Mr. Whalen is featured on AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0Avvo Rated 10.0 SuperbAvvoJustiaLawyersMartindaleNoloQuora, and Thumbtack.

John is located at 696 Pont Reading Road Ardmore Pa 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Mr. Whalen provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at jw60297@me.com, and by telephone at 1-484-417-6244.

John has amassed over 60 prestigious and premier professional awards and over 5000 client reviews and endorsements. Mr. Whalen has achieved the AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent award from Martindale, AV Peer Judicial Preeminent award, the Avvo Rated Superb 10.00 award, the Avvo Rated Top Lawyer award, the Clients’ Choice Award, and the Top One Percent (1%) award.

He is the recipient of the Legum Magister Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law), a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law), and a recipient of the ABA-BNA Law Award for Academic Excellence (from the Widener University School of Law).

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting

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What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting?

As I have explained in Philadelphia Pa Beneficiary Lawyers, I have represented thousands of beneficiaries during my decades as an Estate Attorney. I can provide the necessary advice to protect your rights in nearly any Pa Estate, Pa Trust, and/or Pa Power of Attorney planning matter. If you suspect that a Pa Will, a Pa Trust, and/or a Pa Power of Attorney does not reflect the wishes of the deceased, you have a right to challenge the proceedings in court via a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Review

There are many factors that can affect the distribution of estate assets. In some cases, there may be a Pa Will that identifies you as a beneficiary; in other cases, there may not be a Pa Will at all.

In still other cases, there may be a dispute involving the administration of the estate. For example, a beneficiary may disagree with how the executor or personal representative is distributing assets.

Estate administration can be a complex and lengthy process with many bumps in the road. If you suspect your rights as a beneficiary are being challenged, you should seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney immediately. I can explain your rights and all your available options.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Types

Every beneficiary and every fiduciary should understand Compelling Accountings and Defending Accountings. A court can require a fiduciary to provide a detailed report of the assets managed and justification for expenses incurred. This report is called an “Accounting”.

There are two forms of Accountings; Informal Accountings and Formal Accountings.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Informal Accountings

The fiduciary creates and submits an Informal Accounting only to the interested parties without court oversight. An Informal Accounting’s complexity will depend on what information the interested parties require. Some beneficiaries only want copies of bank statements while others require detailed breakdowns and reports.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Formal Accountings

The fiduciary submits a Formal Accounting to the court, as well as to all interested parties. The fiduciary files Formal Accountings in specific, detailed formats. It takes a great deal of time to learn these formats. To save time, judges want all Accounting in the same format. A Formal Account will require a filing fee and at least one court appearance.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Format

You are not allowed to use Excel Spreadsheets, Quicken, Quickbooks, or other similar financial programs. The only acceptable format is a Model Court Account.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – When To Compel

An interested party does not need a specific reason to compel a Formal Accounting. Obtaining a Formal Accounting is a right. But, Formal Accountings are expensive so shouldn’t be sought lightly.

Common reasons to seek a Formal Accounting include if you believe the Pa Executor, Pa Agent or a Pa Trustee has committed Theft, Misappropriation of Property, Co-Mingled Assets or has Abused Power. Suspicion that these acts took place is not enough, you must provide the judge evidence.

If an interested party believes that an Executor, Agent or Trustee has stolen property, misappropriated property, co-mingled assets or abused power, it is wise to hire an Estate Litigation Attorney to force the fiduciary to file a Formal Account. In this process, the Estate Litigation Lawyer can obtain an order allowing discovery. This allows the lawyer to depose the fiduciary, subpoena evidence, obtain records and interview witnesses.

If the fiduciary will rectify the harm, the judge will hold a hearing where the Estate Planning Lawyer will present the evidence gathered. If after hearing all the evidence the judge finds the fiduciary was wrong, the judge can order the asset returned and surcharge the fiduciary for expenses and order the fiduciary’s removal.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting? – Conclusion

There are many times when an Accounting should be provided. There are many situations where an Accounting should be compelled. I will review those times and situations in further posts.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

The Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.


John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb (obtaining over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements) premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law. He is located at 696 Pont Reading Road Ardmore Pa 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on evenings, weekends, and holidays. He provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at jw60297@me.com, and by telephone at 1-484-417-6244. He has amassed over 60 prestigious and premier professional awards and over 5000 client reviews and endorsements. Mr. Whalen has achieved the AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent award from Martindale, AV Peer Judicial Preeminent award, the Avvo Rated Superb 10.00 award, the Avvo Rated Top Lawyer award, the Clients’ Choice Award, and the Top One Percent (1%) award. Mr. Whalen is the recipient of the Legum Magister Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law), a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law), and a recipient of the ABA-BNA Law Award for Academic Excellence (from the Widener University School of Law).

Philadelphia Pa Trusts Lawyers

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Philadelphia Pa Trusts Lawyers

A living trust allows you to place assets under the care of a trustee who then distributes them to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. A living trust, in contrast with a testamentary trust, comes into existence while you are still alive. Pennsylvania’s trust law is based on the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act.

Pa Trust Parties

Three parties are required to create a living trust: The settlor, or trustor, is the party who creates the trust, sets its terms and deposits assets into it. The trustee is the person that administers the trust in accordance with the terms you, as the settlor, have set. You may appoint yourself as the trustee. Beneficiaries are the persons or organizations you appoint to receive the trust assets. A trust may include other parties as well; for example, you may name either a successor trustee or a trust protector whose sole function is to hire and fire trustees.

Pa Trust Creation

A living trust is created when you draft and sign a Declaration of Trust. The Declaration of Trust identifies the parties to the trust, specifies whether it is revocable or irrevocable, and tells the trustee how to distribute trust assets. The Declaration of Trust may give the trustee specific instructions on how to distribute the trust’s assets or allow the trustee broad discretionary authority. For example, the trustee may be permitted to invest the trust assets and distribute only capital gains to the beneficiaries. If the trust is revocable, as most are, you may modify or terminate it at any time. Pennsylvania, unlike many other states, allows you to modify or terminate a living trust, even an irrevocable one, if you can secure the unanimous consent of the beneficiaries.

Pa Probate

The assets of a Pa Living Trust are not subject to the Pennsylvania Probate process. The Pa Trustee may immediately distribute trust assets to beneficiaries to the extent expressed in the trust document grants him the authority to do so. Assets may be distributed without seeking approval from the estate executor or probate court.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Lawyers

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Philadelphia Pa Estate Lawyers

Pa Estate law comprises many areas of law.

All of these areas of law focus on taking care of one’s person and property. Estate law is all of the laws that impact how a person makes decisions and issues directives about their personal affairs. A Pa Estate is anything that makes up a person’s net worth. Very simply, an estate is what a person has in their own name alone.

Practice Areas

John provides a full range of services for Pa Last Wills: drafting, review, amendment, revocation, execution and probate. He provides reliable guidance for Pa Testators and Pa Executors.

His experience in the probate court, resolving issues related to the validity of wills, enables him to provide practical advice for testators from all walks of life. Similarly, his work in the formation of wills gives us keen insight into how executors should interpret various aspects of a will that may initially seem unclear.

Whether you are a testator formulating an estate plan or an executor implementing a decedent’s wishes, John B. Whalen, Jr. Esq. can simplify many complex aspects of the tasks before you.

He offers pertinent and personal legal advice to obtain the results you need in a timely manner with the least stress possible. Once executed, your will remains your final statement of your intentions until you amend or revoke it.

He recommends reviewing your will every three to five years and updating it to reflect your current wishes.

Philadelphia Pa Beneficiary Lawyers

There are many factors that can affect the distribution of estate assets.

In some cases, there may be a will that identifies you as a beneficiary; in other cases, there may not be a Pa Will at all.

In still other cases, there may be a dispute involving the administration of the estate.

For example, a beneficiary may disagree with how the executor or personal representative is distributing assets. Attorney John Whalen has represented thousands of beneficiaries during his decades as an estate planning attorney. He can provide the necessary advice to protect your rights in nearly any estate planning matter.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Administration Lawyers

When a loved one passes away, it can be an emotional time. In addition to grieving their passing, those that survive them must tie up all the legal and financial loose ends related to their life and estate.

This includes addressing their will and following its instructions.  The first step of the Pa Estate Administration requires the named executor to apply for Pa Probate.  Pa Probate grants the Executor the legal right to be able to administer the Pa Estate. The Executor must then have the estate valued in order to determine if any tax is owed upon its proceeds. If any taxes are due, the amount owed must then be paid by the executor of the estate before any other monies are distributed to the departed person’s beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may eventually have to file Pa Inheritance tax returns as well.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Lawyers

An attorney who specializes in Pa Estate Planning can help you create a complete plan (including Pa Last Wills, Pa Powers of Attorney, and Pa Living Wills, etc.) to protect your spouse and children if you become unable to manage your financial affairs.

Pa Estate Planning allows you to make decisions now so your wishes can be carried out if you die or become incapacitated.

Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney Lawyers

When you execute a legal document called a Pa Power of Attorney, you are authorizing another individual (your Pa Agent) to make certain decisions on your behalf. The person who signs the document is called the principal and the person who is authorized to make decisions is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact.

A limited power of attorney restricts the permissible activities of the agent to a specific period of time.

For instance, if you are in the military and are being deployed overseas for six months, you can set up a limited power of attorney with an individual you trust. That person may be granted access to your bank account so they can pay your mortgage or other monthly expenses while you are away from home.

A durable power of attorney, unlike other forms of this type of legal document, does not expire if the principal becomes incapacitated. The agent may continue to make financial and medical decisions as indicated in the original document.

Philadelphia Pa Living Wills Lawyers

Pa Living wills are also referred to as an Advance Directives for Health Care. It is a legal document that communicates your desire in the treatment of serious medical problems in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself.

They do not go into effect unless;

  • you are incapacitated and
  • unable to express yourself.

A living will can relieve your close relatives from the burden of having to make the decision about whether to remove you from life support.

Philadelphia Pa Trusts Lawyers

Pa Trusts are legal documents that allow you to control how your assets will be allocated or managed. You are considered the grantor and the person that manages and distributes assets in the trust is known as the trustee. Individuals who receive money or other assets are the beneficiaries.

Property placed in a trust, unlike wills, is not subject to Pa Probate. You can also create a revocable trust which can be canceled or revoked at any time while you are alive. Trusts can be set up for a child’s education or to reduce estate taxes.

Philadelphia Pa Last Wills Lawyers

A Pa Last Will is an important document to execute in order to avoid disputes about how your assets will be divided when you die.

The executor who administers the distribution of assets from your estate will allocate your possessions as you specified. You should periodically review your Will to make sure it is still relevant and accurate. Life changing events, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, may require amendments to the original document.

If you die without a will, you are said to die intestate. In such a case, the state will handle your estate and your assets may not get to the people, institutions or charitable causes that you wanted.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Litigation Lawyers

Most estates, especially when there is a proper will in place, are easily settled. Yet there are times when other factors complicate the issue, creating a situation that requires more careful consideration. For example, a family business, an estate that is in bankruptcy or an estate that holds significant amounts of real estate may become complicated quite quickly. This is where estate litigation comes into play.

When an individual acts in a fiduciary capacity such as an executor of a will or a trustee of the financial assets of another person or entity, they have the responsibility of keeping accurate financial records. Those records should show how money was spent, invested or distributed while under the fiduciary’s care and control. Proper accounting can bring to light the mismanagement or bad investment of funds should an issue arise with an interested party.

Model Court Accountings

Certain procedures must be followed when reports are prepared to explain how the assets in an estate or trust were managed. Approved fiduciary accountings require the separation of principal and interest. You can not commingle funds that are considered principal with those that are considered income.

  • Principal = original investment + capital gains – capital losses – expenses – distributions
  • Income = money generated from the investment or use of principal

The main reason for keeping principal and income in separate accounts is that the beneficiaries of income in a trust or estate may be different than the beneficiaries of the principal in the same estate or trust.

Fiduciary Tax Returns – Form 1041

A trust or an estate is considered a separate legal entity from an individual who may be a beneficiary of that trust or estate. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the fiduciary administering the estate or trust to file a federal tax return under certain conditions.

The IRS requires a trust to file a tax return if it has any taxable income or has gross income of at least $600, regardless of whether it is taxable or not. Estates must file Form 1041 if they have gross income of $600 or more. A fiduciary must also file a return if any of the beneficiaries of the estate or trust is a non-resident alien.

Form 1041 is similar to the 1040 return used by individuals. The form is designed so estates and trusts can report income, deductions, gains, losses and any other pertinent financial information. Before funds or assets can be distributed, any tax liabilities of the estate or trust must be satisfied.

Closing Out a Fiduciary Relationship

Once all of the assets of an estate or trust have been distributed or otherwise settled, it is customary that the fiduciary is released from further responsibility. That may be done by signing a release form through the court or an agreement with the beneficiaries of the estate or trust.

Dealing with estate taxation can be complex. Estate taxation attorney John B. Whalen, Jr., provides guidance to his clients when dealing with these complicated issues.

Pa Probate

In United States law and terminology, “probate” refers to proving that a will is valid. In many U.S. states, a person would petition the court for probate, and then add the will that is to be considered to their petition. Once probate is approved by the court, the petitioner officially becomes the executor and then has full legal rights to be able to deal with the deceased individual’s estate.

Pa Inheritance Tax

An “inheritance” refers to what a benefactor receives from the estate of a relative who has passed on and included them in their will. Inheritance tax is the tax that is paid to the government on the money that has been inherited. In the United States, not everyone must pay inheritance tax; an estate must be worth a certain amount before a tax payment is required. In addition to federal inheritance taxes, state taxes are required in some states. Inheritance tax returns must be filed as well.

Pa Estate Administration

Dealing with legal, accounting and tax-related matters is often the last thing you want to do during this emotional time, but you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need advice about probate, estate administration or inheritance tax returns, estate administration attorney John B. Whalen, Jr., can help. He is committed to making the entire process as efficient and stress-free as possible.

When an estate or a will is contested and the case has to go to court, the right Pennsylvania estate litigation attorney is required to ensure an individual’s best interests are protected. John B. Whalen, Jr. Esq. is a Pennsylvania estate litigation attorney who is ready to fight for the interests of his clients in complex estate cases.

Pennsylvania Attorney John Whalen

When you choose John Whalen, you get unprecedented access to his knowledgeable counsel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He prides himself on providing fast responses and prompt service. Appointments are made on your terms, and can be arranged in the comfort of your own home. Attorney John Whalen knows that his clients want clear communication and affordable access to justice. That is why he always operates on a flat-fee basis, so clients know exactly what to expect and there are never any surprises.

Estate administration can be a complex and lengthy process with many bumps in the road. If you suspect your rights as a beneficiary are being challenged, you should seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney immediately. Attorney John Whalen can explain your rights and all your available options. Contact our Philadelphia, PA office today to schedule a free consultation with experienced estate planning attorney John Whalen.

Philadelphia Pa Guardianship Lawyers

The Pa Guardianship process can be filled with emotions. Realizing that a loved one is no longer capable of caring for his or her self can be difficult to accept. That’s why you need an attorney who offers legal services with compassion. For the past twenty-five (25) years, Attorney Whalen has built a reputation for providing compassionate legal care for his clients, putting their needs and interests first while navigating emotionally trying circumstances.

Guardianship is a legal situation granted by the court to appoint an individual to assist and protect the legal rights of someone who is physically or mentally unable to care for his or her own needs. Once appointed, the guardian is legally bound to act in the individual’s best interests. Guardians can be given specific authorities, such as the authority to handle the financial and legal affairs of the individual, or they may be granted larger authority, depending on the needs of the individual.

Setting up a legal guardianship can sometimes get complex, especially if other family members are not in agreement as to who the guardian should be. That is why the assistance of a Pennsylvania guardianship attorney is so valuable. Attorney John Whalen has been serving the people of Pennsylvania for over 20 years, and brings compassion and knowledge to the guardianship process.

Complex Considerations

In a guardianship case, the interests of many parties need to be considered. First and foremost are the interests of the individual who needs guardianship. The guardian needs to be someone who will protect the interests and safety of the individual who needs help. When working on guardianship cases, Attorney Whalen ensures that everyone’s best interests, including the individual who needs help the most, are protected and considered.

Yet that’s just one aspect of a guardianship case. Sometimes the children or loved ones of the individual are not in agreement about who should be the guardian. In other cases, the individual who needs support may not be willing to accept it, and the case may need to go to court to prove that guardianship is required. Handling these cases requires skill and understanding, and that is exactly what Attorney Whalen offers.

The guardianship process can be filled with emotions. Realizing that a loved one is no longer capable of caring for his or her self can be difficult to accept. That’s why you need an attorney who offers legal services with compassion. For the past two decades, Attorney John Whalen has built a reputation for providing compassionate legal care for his clients, putting their needs and interests first while navigating emotionally trying circumstances.

If you or someone you love needs the help of a legal guardian, Attorney John Whalen is ready to help. Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns and questions, and get started on the guardianship process.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Lawyers

The Pa Probate process, itself, is a very simple process. However, it is merely the beginning of the Pa Estate Administration (also known as the Pa Estate Settlement) process, which involves settling a decedent’s affairs, and can (and does) involve many, many other steps, depending on many, many other things.

Pa Probate – Definition

In United States law and terminology, “probate” refers to proving that a will is valid.

In many U.S. states, a person would petition the court for probate, and then add the will that is to be considered to their petition.

Once probate is approved by the court, the petitioner officially becomes the Executor and then has full legal rights to be able to deal with the deceased individual’s estate.

Pa Probate – Misunderstandings

Although some states do have onerous Probate procedures (where “avoiding probate” may be a prudent strategy), Pennsylvania is not one of those states, In fact, Pennsylvania is very “Probate-Friendly.”

The most common misconception that surrounds a Pa Last Will is the process called “Probate” and the seemingly universal theme that it should be avoided at all costs. Again, and virtually to the contrary, the word “Probate” is merely based on the Latin verb that means “to prove.” Nothing more!

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

Cornerstone content is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.


John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb (obtaining over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements) premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law. He is located at 696 Pont Reading Road Ardmore Pa 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on evenings, weekends, and holidays. He provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at jw60297@me.com, and by telephone at 1-484-417-6244. He has amassed over 60 prestigious and premier professional awards and over 5000 client reviews and endorsements.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

wayne-pa-probate-lawyers-attorneys-probate-guide

The Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.

About Philadelphia Pa Probate Lawyers

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John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb. He has obtained over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law.

Mr. Whalen is featured on AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0Avvo Rated 10.0 SuperbAvvoJustiaLawyersMartindaleNoloQuora, and Thumbtack.

John is located at 696 Pont Reading Road Ardmore Pa 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. His office is open on all evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Mr. Whalen provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at jw60297@me.com, and by telephone at 1-999-2157.

John has amassed over 60 prestigious and premier professional awards and over 5000 client reviews and endorsements. Mr. Whalen has achieved the AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent award from Martindale. He has received the AV Peer Judicial Preeminent award. He has received the Avvo Rated Superb 10.00 award, and the Avvo Rated Top Lawyer award. He has also received the Clients’ Choice Award, and the Top One Percent (1%) award.

He is the recipient of the Legum Magister Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law). He is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law).

He is also the recipient of the ABA-BNA Law Award for Academic Excellence (from the Widener University School of Law).

Philadelphia Pa Inheritance Taxation Lawyers

wayne-pa-inheritance-tax-lawyers

The Philadelphia PA Inheritance tax is imposed as a percentage of the value of a decedent’s estate transferred to beneficiaries by will, heirs by intestacy and transferees by operation of law. The tax rate varies depending on the relationship of the heir to the decedent.

Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney and Pa Agents

A Pa Power of Attorney grants your Pa Agent (Fiduciary) the ability to control all of your affairs.

It is a very powerful document; it permits your Pa Agent the broadest of powers to do anything that you could have done (i.e., give all of your money away).

Yet, inherent in the broad powers that your Pa Agent possesses is the possibility – the extremely real possibility – that your Agent under your Power of Attorney may actually do anything that you could have done (i.e., give all your money away).

Philadelphia Pa Powers

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A common misconception is that a Power of Attorney eliminates your ability to act for yourself.  Quite to the contrary, and until you are deemed to be incapacitated, a Power of Attorney should properly be viewed as a “shared authority.”

After you have executed a Power of Attorney, you still retain all of the powers and decision-making abilities that you possessed beforehand, including the power to revoke the Power of Attorney.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney?

can-i-sue-my-wayne-pa-power-of-attorney-lawyers-attorneys

I have explained in Philadelphia Pa Beneficiary Lawyers, I have represented thousands of beneficiaries during my decades as an Estate Attorney. I can provide the necessary advice to protect your rights in nearly any Pa Estate, Pa Trust, and/or Pa Power of Attorney planning matter.

If you suspect that a Pa Last Will, a Pa Trust, and/or a Pa Power of Attorney does not reflect the wishes of the deceased, you have a right to challenge the proceedings in court via a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting. As I stated – and I cannot emphasize this enough – the fraud virtually amounts to outright stealing.

Philadelphia Pa Estate Planning Guide

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-estate-planning-guide

The best gift you can give your loved ones is to have your Pa Estate Planning complete. Unfortunately, to a great extent, misinformation about critical terms such as Pa Inheritance Tax, Federal Estate Tax, Pa Probate, avoiding probate, simple will, and Pa Living Trust, tends to lead to misunderstandings of Pa Estate Planning.

These misunderstandings, in turn, tend to lead to mistakes in Pa Estate Planning.

These mistakes, again, in turn, tend to lead to unintended results after one’s death.

In an effort to eliminate such misinformation, misunderstandings, and mistakes, this article will hopefully serve as a review – in very simple terms – of the basic, core issues of estate planning and its basic documents.

When Should I Update My Philadelphia Pa Last Will?

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-when-should-i-update-my-last-will

A Pa Last Will is an important document to execute in order to avoid disputes about how your assets will be divided when you die. The executor who administers the distribution of assets from your estate will allocate your possessions as you specified.

You should periodically review your Will to make sure it is still relevant and accurate. Life changing events, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, may require amendments to the original document.

What Is A Philadelphia Pa Last Will?

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-what-is-a-last-will

My experience in the probate court, resolving issues related to the validity of wills, enables me to provide practical advice for testators from all walks of life.

Similarly, my work in the formation of Pa Wills gives us keen insight into how executors should interpret various aspects of a will that may initially seem unclear.

What is a Philadelphia Pa Model Court Accounting?

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-what-is-a-model-court-accounting

As I have explained in Philadelphia Pa Beneficiary Lawyers, I have represented thousands of beneficiaries during my decades as an Estate Attorney.

I can provide the necessary advice to protect your rights in nearly any Pa Estate, Pa Trust, and/or Pa Power of Attorney planning matter.

How Do I Probate A Will In Philadelphia Pa?

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-how-do-i-probate-a-will

The Will Pa Probate process, itself, is a very simple process. However, it is merely the beginning of the Pa Estate Administration (also known as the Pa Estate Settlement) process, which involves settling a decedent’s affairs, and can (and does) involve many, many other steps, depending on many, many other things.

Philadelphia Pa Payments to Family and Funeral Directors

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-payments-to-family-funeral-directors

There are alternatives for settling small estates instead of the traditional Probate process. Philadelphia PA Payments to Family and Funeral Directors is one of them.

Philadelphia Pa USA PATRIOT Act Privacy Rules

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-powers-of-attorrney-hipaa-rules

The USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (the “U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T.” Act), announced a wide range of new tools to strengthen the U.S. economic system from, in addition to many other things, money laundering, terrorist financing, identity theft, and fraud.

Philadelphia Pa Common Law Marriage

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-common-law-marriage

Common law marriage in Pennsylvania was recognized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over one hundred and thirty (130) years ago.

Common law marriage in Pennsylvania was questioned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court five years ago. Common law marriage in Pennsylvania was abolished by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court one month ago?

Philadelphia Pa HIPAA Powers of Attorneys

wayne-pa-probate-attorneys-guide-wayne-pa-powers-of-attorrney-hipaa

Congress enacted The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) on August 21, 1996. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is enormous and complex.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

The Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.

John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb. He has obtained over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law.

Mr. Whalen is featured on AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0Avvo Rated 10.0 SuperbAvvoJustiaLawyersMartindaleNoloQuora, and Thumbtack.

John is located at 696 Pont Reading Road Ardmore Pa 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. His office is open on all evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Mr. Whalen provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at jw60297@me.com, and by telephone at 1-999-2157.

John has amassed over 60 prestigious and premier professional awards and over 5000 client reviews and endorsements. Mr. Whalen has achieved the AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent award from Martindale. He has received the AV Peer Judicial Preeminent award. He has received the Avvo Rated Superb 10.00 award, and the Avvo Rated Top Lawyer award. He has also received the Clients’ Choice Award, and the Top One Percent (1%) award.

He is the recipient of the Legum Magister Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law). He is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law).

He is also the recipient of the ABA-BNA Law Award for Academic Excellence (from the Widener University School of Law).

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