• John B Whalen Jr Esq •

Category: Philadelphia Pa Estates Administration

Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney and Pa Agents

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Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney and Pa Agents – Document Purposes

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 of Attorney and Pa Agents – Fiduciary Traits

  • Your Agent should be able and willing, first and foremost.
  • Your Agent should also be levelheaded and familiar.

Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney and Pa Agents – Common Misconceptions

  • 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.
  • Another common misconception is that your Agent needs your permission to act.  Quite to the contrary, a Power of Attorney is a very powerful document.  It permits your Agent the broadest of powers to do anything that you could have done (i.e., give all of your money away), and, inherent in the broad powers that your 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 Probate Attorneys Guide

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

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).

How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate

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How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Intro

The best way to truly understand what Pa Estate Planning is all about is to first understand the process of Pa Estate Administration (or Pa Estate Settlement), or what happens to a Pa Estate after the owner dies. 

Said another way, understanding the process of settling a Pa Estate can help you really wrap your mind around all the different components of a comprehensive Pa Estate Plan.

So – you need to learn one side to learn the other – and vice versa – and so on – and so on …

How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Steps

The Pa Estate Settlement process can be long, and it’s often confusing. However, a solid checklist, can show that it’s not as complicated as you first thought. A timeline that details what to expect and when to expect it, you may find it’s actually not as complicated as you first thought.

Especially if you’ve been named as the Pa Executor, you need to understand the estate settling process. This will ensure that the estate is settled properly. This will help to show that all heirs receive their share of the estate. Use the following checklist to feel confident you’ve done everything you need, in this order, to properly settle an estate. 

  1. Organize important information
  2. Determine need for probate or attorney help 
  3. File the Will and notify necessary persons 
  4. Take inventory and appraise all assets 
  5. Set up a bank account 
  6. Pay taxes 
  7. Pay off any debts 
  8. Distribute assets according to deceased person’s Will 
  9. Close the estate 

1. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Information  

The first step (and one of the most important ones) in the process of settling an estate is getting organized. You’ll want to keep track of both your expenses and all the time you spend working on settling the estate, as you’re entitled to be compensated. 

You should look for a Will. You’ll need access to several certified copies of the death certificate. You must notify financial institutions, including the bank, credit card companies and any investment firms. Be sure to inform the Social Security Administration, and know that you’ll need the deceased’s social security number to do so. Try to find a copy of the most current tax return, a birth certificate and any other important documentation. 

There are other, practical things to do, too. If you didn’t live with the deceased and there is now an empty property, you should secure it by changing the locks. You’ll want to take a detailed inventory of all his or her belongings. We’ll go more into detail about this below below, but you’re going to need to open a estate checking account. This will be in the estate’s name – you’ll be paying for things like final bills, court costs, potential lawyer’s fees and more from this account. 

Once you have these basic documents and tasks done, you should make one master list of contacts that includes all business associates and colleagues, anyone named in the Will, neighbors, friends, relatives and others. 

2. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Probate or Attorney 

You may or may not need a lawyer. If an attorney is needed due to dispute, complexity or just for peace of mind, it’s important to remember that the process can become drastically more costly once attorneys are involved. To mitigate some of the cost, some opt to just hire an attorney to coach them along the way.

If the deceased only had a Will, it’s likely the estate will have to go through what’s known as probate. Probate is the court proceeding that validates a Will. Keep in mind, not all Pa Estates will need to go through Pa Probate.

Knowing how to settle an estate without a Will can be confusing, time-consuming and costly. Yet surprisingly, it’s more common than you may think. When it happens, the resolution of the estate will depend on how big it is, how complex it is and how many heirs claim to have rights to a piece of it.

Pa state law comes heavily into play in these cases, and the courts would determine who should be appointed to administer and settle the estate. 

It used to be thought that only the very wealthy had what’s known as “an estate,” but the truth is, even if you don’t have a 6 figure savings account or own a mansion, you likely do have an estate you’ll one day leave behind . And when that time comes, whether you’ve prepared for it or not, your estate will need to be settled. 

Estate Planning can be complicated or it can be simple. But regardless of how complex an estate is, establishing what happens to it once you pass away is important. When the time comes for it to be settled, you want the process to be as efficient as possible. Trust and Will makes every aspect of Estate Planning — including estate settlement — simple, fast, affordable and easy to understand. 

Curious if your Estate is protected? Trust & Will can help! Learn more about what we do and how we can protect your family, assets and legacy. 

3. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Notify Necessary Persons 

If there is a Will, it must be filed in the Register of Wills. The Beneficiaries need to be notified. If there is a Trust, any successor trustees should also be informed. Other people to notify include: creditors/banks, the post office, the utility companies and any other business the deceased had accounts with. 

A smaller detail, but one that will ultimately need to be handled, includes canceling any subscriptions and notifying any agencies that were offering the deceased benefits (i.e. pension plans, etc). The last thing you want to have to be dealing with is returning payments that the estate was not entitled to. 

4. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Inventory & Assets

Take inventory of all assets to see what needs to be distributed. You may want to have high value assets appraised. This will determine whether or not the Estate will owe any taxes. Remember that, as executor, it’s your responsibility to take care of the assets.

5. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Estate Bank Account  

After you have what’s known as the Letters Testamentary, you’ll want to set up an estate bank account.

Use this account to collect money that may be owed to the deceased person. You can (and should) use this money to pay off any debts, and expenses.

6. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Taxes 

File any necessary tax returns and ensure taxes are paid. You may need to file the following:

  1. Federal Estate Tax (Form 706)
  2. Pa Inheritance Tax (Form Rev 1500)
  3. Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (Form 709)
  4. Estate and Income Tax (Form 1041)
  5. Final Individual Income Taxes (Form 1040)

7. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Debts

Even though the person who borrowed the debt is no longer living, their debts will still need to be paid off.

Luckily, the estate (and not you personally) will pay the debts, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than figuring out what debts are owed to which companies.

Read more about what happens to debt after you die for additional, more detailed information about how to navigate this portion of the estate settlement. 

8. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Distribute

After debts and taxes are paid, and if probate is closed (if the estate needed to go through the probate process), then you can distribute assets according to the deceased party’s final wishes. 

9. How Do You Settle A Philadelphia Pa Estate? – Close

Once all the above steps have been thoroughly completed, you can finally file a petition for discharge of executor responsibilities and ask the court to formally close the estate.

Philadelphia Pa Probate Attorneys Guide

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

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 featured on Avvo, Justia, Lawyers, LinkedIn, Martindale, Nolo, Quora, and Thumbtack. 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 1-610-999-2157.

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).

Philadelphia Pa Estate Administration Lawyers

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Pa Estate Administration – Intro

Pa Estate Settlement (known as Pa Estate Administration) is the process of settling a decedent’s affairs.

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 Pa Last Will and following its instructions.

The first step of the Pa Estate Administration requires the named Pa Executor to apply for Pa Probate.  Pa Probate grants the Pa Executor the legal right to be able to administer the Pa Estate.

Pa Estate Administration – 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.

The Pa Executor must then have the Pa Estate valued in order to determine if any Pa Estate Tax and/or Pa Inheritance Tax is owed upon its proceeds.

If any taxes are due, the amount owed must then be paid by the Pa Executor of the Pa Estate before any other monies are distributed to the departed person’s beneficiaries. The Pa Beneficiaries may eventually have to file Pa Inheritance tax returns as well.

Pa Estate Administration – Next Steps

Most executors have never probated a will; many are surprised to learn the decedent’s will named them as the responsible party. I provide indispensable service for executors who have no prior experience in the probate court on matters that include:

  • Filing the will with the Pennsylvania probate court
  • Developing the best strategy for expeditiously settling the estate
  • Finding and assembling assets
  • Pay creditors and claimants
  • Collecting amounts owed the estate
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Paying current and delinquent taxes as well as estate taxes
  • Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Hiring experts, when appropriate

Executors can easily make mistakes due to inexperience, stress and hasty decisions. This can be costly, as executors can be held personally liable for beneficiaries’ losses. I guide executors through every step of the probate process, with reliable, detailed advice, so you can settle the testator’s estate as efficiently, quickly and easily as possible.

Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between disappointed beneficiaries and the will’s executor. When representing executors, I strive for the utmost professionalism in negotiations and in the courtroom. Whether the issue is a will challenge or an accusation of mismanagement of estate assets, I advocate vigorously for the testator’s estate and the executor.

Pa Estate Administration – Inheritance Tax

An “inheritance” refers to what a beneficiary receives from the estate of a relative who has passed on and included them in their will. The Pa 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.