• John B Whalen Jr Esq •

Category: Philadelphia Pa Estates Litigation (Page 1 of 2)

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney

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Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Intro

I explained in Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney Lawyers that Philadelphia Pa Powers of Attorney are documents that convey legal authority (to the Pa Principal) to act in the name of another person (Pa Agent) for his or her health and welfare. A Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney can grant broad authority or be very limited in scope. Unfortunately, there is so much fraud involved in their usage today.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Challenge

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.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Document Purposes

A Pa Power of Attorney grants your Pa Agent (Fiduciary) the ability to control all of your affairs. Pa Powers of Attorney are documents that convey legal authority (to the Pa Principal) to act in the name of another person (Pa Agent) for his or her health and welfare.

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).

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Fiduciary Traits

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

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – 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).

A Pa Power of Attorney can grant broad authority or be very limited in scope. I help you prepare for contingencies based on the specific circumstances surrounding you and your loved one. However, generally speaking, powers of attorney address three main areas of concern:

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Notice Provision Requirement

The following shows – in capital letters – what is required by a Philadelphia Pa Agent under a Pa Power of Attorney. I must emphasize that it states that “YOUR AGENT MUST KEEP YOUR FUNDS SEPARATE FROM YOUR AGENT’S FUNDS.”

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Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Acknowledgement Provision Requirement

Again, the following shows – in capital letters – what is required by a Philadelphia Pa Agent under a Pa Power of Attorney. I must emphasize that it states that “I SHALL KEEP THE ASSETS OF THE PRINCIPAL SEPARATE FROM MY FUNDS.”

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Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Accountings by Agents, Powers of Attorney

A Durable General Power of Attorney gives an “Agent” power to manage assets. An interested person can Compel the Agent to file a Formal Accounting, explaining every action taken and justifying every expense. In the alternative, in order to obtain a release of liability, an Agent can Assemble, Submit and Defend a Formal Accounting.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Assembling, Submitting and Defending Accountings for Agents

If you served as an Agent you would be wise to receive a legal release for your service. First of all, long after you have completed your duties the court might force you to file a Formal Accounting if you have no release.

Further, it is better to file your Accounting when you still have the funds to pay for the costs. Delaying may prove costly. Especially relevant, you will personally shoulder the cost to assemble and defend the Formal Accounting.

Has a Beneficiary has obtained a court order compelling you to account? If so, it would be wise to have the Formal Accounting prepared and defended by an experienced Probate and Estates Accounting Lawyer. If you are unprepared, the judge could surcharge you for any amount you cannot properly explain.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Compelling A Philadelphia Pa Agent To Account

Are you are an interested person who believes an Pa Agent has abused their powers? If so, you may have your experienced Probate and Estates Accounting Lawyer file a Petition forcing the Agent to file a Formal Accounting.

Once filed, the interested parties may Contest and Object to the Accounting. If the judge believes the Agent’s actions wrongfully reduced the estate, then the judge may surcharge the Agent. If the Agent cannot recover the funds, the Agent must replenish the estate with the Agent’s own funds.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Accountings by Agents, Powers of Attorney

A Durable General Power of Attorney gives an “Agent” power to manage assets. An interested person can Compel the Agent to file a Formal Accounting, explaining every action taken and justifying every expense. In the alternative, in order to obtain a release of liability, an Agent can Assemble, Submit and Defend a Formal Accounting.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – Assembling, Submitting and Defending Accountings for Agents.

If you served as a Philadelphia Pa Agent you would be wise to receive a legal release for your service. First of all, long after you have completed your duties the court might force you to file a Formal Accounting if you have no release.

Further, it is better to file your Accounting when you still have the funds to pay for the costs. Delaying may prove costly. Especially relevant, you will personally shoulder the cost to assemble and defend the Formal Accounting.

Has a Beneficiary has obtained a court order compelling you to account? If so, it would be wise to have the Formal Accounting prepared and defended by an experienced Accounting Lawyer. If you are unprepared, the judge could surcharge you for any amount you cannot properly explain.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney? – The Pa Statute

In Pennsylvania your duties as agent are specified in the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code. The specific section can be found at Title 20, Chapter 56, Powers of Attorney. Although this section contains all of the rules that apply to Pa Powers of Attorney, the areas I am focusing on in this post are your duties that apply to you as a Pa Agent.

Section 5601.3 of the law (20 Pa. C.S.A. §5601.3) lays out your duties when you are acting as someone’s agent under a Pa Power off Attorney.

  1. (a)  General rule.–Notwithstanding any provision in the power of attorney, an agent that has accepted appointment shall:
    1. (1)  [ … ]
    2. (2)  Act in good faith.
    3. (3)  [ … ]
  2. (b)  Other duties.–Except as otherwise provided in the power of attorney, an agent that has accepted appointment shall:
    • (1)  Act loyally for the principal’s benefit.
      • (1.1)  Keep the agent’s funds separate from the principal’s funds unless:
        • (i)  the funds were not kept separate as of the date of the execution of the power of attorney; or
        • (ii)  the principal commingles the funds after the date of the execution of the power of attorney and the agent is the principal’s spouse.
    • (2)  [ … ]
    • (3)  Act with the care, competence and diligence ordinarily exercised by agents in similar circumstances.
    • (4)  Keep a record of all receipts, disbursements and transactions made on behalf of the principal.
    • (5) [ … ]
    • (6) [ … ]

Although I omitted a few provisions of Section 5601.3, the focus of this post was to explain that commingling of assets will most likely create many problems for you. And be sure you read the power of attorney document and understand your duties and responsibilities before you start to act on behalf of your principal. If there is anything you don’t understand, get legal advice up-front not after the fact.

Can I Sue My Philadelphia Pa Power of Attorney Agent? – Conclusion

Pennsylvania law provides that Pa Agents can be called to account for their actions under Pa Powers of Attorney. You may have financial liability if you are unable to adequately demonstrate the propriety of your actions.

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. 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 Last Wills Contests Lawyers

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Philadelphia Pa Last Wills Contests Lawyers

A loved one’s legacy can ease the pain of loss by reminding heirs of a departed family member’s enduring love.

But when questions arise about the validity of a will or the management of estate assets, uncertainty can arouse animosity and prevent closure.

If you, as a beneficiary, suspect that a will does not reflect the wishes of the deceased, you have a right to challenge the proceedings in court. Similarly, if you believe an executor, trustee or estate administrator is mismanaging estate assets, you have standing to raise that issue.

On the other hand, an executor or estate administrator is entitled to a vigorous defense against accusations of incompetence or unlawful conduct.

I provide highly professional representation for aggrieved beneficiaries and accused fiduciaries in estate disputes.

Challenges To The Validity Of A Last Will

There are several bases for challenging a Pa Last Will. These include:

  • Lack of capacity
    • This ground alleges that the testator was not of sound mind at the time the will or trust was executed.
  • Undue influence
    • Documents might be invalid if a person with access to and power over the testator used emotional manipulation to gain special consideration in the will.
  • Fraud
    • This ground alleges the testator was deceived about the contents of the document at the time of execution.
  • Void for vagueness
    • This ground asserts that the terms of a will are open to conflicting interpretations and it is impossible to know which interpretation is correct. A challenger can prevent part or all of the will from being implemented.

Many probate disputes stem from suspicions that a particular individual took advantage of the declining health or dementia of the deceased to insinuate himself into the will to the detriment of the rightful heirs.

The court looks very harshly on this type of elder exploitation.

However, it is important to note that disappointment is not grounds for an heir to challenge a will.

All challenges must be supported by reliable evidence.

Breach Of Fiduciary Duty In Estate Settlement and Trust Management

The executor of a will or the administrator of an intestate estate is a fiduciary with a legal duty to manage estate assets according to the testator’s wishes and for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The fiduciary must perform at a professional standard so that assets are not lost due to waste, fraud, misallocation or mismanagement. Beneficiaries may challenge deliberate or negligent misconduct and demand a full accounting. I have vast experience on both sides of trust and estate controversies. I have close associations with forensic accountants who can render accurate assessments of asset management and help us assemble evidence to prove or rebut allegations.

Don’t Expect Success If You Handle Objections Yourself

Many people hesitate to hire an attorney because they wish to keep a family dispute within the family.

However, the court may treat your suspicions lightly if you raise them without a professional presentation and a firm basis in the law that an attorney can provide.

Moreover, a seasoned attorney who has been through such negotiations before is likely to produce a settlement that satisfies all parties and allows the proceedings to move forward at less cost to the estate.

Contact an established trust and estate litigation lawyer in Pennsylvania

Conflicts among beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and fiduciaries can be very destructive without experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. John B. Whalen, Jr. Esq. provides capable representation for beneficiaries and fiduciaries throughout Pennsylvania. Call today or contact me to schedule a consultation.

Philadelphia Pa Guardianships Lawyers

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Philadelphia Pa Guardianships Lawyers

Philadelphia Pa Guardianships are 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.

Pa Guardianships – 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 the Pa 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, I ensure 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.

Pa Guardianships – Compassionate Care

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 three decades, I have 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, I am ready to help.

Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns and questions, and get started on the guardianship process.

Pa Guardianships – Limitations

No Pa Guardian possesses the following powers, unless they are specifically and expressly authorized by the court:

  1. to consent to an abortion, sterilization, psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy or removal of a healthy body organ;
  2. to prohibit marriage or consent to divorce; or
  3. to consent to any experimental biomedical or behavioral medical procedure or be part of any biomedical or behavioral experiment.

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 Estate Litigation Lawyers

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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 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.

Aggressive, Knowledgeable Representation

When estates become complex, the case sometimes has to go to court to be resolved. When that happens, Attorney John Whalen provides aggressive representation backed by a firm knowledge of estate law. With potential disputes involving everything from clauses in a will or trust to claims from a third-party transaction with the deceased individual, the number of complexities that can come up in these cases is extensive, and those who are in the midst of a case will want an experienced attorney on their sides.

Attorney John Whalen understands the complexities of Pennsylvania’s estate law, and is ready to help individuals understand their rights as they settle an estate. From creating the initial will or trust to ensuring that as much of the estate as possible is protected, he offers the benefit of a deep knowledge of estate law and the experience of many years in the legal field with a focus on estate planning. Find out more with a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Control Litigation Costs

In an estate case, litigation costs can skyrocket out of control quite quickly. Having proper representation helps prevent that from happening. Attorney Whalen will help keep costs in check while protecting the rights of those left behind in an estate case. All alternatives are explored to ensure that the most cost-effective solution is chosen when a question is addressed.

Personal Attention

Attorney John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq., understands both the emotional and financial implications of an estate litigation case. That is why he maintains a close connection with his clients, to ensure that he understands the goals and desires of each family served. If you are facing a complex estate battle, make sure your interests and rights are protected with the help of Attorney John Whalen.

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.

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