What is Probate?

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One of the questions I answer with great frequency for clients and acquaintances alike is – what is probate? A common follow up question I am usually asked is how to avoid probate. What is Probate? Probate is the process that we use to wrap up certain financial affairs of the deceased. The main objective […]

The Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Program

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A topic that frequently elicits questions from clients is the Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Program. There is a lot of information and misinformation out there about the program. The Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Program is administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Human Services. The Program allows the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be reimbursed for […]

The Duties of an Executor

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You’ve been named as a Personal Representative (commonly known as an Executor or Administrator) to administer the estate of someone who died.  What do you do and where do you start? This article is intended to give you a brief overview of your responsibilities. Initially, you need to file a petition for the probate of the […]

Questions and Answers for Executors

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A family member or friend has named you as their executor. If you have never served as executor before, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. You take on a lot of responsibility when you serve as an executor. You will have a lot to do, including: Collecting property owned by the decedent […]

Living Trust Flimflam gets PA Lawyer Disbarred

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer for his conduct in selling living trusts to senior citizens. The term “living trust” is a marketing name given to a revocable trust you create during lifetime often with a purpose of avoiding probate at your death. I’ve written before about living trusts, their proper uses, and […]

Two Witness Rule

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A few weeks ago, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania handed down an opinion in Estate of: Isabel Wilner, Deceased[i] that invoked the two witness rule for the proving of a lost will. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a court opinion so apologetic over applying a well-established rule of law. There’s a saying amongst lawyers, […]