PROBATE ATTORNEY

MICHAEL DAIELLO

As a probate attorney to estate executors, Michael Daiello helps overcome roadblocks that prevent a sale of estate properties.

Solutions for Estate Property Roadblocks

Estate executors and heirs never want to become involved in a real estate dispute. Real estate disputes can be one of the most stressful and emotional types of legal disputes. Our practice helps resolve the roadblocks which prevent the sale of estate property.

Legal problems connected with estate properties cost executors and heirs time and money. Property rights can even be lost if a legal issue or dispute is not promptly resolved. It is always best to act quickly to avoid a problem than to resolve a dispute through a legal lengthy legal proceeding.

Here are just some of the problems we can help you resolve:

Call us for help overcoming legal roadblocks preventing a sale of your estate property.

Whether you are an estate executor or heir to a loved one’s estate, we can help resolve problems involving fraud, defective title, liens, unauthorized occupancy and more.

Restore Rights Lost Due to Stolen Title

Real estate fraud is a major problem in Pennsylvania. Unoccupied properties are especially at risk. We know there are times when you need to act quickly to preserve your property ownership rights. Unscrupulous people may even a fraudulent deed, forge a loved one’s signature or take up residence in a property under the guise of a fake lease.  

A “Quiet Title” action is a lawsuit against another person to resolve a challenge or claim to the title. A typical ground for a complaint includes the fraudulent conveyance of a property, perhaps by a forged deed or under coercion. If you believe you have been the victim of deed fraud, it is critical to act quickly to protect your rights.

Remove Squatters and Trespassers

A person who has no lawful right to reside in a property and does not have an oral or written lease agreement must be ejected. An ejectment action is a lawsuit to remove someone from a property when there is no lease agreement in place. The ejectment process is highly technical because it requires an appearance before a judge and knowledge of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

Partition of Jointly-Owned Property

It is common for a loved one to leave a partial interest in a property to their heirs. For example, a loved one may have co-owned a property with a former spouse, a family member, friend or co-investor. In these circumstances, the heirs to the loved one’s estate maintain a interest in the property equal to the interest owned by the loved one.

Problems can arise when the co-owner does not cooperate with the estate executor or heirs. If the estate desires to sell but the co-owners do not agree to a sale or buyout, a legal action called Partition may be necessary to compel a sale.

Protection From Adverse Possession Claims

A person who occupies a property without permission of the owner may claim legal title after ten or twenty-one years. The legal term for this kind of “squatters right” is Adverse Possession. But it is not enough that the possessor merely occupy for twenty-one years. The possession must be actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, notorious, distinct and hostile.

It is not uncommon for adverse possession claims to arise during the probate process. In certain cases, an heir to the estate may claim adverse possession against the other co-heirs.

Eliminate Liens and Mortgages

When a mortgage loan is paid off, the lender will give the borrower a document called a mortgage satisfaction. A satisfaction is the borrower’s proof that the property is released from the mortgage. The borrower can then sell the property free and clear of the mortgage.

Problems can arise if the satisfaction was not recorded in the chain of title and the lender is defunct or uncooperative. An unsatisfied mortgage can delay a sale or cause the principle amount of the mortgage to be placed into escrow at closing. We represent executors for a lawsuit to challenge unsatisfied mortgages. A successful case will result in a court order discharging the mortgage.

Right of Redemption Cases

A property owner who fails to pay real estate taxes may lose the property to a sheriff’s tax sale. Estate properties where the heirs have not completed the probate process are at risk of tax sales unless the heirs continuing paying the tax bills. Philadelphia properties sold at auction can be recovered within nine months if the property is not “vacant” as defined by the law. The law which allows a property owner to file a petition to restore legal rights to the property is called the Right of Redemption.

TESTIMONIALS

Can’t say enough about Michael’s professionalism, honesty, and ability to get the job done. Great working with him.

I’m very pleased to say Mike is an excellent professional. I found him because of an article he wrote but it turned out to be a great choice. Mike is not only a highly capable lawyer, he is well versed in a broad range of areas of the law. I’d certainly recommend him to others and will ask for his help in the future.

PROBATE CASE STUDIES

Roadblocks Cleared for Beneficiary of Estate Property

Our office routinely helps our clients resolve roadblocks to selling their estate inheritance property. It is not uncommon for properties passed by a will to be encumbered by legal problems. Some of the legal problems our clients may face include estate properties that were co-owned by the deceased and title problems that prevent clear title to the property.

We recently handled a case in which our client was the beneficiary of an estate property, but legal problems prevented the property from being sold. Our client’s beloved grandmother left a will leaving her interest in a home to our client. However, the property was titled in the name of the grandmother and her former husband who was also deceased. Because the grandmother and her former husband co-owned the property after divorce, our client held a one-half interest from her grandmother. The other one-half interest belonged to the heirs of the former husband. Unfortunately, the heirs refused to cooperate with our client in selling the property or arranging a buyout.

To further complicate matters, a title search uncovered an old mortgage for $65,000 which had been taken out by the former husband. The mortgage was paid in full but was never recorded as “satisfied” by the lender. This resulted in a lien, or debt against his property that needed to be resolved. Our client could not receive his full profit from the sale of the house until the debt was resolved. But the lender was now defunct, so obtaining a satisfaction was difficult. This meant that the mortgage was valid so far as the public records were concerned.

Our office filed a legal action against the opposing heirs to sever the interests in the property and request court permission to sell. We also pursued a claim against the defunct lender seeking a court decree that the lien was invalid and unenforceable. Through the legal processes, we were able to successfully petition the Orphans’ Court for approval to sell. The mortgage lien was also declared invalid by the Court which prevented our client’s proceeds from being placed into escrow after sale.

If you or someone you know is faced with a legal roadblock to an estate property, call for a free case evaluation at (215) 918-4242.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

Probate Process Resolved for Surviving Spouse

It is never easy coming to terms with the passing of a beloved spouse, especially the major lifestyle changes and financial challenges.

The spouse’s grieving process itself takes time and energy to process. Unfortunately, the burden of dealing with the administration of the loved one’s estate becomes a pressing matter while still working through the grief. This was exactly the situation for a Pennsylvania client of ours who lost her husband in 2019.

Our client was faced with numerous complicated estate matters involving the deceased husband’s assets. Her husband was the owner of a successful business in Pennsylvania that remained profitable through the time of his passing. Because the husband was co-owner of the business with other individuals, our client was now tied into the business with his former partners. Additionally, the husband owned real estate in Pennsylvania in his sole name which he acquired long before the marriage. Although our client was now the rightful owner under his will, the property was occupied by distance relatives who refused to leave.

We proceeded to petition the Register of Wills to open an estate for the late husband requesting our client to be name Executrix. Once Letters Testamentary were issued to our client, we handled all aspects of this complex probate process and settled the estate. We represented our client in negotiations for a sale of her interest in the husband’s business with the former business partners. Because our firm is also well equipped to resolve estate property roadblocks, we helped our client eject the occupant from the estate property. The property was later listed and sold, and our client was able to move on from entanglements with distant relatives.

Our client and all the rightful heirs received their inheritance due under the will and were satisfied with the outcome. The estate administration process was completed by our firm so that our client could focus on her own needs, not legal matters.

If you or someone you know is faced with a probate process, call for a free case evaluation at (215) 918-4242.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

CONTACT US

Pennsylvania Probate Law Firm

230 S. Broad Street

17th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Phone

Email

Facebook

Instagram

LEARN HOW TO RESOLVE 10 COMMON PROBATE PROPERTY ROADBLOCKS NOW

You’ll also receive access to our monthly plain-language legal guides, probate tips and more.

    FREE EVALUATION

    MICHAEL DAIELLO

    ATTORNEY

    As a probate attorney to estate executors, I help my clients settle estates efficiently and reduce stress. It is always better to avoid a costly mistake than it is to resolve a legal or tax problem due to improper estate or trust administration. I provide sound guidance so that you can avoid pitfalls and focus on what matters most.