PENNSYLVANIA PROBATE LAW FIRM
We help estate executors resolve real estate issues.
Real estate is often a major part of a loved one’s legacy. But estate properties can complicate probate and create roadblocks. Some roadblocks can cause the estate to remain open for longer than anticipated.
Legal expertise can help you avoid estate property pitfalls. Call now for a free evaluation.
Estate Properties Need Careful Legal Attention
Estate executors bear major responsibility in handling real estate. Property-related concerns can create complex issues such as drafting and reviewing agreements of sale, title problems and liens, and managing the expectations of other family members.
Estates that remain open for too long create stress and uncertainty. Our practice helps executors resolve the property roadblocks that delay closure of the estate.
Call us for help overcoming legal roadblocks preventing transfer or sale of your estate property.
We help executors by drafting and reviewing agreements of sale, removing unauthorized occupants, clearing title problems, and more.
WE HELP RESOLVE LEGAL PROBLEMS WITH ESTATE PROPERTIES
Real estate is an important part of the family legacy, with families often holding strong emotional connections to estate properties. However, real estate can also introduce special challenges. Legal issues such as how to sell or transfer a property, establishing who has the right to possess a property, and resolving title problems. Below are some of the common real estate issues we help resolve.
Transfer or Sell Estate Property
The Will of a deceased often states who receives the real estate and whether the property will be transferred or sold. We help executors by drafting documents for the real estate, such as agreements of sale and deeds, and by attending closing.
Secure Possession of Real Estate
The weight of serving as the executor is made heavier by uncooperative residents in a property. This often happens when friends or family were living in a property at the time of passing or moved in after death.
A person who does not have a lease and refuses to vacate must be ejected. An ejectment is a lawsuit to remove a person who does not have a lease or legal basis to continue living in a property.
Resolve Title Problems that Prevent Closing
Estate properties are vulnerable to many types of title issues. Title problems are often undetected until a buyer is found for a property. Some title problems block the property from proceeding to closing until the legal problem has been discharged.
We challenge many types of title problems such as liens, unsatisfied mortgages, and fraudulent documents in the chain of title. Many title problems can be resolved through a Quiet Title action that requests the Court to cancel a lien, mortgage or fraudulent document.
Tax Strategies for Estates
Estates face tax situations that are intertwined with legal issues. The Pennsylvania inheritance tax creates questions such as how to value real estate for inheritance taxes, how right of survivorship property is taxed, and whether inheritance taxes will trigger a later capital gains tax.
Litigation in Orphans’ Court
Some legal issues can only be resolved by a judge. Executors must often obtain court approval to take a certain action, rectify a problem, or to close an estate. We represent executors for “remedial litigation” in Orphans’ Court. This means we file and litigate petitions in Orphans’ Court if necessary to ensure the estate is done right.
PROBATE CASE STUDIES
Tangled Title Resolved for an Estate Property
Our client was the primary caregiver of his mother for many years. He also maintained her home for a long time and contributed money for its maintenance. As his mother moved through the later stages of life, he moved into the home to assist with the property. Our client’s mother was generally in good health, but he was concerned that she was unable to keep everything in working order.
Our client came to our office years later to find out if probate was required and what tasks should be done. He was confident that probate could be avoided because his name was on the deed. He presented the deed and explained that his mother had placed his name on the deed a number of years prior to her passing.
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.
DOWNLOAD THE PENNSYLVANIA PROBATE HANDBOOK
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.