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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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I have inherited a home in Pennsylvania from my mother and

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I have inherited a home in Pennsylvania from my mother and I do not know what all fees and costs will be associated with it. The Executor for the estate isn't able to advise me on this because he became the District Attorney after she passed away, and technically the District Attorneys in PA have to stop all private practice. However, since she was dead when he became DA, the Commonwealth grandfathered this case for him. The only things left to be done were associated with the disposition of her real property, two houses - one my sister lives in, one I lived in with my mother at the end of her life, and still live in.

My grandparents bought the home in 1941; its only mortgage was satisfied in either the '40s or '50s. My mother inherited it from her father when he died in 1989.

My mother died in Jan. 2007, but the Commonwealth had a lien against her estate until Feb. 27, 2012, via the Estate Recovery program of the Dept. of Public Welfare.

The Commonwealth lifted its lien on my property on March 2, 2011. But, in my mother's will, which I wrote, my inheritance of this residence was contingent upon my sister's inheritance of her home. The estate had to be declared insolvent for my sister to keep her home, and that was declared on Feb 27, 2012. So, I was not free and clear to inherit this property until Feb. 27 of this year.

I already know that there are property taxes to be paid. There is a bill for trash service that also needs to be paid. I will need to pay a deed fee of $50.50 and Inheritance Taxes of 4.5% of the assessed value of the home.

What I DON'T know is, are there other expenses than the ones I have listed above? I have never owned a home before and certainly never inherited one, so I do not know what all fees are associated with it.

Since the deed has been in the family since 1941, do I need a clear title search or anything else concerning the deed?

Also, the law says that, normally, I would have had 9 months from the date of death to pay the inheritance taxes, but since the Commonwealth held a lien on the properties, we did not know if we were even inheriting the properties, or who would inherit what, so do I have 9 months from Feb. 27, 2012, or does it need to be done more quickly?

Any information would be helpful. I have provided a lot of specific information, but I think what I need to know is generally, what other costs than the ones I know about should there be? Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I will be happy to assist you with your question. I am a real attorney and strive to provide the most professional service possible. However, I cannot provide legal advice – I can only give you information concerning the legal issues raised by your question. After reviewing your answer, please let me know if you need clarification (or if I misunderstood and didn’t address your question).

You had 9 months from your mother's date of death to file the inheritance tax return. It didn't matter that it was subject to a Medicaid recovery lien. Since it will be late, you will likely be assessed penalties and interest on the tax that was due.

As far as expenses for owning a home, I believe you noted the big ones except for insurance costs -- you certainly should keep the home insured. You did mention property taxes and utility costs.

To get title of the property in your name, you must probate your mother's will so that her assets can be distributed according to the terms of the will.

The home, if it was titled in her name (which I take to be the case) is an asset of her probate estate. You would file the will along with a petition for probate. Then you would proceed through the probate process, which is quite complicated. Because probate is complicated, you should retain a local attorney to assist you with that process.

As noted above, if you need clarification, please do let me know.

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Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6504
Experience: Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
Thomas McJD and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 2 years ago.

I see that there was an executor appointed. As such, I presume there was a probate. Sorry I overlooked that. If that is the case, to get title into your name, there just needs to be a final decree issued by the probate court. That order gives you title to the property.

 

You would then record a certified copy of the final decree order with the county clerk/recorder of deeds for the county in which the property is located.

If you need additional clarification, please do let me know.

Positive Feedback and Bonuses are not expected, but are always appreciated!

Please don't leave negative feedback. If something isn't working let me know and I will continue working with you to resolve it!

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was starting to comment back on your first one and now see your second one, I was going to mention about the Executor.

The Commonwealth never sent me a tax statement on the property - they did on the joint bank account we had, but not anything else. So, on the advice of a state senator, I called the Tax Claim office to ask about the inheritance taxes earlier this year, and they said that they have not made any statement on it, they haven't taxed us yet on either property. They said that, until I file a claim or deed, they can't generate an inheritance tax claim.

There is damage to the roof of the house, so I have been unable to have the home insured. That is another thing that has had to be put off until the deed is transferred.

So, going on your second response, then all I need to do at this point is contact the Executor and ask him to submit a final decree? If that is the case then I will call his office today. Do I need to do anything else at that point, as far as the deed is concerned? The Executor has known about the Feb. 27 decision since then, I am thinking he should have known to do this, so as with everything he hasn't done on time, is there anything I can do to speed up this final decree? Other than hound him?

Thanks for your advice, it has been very helpful.
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 2 years ago.

So, going on your second response, then all I need to do at this point is contact the Executor and ask him to submit a final decree?

Yes, the executor just needs to complete the probate process and obtain a final decree order from the court.

 

If that is the case then I will call his office today. Do I need to do anything else at that point, as far as the deed is concerned?

No, it's something the executor will do.

 

The Executor has known about the Feb. 27 decision since then, I am thinking he should have known to do this, so as with everything he hasn't done on time, is there anything I can do to speed up this final decree? Other than hound him?

Hounding him is good to start. But if a month or more goes by and he's done nothing, then you should seek your own local attorney to file a motion for distribution of assets to you under the terms of the will.

 

If you need additional clarification, please do let me know.

Positive Feedback and Bonuses are not expected, but are always appreciated!

Please don't leave negative feedback. If something isn't working let me know and I will continue working with you to resolve it!

If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with "To TMcJD...." This will ensure that only I answer the question.

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