Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
IN PA, HAS THERE EVER BEEN A SUCCESSFUL LAWSUIT TO "DENY FAMILY EXEMPTION" TO AN ADULT CHILD LIVING IN HOME AT TIME OF FATHER'S DEATH? SON IS NOW A 'LIFETIME TENANT'. SON ALSO HAD BEEN INTIMIDATING & WE SUSPECT ABUSIVE BEFORE DAD'S DEATH, HAS EXTORTED LARGE SUMS OF MONEY FROM HIM OVER THE 15 YRS HE LIVED THERE RENT-FREE. HE CASHED A FORGED CHECK FOR MORE THAN $8600.00 THE DAY BEFORE DAD WENT TO THE HOSPITAL. HE TRIED TO CLEAN OUT ANOTHER BANK ACCOUNT BUT WE BEAT HIM THERE BY 10 MINUTES TO SECURE THE CASH FOR DAD'S MEDICAL NEEDS. I AM CO-EXECUTOR AND HAVE NOT BEEN IN DAD'S HOME SINCE LAST YEAR WHEN WE NEEDED POLICE TO OBTAIN DAD'S MEDICAL CARDS. THIS SON IS 52, A DRUG ADDICT AND HAS AN INCOME OF $1800.00 MONTH SO IS NOT INDIGENT. SOME OF THIS I CAN PROVE, SOME I 'KNOW' BUT CANNOT PROVE. HE ALSO HAS AT LEAST 6 SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES IN THE HOME. THIS IS A MESSY SITUATION. AS WE NEAR THE END (?) OF PROBATE, MONEY IS SHORT AND THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO PAY ALL BILLS. I DONT THINK WE CAN FORCE THE SALE OF THE HOME. HE COULD LIVE THERE WITH TOTAL ACCESS TO ALL THE FAMILY POSSESSIONS FOR MANY YEARS.....IT'S JUST NEVER ENDING. OUR PROBATE ATTORNEY DOESN'T HANDLE CRIMINAL CASES...DO YOU THINK WE, AS CO-EXECUTORS (THERE IS A 4TH SIBLING, OUT OF STATE), HAVE ANY LEGAL STANDING TO 1) STOP THE PAYMENT OF THE FAMILY EXEMPTION/$3500.00, 2) REPAYMENT OF ANY OF THE LARGE SUMS OF MONEY HE EXTORTED, 3) FORCE THE SALE OF DAD'S ESTATE. WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY INPUT.
DO YOU THINK WE, AS CO-EXECUTORS, HAVE ANY LEGAL STANDING TO XXXXX OF THE FAMILY EXEMPTION/$3500.00? THAT'S THE MAIN QUESTION. I AGREED TO A SIMPLE $37.00 ANSWER/PAYMENT. IF THE PRICE IS $200.00, PLEASE FORGET IT AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! Your question just came to my attention and I will do my best to assist you. According to Probate code section 3121, the child(ren) living with the decedent is entitled to claim the allowance. The $3,500 may come from either real property or personal property. If the value of the property exceeds $3,500, the child may purchase, from the estate, the additional property at fair market value, per code 3122. Please see section (b), specifically the requirement that this option be exercised within 6 months. Also, per 3122(c), if the appraised value of the property exceeds the allowance and the child does not exercise this option, then the property may be sold, with the allowance being set aside from the proceeds to be paid to the child. http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/PDF/20/20.PDFAs long as the estate is solvent, the PR has no discretion in regards XXXXX XXXXX of the allowance. Per code 3392, if the estate is insolvent, the costs of administration are paid first, then the allowance, then the debts of the estate.
There is no statutory provision for voiding the allowance based on conduct, unfortunately.
As for the other issues, an individual can be liable for undue influence. If an interested party (ie executor, personal rep) can prove that the individual used undue influence (similar to manipulation), a civil action can be brought to restore any monies gained by such tactics. So while the probate court would disburse the inheritance, a civil court judgment could result in the money being returned to the estate. These types of lawsuits are highly contentious and a personal attorney is strongly recommended.I hope this provides you the information you need. As you can see, the allowance does not entitle the child to "carte blanche" as the allowance needs to come from either personal or real property.
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