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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42818
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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Yesterday I received a letter from an attorney stating that

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Yesterday I received a letter from an attorney stating that I owed inheritance tax on a property from my father, who died in Dec of 2009. My mother, who witnessed the will and my mom's sister, the executrix have been telling me that everything went to my mother, including this property. The lawyer included a copy of the will and it does say on the first page that the property was mine. The property is in Pennsylvania. Please advise, thank you.

Thanks for your question and good morning.

You appear to be the legal heir to the property here.Once the taxes are paid then the lawyer should prepare a deed here from the executor to you and record it transferring title to the property.Once that is done you legally own it.PA here is one of the few states that has a state inheritance tax.

Here are the rates for reference.

The rates for Pennsylvania inheritance tax are as follows:

  • 0 percent on transfers to a surviving spouse or to a parent from a child aged 21 or younger;
  • 4.5 percent on transfers to direct descendants and lineal heirs;
  • 12 percent on transfers to siblings; and
  • 15 percent on transfers to other heirs, except charitable organizations, exempt institutions and government entities exempt from tax.

If this is withing three months of his death and you pay here you are entitled to a five percent discount.Otherwise you owe under this formula.

Reference to the rates/discount..


The executor here has to file the state inheritance return along with your payment.Ask for copies of this and anything else filed in the estate.As an heir you are entitled to that.


You need only pay the state taxes here and the lawyer for the estate should then transfer property to your name by executors deed.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.


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This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information provided is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there any liability on the part of the executrix for never notifying me of the inheritance? 3 1/2 years seems like a breech of fiduciary duty especially when I was living at the property for a year of that time and was lied to about what was in the will ( the will was signed in April of 2009, my father died in Dec so it's not like years went by in between)

There may well be a breach of fiduciary duty here.That would require a civil suit on your part against the executor for damages and removal executor as well as lawyer fees and court costs.You would have to decide if you want take that action, it is certainly possible to do so.
RayAnswers and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
You can locate a local lawyer here if you want to pursue a civil claim for breach of fiduciary duty..

Thanks again for letting me help you today.