My husband passed away in September from covid. We all had covid, therefore, I couldn't handle getting a lawyer so my

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Customer: My husband passed away in September from covid. We all had covid, therefore, I couldn't handle getting a lawyer so my father in law did. Now my father in law is claiming that I owe my stepson, whom I have sole custody of, money as far as the estate goes. He hasn't given me a name of a lawyer and I don't know how to find out if I truly owe money to an 11 year old or not.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Pennsylvania
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I haven't taken any steps
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so
Answered by StephenH129 in 1 min 7 months ago
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StephenH129
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StephenH129
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StephenH129
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StephenH129, Expert

Hello! Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney ready to answer your questions with top-quality service. Just a few quick things before we get started:

I’m sorry to hear you are having these problems with your legal issue. I know that can be frustrating. However, we can get this resolved quickly;

I always go for immediate responses, but I am occasionally called away for client meetings. Your question is important to me and I intend to help you to the best of my ability.

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StephenH129, Expert

"If the decedent was survived by his or her spouse and had surviving children, all of whom were also the surviving spouse’s children, the surviving spouse will receive the first $30,000.00 of the estate, plus one-half of the remaining estate, if any. However, if the decedent was survived by his or her spouse and had surviving children, at least one of whom was not also the surviving spouse’s child, the surviving spouse will only receive one-half of the estate. Under these circumstances, the surviving spouse would not be entitled to the first $30,000.00. The reason for the difference in these two scenarios is that the law presumes that the surviving spouse will care and provide for children of his or her own, but does not make the same presumption for children that are not his or hers. Regardless of how the child was treated by the surviving spouse during the decedent’s lifetime, the legislature did not want to take the chance that child would not be provided for after the decedent’s death."

Customer
Does this still apply when I have sole custody and I am caring for the child?
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StephenH129, Expert

That is the law in Pennsylvania.  It depends on the assets and how they were titled.  You at least get half of the estate but it depends on what would be subject to the estate.  I would strongly recommend speaking to a local attorney.  I am sorry for your loss.

You can find a highly-rated local lawyer on a lawyer review site like Avvo.com for your city. You can also use https://find.lawyer.com/justanswer.php?1 which will get you a free consultation as well as 25% off legal fees for being a JustAnswer member on Lawyers.com.

I further recommend justia.com for potentially finding a local attorney.

You can also use the local State Bar Association.

There are lots of options to find a good local lawyer.

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StephenH129, Expert

So you are the mom of child or no?

Customer
I'm not. The mother is a fugitive on the run from the police
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StephenH129, Expert

Ok.  Then it still applies.  You would be the guardian of the funds but they would still inherit if there are assets subject to division.

Customer
Would vehicles that I've already got put into my name be considered assets subject to division?
Customer
I've not been given a name or phone number of this lawyer. I don't even know where to pay into the estate or if there is a time frame. I've seen no paperwork. I'm going off what my father in law is telling me I have to do
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StephenH129, Expert

If they were solely in his name, yes.  If not, no.

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StephenH129, Expert

They can take years.  It is a long process.  You have time.

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StephenH129, Expert

I would not trust said attorney if they found him.  He may not be your friend.

Customer
Yeah he took all the titles from me, returned them to me with papers signed by the funeral director giving me permission or actually stating my husband had passed so I can get them in my name, now they're all in my name.
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StephenH129, Expert

Ok.  Then those could be exempt.  You could claim they were gifts or they may be yours at this point.  I'd leave it for now.

Customer
That's what confuses me. If it's through an estate, why would I get the titles back with paperwork from a funeral director? Wouldn't there be something from a court?
Customer
My father in law is trying to tell me that the mobile home is part of the estate, I have to pay half it's value to my stepson but, I've already signed it over to my father in law.
Customer
Lots of holes here
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StephenH129, Expert

I concur.  That does not make sense.  There is clearly no estate opened.  I would see what the attorney says and then speak to your own attorney.

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StephenH129, Expert

I think this is a lot of bluffing and misinformation.  I am sorry this is happening.

Customer
I think I'm being bluffed too. Now I'm living in a place that I've signed over to him. Lol
Customer
With my 2 children and my stepson
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StephenH129, Expert

Then be very cautious there.  Again, he is not your friend.

Customer
Thank you very much for your time. I know what I need to do now.
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StephenH129, Expert

My pleasure.  Thank you for using just answers.  Take care now.

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