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marital property or not


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#1 complex_property_question

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

Two years ago my wife's father and her entered in to a agreement for his personal care. In short she has agreed to perform his day to day care, This was a legal contract written by a law firm in which she has recieved all of the assets of his estate for doing his day to day care in advance. The contract states that "in exchange" for performing these duties required of her she shall hold all asstes without transfer or encumbering until he passes away. In the event she breeches the agreement by not performing to the terms of the agreement she shall transfer all assets back to the family trust. to be distrubted upon death as per his will. The question i have is with this agreement would the property in which she recieved from this arrangement be marital property? . The property was transfered to her name only, he has not passed away, there was no mention in the agreement as to this being a gift, there was no money transfered just property for now she will recieve life insurance when he passes. Not sure what state laws have affect on this matter but this is a pennsylvania law case. involved within a divorse proceeding

#2 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

Divorce not only terminates the legal partnership between two spouses but also divides property previously shared by the couple. While property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage can remain the property of the original owner, nearly everything acquired after the wedding is most often subject to division upon divorce. To learn more about this subject matter, you may wish to visit the Family Law Center and read Divorce Property Division FAQ as a good resource. For further clarification, you may want to consult with a local Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer.
FindLaw's Legal Heads-Up! newsletter can provide you with the legal resources you need to make informed decisions when law touches aspects of your everyday life.

#3 pg1067

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:41 PM

Two years ago my wife's father and her entered in to a agreement for his personal care. In short she has agreed to perform his day to day care, This was a legal contract written by a law firm in which she has recieved all of the assets of his estate for doing his day to day care in advance.


Until he dies, he has no estate. Are you saying that, in consideration for her providing the services mentioned, he agreed to give her all of his assets?


The contract states that "in exchange" for performing these duties required of her she shall hold all asstes without transfer or encumbering until he passes away.


It would be helpful to have exact quotes of the relevant language because it's not clear what this means. I sounds a little like the contract may have created a trust in which your wife is the trustee.


In the event she breeches the agreement by not performing to the terms of the agreement she shall transfer all assets back to the family trust. to be distrubted upon death as per his will.


That doesn't make any sense. If the assets are owned by a trust, they would be distributed pursuant to the provisions of the trust, not any will.


The question i have is with this agreement would the property in which she recieved from this arrangement be marital property?


First of all, it is my understanding that the concept of "marital property" in PA doesn't really have any meaning until a divorce is filed. Are you in the process of divorcing your wife or do you intend to file for divorce? Second, as mentioned above, it's not clear from your description of the contract that any property has actually passed to your wife yet.


Not sure what state laws have affect on this matter but this is a pennsylvania law case. involved within a divorse proceeding


Not sure what you mean by this. Divorces and marital property are entirely governed by state law.

If you're in the process of divorcing your wife, you need to have your divorce lawyer review the contract between your wife and her father to get an analysis if the property in question is subject to division in the divorce.

#4 Fallen

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

PA isn't a kitchen sink state where separate property is up for grabs, so unless she added your name to the property, no, it's not marital property. (It also doesn't matter whether it was a gift or not.) All that said, if she's used marital assets to pay expenses related to this property, e.g. property taxes or repairs, you might be able to convince a court to order her to put that money back in the marital pot in a divorce.)

Not that you asked, but this agreement she or her father supposedly had a lawyer draw up sounds like silly nonsense.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#5 complex_property_question

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

I will write the agreement as worded.

Wifes name whose address is ____ pennsylvania. (hereinafter "daughter")

Whereas, prior to sept. 2 2009 Father was the owner of various real property,improvements,oil,gas,mineral and subsurface rights located in pennsylvania. (collectively identified hereinafter as ("real property"). Whereas by deed dated sept.,2 2009 and recorded Father transferred the real property into family trust.

Whereas, Daughter provided substantial services and assistance to her mother (father's wife) while mother was ill prior to her death.

Whereas, Daughter has agreed that in exchange for the transfer of the real property described in sept. 2009 deed, daughter will care for father so that he will not require services of a nursing home.

Now , therefore, in consideration of the mutuat covents set fourth herein the parties agree as follows:

1. Father shall transfer the real property described in sept. 2009 deed recorded to Daughter.

2. Daughter shall hold property without further transfers to any other individual or entinty and shall not encomber the property prior to fathers death.

3. Daughter shall provide ommibus living services and assitance to father includeing by way of example, but not by way of limination, meals, travel to doctors appointments, bathing, and home repair so father will never be a long term inpatient in a nursing home. at currant time, father requires minimal services, however, father and Daughter anticipates as father ages he will require additional services and assitance and some day may require 24 hour care.

4. In the event the daughter fails to provide living services and assitance to father in violation of this agreement or the father becomes a long term resident of a nursing home as a result of Daughters breach of this agreement, the real property transferred shall be transferred back to the family trust and Daughter shall execute such documents so transfer shall occur.

5. Notwithstanding the above, father may require nursing home services in the final days of his life, and in the event father's doctor certifies father needs nursing home services, father's admittance into nursing home will not constitute a breach of this agreement by Daughter.

6. This agreement may not be modified unless in writing and may not be modified by father through the use of power of attorney or by an agent acting upon father's behalf

7. This agreement is binding upon and shall insure to the benifit of the parties hereto and there respective heirs, executors, administrators, personal and legal representatives, successors and assigns.

Following pages both parties signed and signatures were notarized.

As to the question of a divorse the answer is yes, I have filed the divorse complaint do to a act of Adultry comitted by her. I know that this act has no bearing on the divorse complaint other than it has made a irretrievably broken.

My main point that i am trying to make with this agreement. Is that for the entire marriage (30 plus years) my wife would not work to support the family. Through the last 10 plus years because she would not work she has waited on her parents hand over fist negelecting her own family. I feel that with agreement that is should be considered Marital property because if she would of had a job to help privide for the family she would have not been able to take care of her parents to the point that this agreement states. It was not only her that helped her parents I did as well doing what ever repairs to the property as well as there rental property so as that they could maintain there income level.

#6 pg1067

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:05 AM

I would agree that whatever property your wife receives as a result of this contract probably is marital property. However, in your original post, you stated that this contract relates to "all of the assets of [your father-in-law's] estate, but it appears that it actually relates only to a single piece of real property. Additionally, the contract only gives her the right to have the property transferred to her. Has that actually happened? Whether the contract effectively creates a trust or whether the restriction on alienation is otherwise enforceable is something you'd have to have a PA lawyer look into.

#7 Fallen

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

I can see a divorce court taking a decision that if she winds up with this property that she owes you $X out of it because it's effective compensation earned however much during the course of the marriage or, alternative argument, simply an asset acquired during the marriage that is neither gift nor inheritance.

As for the argument about her not working for 30 years, I'm afraid the decision not to put your foot down about X-Y-Z however many years/decades ago is something you have to live with (same with her "neglecting" her family for ... her family/parents).

"It was not only her that helped her parents I did as well doing what ever repairs to the property as well as there rental property so as that they could maintain there income level."

Ultimately, up to you to decide how much money you want to spend going after this, or whether you want to give up any claim to a part of it if she'll give up, say, seeking spousal support.

And that's what you do for family though; you were free to insist on payment for it. All this is neither here nor there.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#8 complex_property_question

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

As per your post PG1067

there was several pieces of property that was lumped into the origional family trust. along with the real property there was also sub surface mineral and gas rights to several hundred acres of additional property as well.

A week after the deeds was transferred, a company signed a lease for a pipeline to cross the one piece of property when installed the lease will be worth a six figure amount.

The property/ other assets (mineral rights) ect. were transfered and recorded a week later than the agreement being signed.

I want to thank all who helped with answers on this what i am to believe is a complex question. I was trying to see if anybody knew of any case law for a situtaion like this.




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