Available Cases

VIP offers the unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of low income Philadelphia residents. We provide resources to assist you throughout the case, including mentors, interpreters, law students and training materials. VIP has included potential core competencies that staff anticipate volunteer counsel would achieve by taking the case, but these experiences are not guaranteed. Every VIP case provides an opportunity for direct client contact and case management. Join the VIP team by taking a case!

If you are interested in taking one of the following cases, please click on the case number to send an email to the VIP staff. Thank you!

Probate

  • 13-0034934
    3546 Petition

    Client inherited a one-half interest in the property where she lives via the record owner's will. Client was the record owner's longtime caretaker and friend. The record owner passed away in 1997. The other one-half interest in the property was left to the record owner's sister. The sister died after the record owner and her interest in the property passed to her heirs. Since the client was unrelated to the second beneficiary, our only knowledge of the second beneficiary's heirs is from her obituary. The record owner's original will was destroyed in a fire; only a copy is available. An attorney is needed to investigate the whereabouts of the second beneficiary's heirs and then file a S 3546 petition for determination of title to the property. Client is conscientious and extremely responsive; she generously interviewed with the Daily News to help with a story on VIP and tangled title issues in October.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Client Interviewing 

  • 13-0035019

    Client and her two sons currently reside in a property that is titled to her deceased father. Her father died with a will in 2012. Her brother, the only other heir, has agreed to sign over his property interest to client. Client’s aunt, named as executrix of the will, has signed a renunciation to allow client to serve as personal representative of the estate. Client needs assistance probating the estate and having title transferred into her name.
    Core Competencies:  Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 13-0034582

    Client, a senior citizen, needs assistance in a probate matter. Client is living in her deceased mother's house. Client's mother died in 1992 with a holographic will leaving the house to client. Client has a sister she has not seen since 1992. Client seeks assistance in probating the will, transferring title, and filing an inheritance tax return. Due to client's health condition, she is unable to travel to an office outside of center city.
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 13-0034144
    Homeownership/Probate

    Client, a senior, is living in the family home titled in his deceased parents’ names. His father predeceased his mother; the property is in his mother's estate. Client’s mother died intestate leaving 9 children, 5 of whom are still living and 4 of whom who are deceased. Client has received statements from all but one family member relinquishing their interests in the home. The remaining heir is estranged from the family but is believed to be living in Philadelphia. An attorney is needed to help client administer his mother’s estate, including filing an Inheritance Tax Return. Client seeks title to the home in order to resolve tax and water bill issues.
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing.

  • 13-0034567

    Client is living in her deceased mother's house. Client’s mother died intestate in 1999. Client’s siblings and her deceased brother’s children are willing to transfer their interests in the property to client. Client tried to probate her mother’s estate around 2002 with signed renunciations from the other heirs but was unable to afford the filing fee. Client needs assistance in probating her mother’s estate so she can obtain title to her property. Client is currently in a repayment plan for her delinquent real estate taxes. 
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 14-0035637

    Client lives in her deceased great-grandmother and great-aunt’s home. The great-aunt’s interest in the property passed to the great-grandmother upon her death. The great-grandmother died in 2000 and willed the property to her four sons. One of these sons has agreed to transfer his interest to client. Another son is deceased, and his wife may be willing to transfer her interest to client. A third son is client’s grandfather. His interest in the property passed to his daughter, client’s mother; the mother has also agreed to transfer her interest to client. The fourth son is deceased and left heirs who cannot be located. Client needs assistance in probating both the great-grandmother’s estate and the great-aunt's estate so she can obtain title. This will include filing a Petition to Show Cause with the Register of Wills, since the heirs of the fourth son cannot be found; VIP can provide a sample petition and procedural information on filing.
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

     

  • 14-0036305

    Client resides in a property titled in her deceased husband’s name. Although he purchased the property before they married, once they married, he had a deed drafted including both of their names. Unfortunately, that deed was never signed by her husband. When client’s husband died in 2003, the property became a part of his estate. Client and her step-son are the only heirs to the property. Client’s step-son is willing to transfer his interest in the property to client. Client needs assistance raising her husband’s estate and transferring title of the property into her name.

    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 13-0034487

    Client needs assistance placing her name on the deed to the property in which she has resided for the last fourteen years. She wants to be able to apply for programs to get needed repairs. Client’s mother passed away intestate four years ago. She has confirmed that her brother, the only other heir, is willing to sign his interest in the property over to her. Client has no mortgage, no back real estate taxes, and her bills are current.  As a result, client needs help probating her mother’s estate.  Client’s name is also on the deed of her daughter’s house; she would like to remove her name from this property so that her daughter is the sole title owner of that property.  VIP can find another attorney to help with this deed transfer if necessary. Client is very responsive and easy to work with.

    Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Administrative Agency Practice

  • 13-0034159

    Client lives in the home titled in her deceased husband's name. Client's husband died intestate in 2004, leaving client as his only heir. Client is intellectually disabled but has a helper who makes several weekly home visits and can assist with communication. Client needs assistance administering her husband's estate, including filing an inheritance tax return.

    Core Competencies:  Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 13-0034943

    Client needs assistance attaining title to the house in which he lives. Client’s mother and stepfather owned one-third of the property as tenants by the entirety, and client and his brother each owned another one-third. Client’s stepfather died in 2011. Client’s mother then died intestate in 2013, leaving client and his two brothers as her heirs. Both brothers are willing to give up their interests in the property, and one has signed a statement to that effect. Prior to the mother’s death, a guardian was appointed for the mother’s estate to handle proceeds from a fire insurance policy, some or all of which may have been paid to the mother’s nursing home. Client has not been able to reach the guardian to determine the status of the insurance proceeds. Client is temporarily out of work and is currently working with a housing counselor regarding his delinquent mortgage payments. Client needs assistance in probating his mother’s estate and transferring title of the property into his name. 
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice; Client Interviewing