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!

Name Change

  • 14-0035692

    Client needs assistance changing his name so he can obtain a driver's license and other identification documents. Client was raised by his aunt in North Carolina. In 2010, when he attempted to transfer his license from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, client learned that the last name on his birth certificate does not match the last name he has used his entire life. Client would like to change his last name to the one that he has always used, so that all of his identification documents are under the same name.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings

Probate

  • 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.

  • 13-0034159

    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

  • 13-0034583

    Client, who cares for his disabled sister, lives in the home titled in his deceased mother and living father's names. Client's parents divorced in 1999, which terminated their tenancy by the entirety. Client's mother died intestate in July 2013, leaving client and client's two sisters as her only heirs. Client's mother owned a second home, and client's other sister lives in it.  Client and his siblings agree that client and his disabled sister will become the owners of the first home and that the other sister will become the owner of the second home. Client's father has also agreed to transfer his one-half interest in the first home to client and his disabled sister. All heirs agree that client should be the Personal Representative of their mother's estate. Client needs assistance probating and administering his mother's estate, including transferring title to both properties.  VIP can find another attorney to assist client’s father in transferring his interest, if necessary.

    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

  • 13-0034582

    Client 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.
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

  • 12-0032694

    Client lives in home belonging to his deceased friends, a brother and a sister, who held title as tenants with right of survivorship. The brother passed away in 2004, predeceasing his sister who passed away testate in 2010. In her will, the sister named her brother both executor and beneficiary of her estate. In the event of her brother's death, the sister appointed client as executor, giving 50% of the estate to client and 50% to her church. The church recently closed, but the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has indicated that the parish it belongs to is poor and unwilling to give up its interest in the property. Client needs a volunteer to assist with probate of his friend's estate and to try to negotiate an agreement over the shared property with the Church.

    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Negotiation Skills

  • 14-0036182
    Urgent Need

    Client seeks assistance with a probate matter. Client resides in a property which is titled in her deceased parents’ names as tenants by the entirety. Her mother died last, leaving the client as the only heir. The property is the subject of a civil forfeiture proceeding and client needs to open an estate to defend against the civil forfeiture action. VIP has already found another attorney to handle the civil forfeiture case. Client needs assistance probating the estate, having title transferred into her name, filing an inheritance tax return, and applying to the Tangled Title Fund for assistance with probating fees.

    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