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!

Guardianship

  • 14-0036385

    Client needs assistance obtaining guardianship of her elderly mother who suffers from dementia. Client needs to be appointed guardian so that she can continue to handle her mother’s financial and medical matters. Client lives with her mother the majority of the week. Physician is available to testify to the mother’s condition and lack of capacity.
    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

Incorporation

  • 12-0031669
    Nonprofit/Tax

    Client is a business association operating on a major corridor in West Philadelphia. It seeks to promote the interests of the businesses on the corridor and facilitate better relations between the businesses and the community. Client seeks assistance obtaining its tax-exempt status.
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice

  • 14-0036371
    Small Business/Incorporation

    Client is the owner of an established daycare in West Philadelphia. Client needs the assistance of a volunteer attorney with advising her on the best was to structure the businesses and filing the necessary paperwork to complete this. Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice

Name Change

  • 14-0036188
    Adult Name Change

    Client, a Spanish speaker, needs assistance with a name change. Client was born in New York. His birth certificate has an incorrect last name and lists his first name as "Male." Client needs assistance changing his name to the name he has been using for his entire life in order to obtain photo ID. Interpretation and translation services are available upon request.
    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

  • 13-0034567

    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, 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

  • 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