IN RE:                                                 )           ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION


                       Deceased.                     )           No.02-10-01566


                                                            )           Name of Pleading

                                                            )           Petition For Settlement

                                                            )           Of Insolvent Estate




                                                            )           Filed by:

                                                            )           James L Karn

                                                            )           Estate Creditor


                                                )         (412) 761-8132

Petition For Settlement Of Insolvent Estate

And NOW, Petitioner, James L Karn files the following Petition For Settlement Of Insolvent Estate.

1. The Petition of James L Karn, Creditor in the James B Karn Estate, Deceased states that:

2. James B Karn (the “Decedent”) died on October 29, 2004, a resident of 6905 Merton Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. James B Karn was unmarried at time of death and had 2 surviving children.

3. James L Karn (Son) was assigned many roles by James B Karn. James L Karn was:

            Business partner in Karn Chemical Equipment Co.

            Acting Power of Attorney until DOD.

            Executor of  Estate.

            Creditor of  Estate

            Primary Beneficiary

4. Douglas J. Karn  (Son) was an estate beneficiary

5. William S. Karn (brother to decedent and an Estate Attorney) was the lawyer for James L Karn and Estate adviser for the legal documents that were filed.

6. The Decedent left a Will dated September 18, 2004, which was admitted to probate on March 12, 2010 by the Department of Court Records, Wills/Orphans’ Court Division, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 

7. James B Karn requested that 518 Dickson Ave, the home that he lived in most of his early life, and 6905 Merton Road, the home he lived in most of his remaining life, be placed in the custody of James L Karn, POA and appointed Executor. William S Karn was instructed by James B Karn to put James L Karn on the title of these two homes and the property at 815 Camp Horne Road.

8. On March 12, 2010, Letters Testamentary were duly granted to James L Karn, Executor.

9. The estate of the Decedent consisted of the following property valued, as of the Decedent’s date of death:

        A. Property – Spruce Run Road – $40,000

        B. Property – 815 Camp Horne Road – $30,000

        C. Property – 6905 Merton Road – $100,000

10. At the time of his death, Decedent had an interest as a joint tenant in the following account Karn Chemical Equipment Co in the name of the Decedent and James L Karn, as joint tenants with right of survivorship:

        A. National City Bank – Checking account $1,032

11. There is no partial intestacy as to the estate. Property B & C rights and obligations were assigned as partial payment to Creditor, James L Karn by James B Karn on September 18, 2004. Following the sale of the Shop and Equipment (Property A), as stated in the will, this Estate contained no additional assets.

12. The following administration expenses, debts and taxes are claims against the estate:

A. Costs of Administration:

(1) James L Karn – Executor’s fee $ 8,275

(2) James L Karn – advances for probate costs, short certificates, postage,

duplicating charges, advertising letters, etc. $942

B. Funeral  expenses: James L Karn- reimbursement for funeral

expenses $5,404.98

C. Taxes, Utilities

D. Other Claims:

(1) James L Karn, Creditor, has taken responsibility for all past obligations and will be first to be repaid for any future income from the estate.

13. The assets of the estate totaling $1,023, as set forth in Paragraph 10, are insufficient to pay all proper charges and claims against the estate totaling $58,346.90, as set forth in Paragraph 11. Pursuant 20 Pa. C.S.A. § 3392, payment was made as follows:

           A. 6905 Merton Road and 815 Camp Horne Road properties assets and responsibilities are assigned to        James L Karn as partial repayment to creditor.

           B. Douglas Karn was paid $3,000 as beneficiary in error. The creditors had priority before the $10,000             Equipment income was distributed. $2,000 (20%)  to Douglas Karn and $1,000 (10%) to Elizabeth             Sherry Jones, with Sherry Jones refusing her share. The $3,000 paid to Douglas Karn, as conceded to in   court, needs to be returned to the estate for Creditor Payment.

14. All Estate accounting records were compiled and available for review from October 29, 2004 through April 30, 2010; five years latter, many of the original documents were lost or destroyed.

15. Petitioner is aware of no additional creditor claims, through April 30, 2010, against the estate which are not admitted. With insufficient funds to pay creditor, no beneficiary benefits should be paid.

16. According to William S. Karn, Estate Attorney, the Estate of James B Karn was insolvent and all assets were liquidated in 2010. All assets and debts became the responsibility of the Estate Creditor, James L Karn.


17. On May 2 2019, Douglas Karn, beneficiary filed a “Petition for Citation to Show Cause Why James L Karn Should Not Be Removed As Executor”.

18. James L Karn, Estate Executor, completed all documents outlined in the Petition prior to September 24, 2019 at a cost of $9,400 to the estate.

            August 29,2019  advertisement was made in The Pittsburgh Legal Journal.

            August 28, 2019 advertisement was made in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

            September 6,2019 First And Final Accounting Filed

19. On September 24,2019 James L Karn was replaced by the court as Estate Executor with  Pro Bono  Attorney Arnold Caplin. 

20. Arnold Caplin has failed to perform his duties including, but not limited to:

            A. Assigning payments from 815 Camp Horne Road Mortgage to James L Karn, Creditor.

            B. Transferring title of 6905 Merton Road to James L Karn, Creditor.

            C. File any report or financial Statement justifying his collection of funds.

            D. Return $3,000 to Estate that was paid Douglas J Karn, Beneficiary, in error.

Wherefore, your Petitioner prays your Honorable Court to approve payment of all proper

charges and claims against the estate as set forth in the foregoing Petition.


            I verify that the statements made in this Petition are true and correct. I understand that false statements herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa. C.S. Section 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.

Date _________


                                                                                    James L Karn, Petitioner


            I certify that this filing complies with the provisions of the Public Access Policy of the United  Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and trial Courts that require filing confidential information and documents differently than non-confidential information and documents.

Date _________


                                                                                    James L Karn, Petitioner


            I certify that a true and correct copy of this response was served by September    ,2020 in-person, fax or e-mail to

Andrew Gross

707 Grant Street, Suite 2340

Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Arnold Caplin

429 Forth Ave, Suite 1806

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(412) 261-0734

(412) 471-4872 FAX


                                                                                    James L Karn, Petitioner


IN RE:                                                 )           ORPHANS’ COURT DIVISION


                       Deceased.                     )           No.02-10-01566


                                    ORDER OF THE COURT

AND NOW, this _______ day of  _______________________ 2020 in the consideration of the foregoing Petition for Settlement For Insolvent Estate IT IS ORDERED that a Rule shall issue to   Attorney Arnold Caplin,  Pro Bono Estate Executor to show cause why a declaratory judgment should not be entered to settle the Estate of James B Karn as presented.

The Rule is returnable on _________________________ 2020. A conference / hearing to the petition and any response thereto shall be held at Courtroom ________ on ___________________ 2020 at _______ AM / PM prevailing time.

                                                                                    BY THE COURT


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