Your Ally In Probate, Estate And Trust Administration
Losing a loved one often brings with it a flood of emotions that you must work through. Settling their estate should not be a struggle that heightens this emotional time. At Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, we provide individuals throughout western Pennsylvania with compassionate legal counsel for all their estate administration and probate needs. We have the knowledge and experience needed to help these processes move smoothly so you can focus on grieving.
Understanding The Basics Of Probate
The first step in the probate, estate or trust administration process allows the prospective client to meet with the attorney for a free initial consultation where we will review the process of administering the estate. In that first meeting, we will also discuss what types of assets your loved one owned as what is in the estate influences how the estate is administered and what forms may need to be filed with the court.
Generally speaking, if there is a will, the person named in the will needs to be appointed as the executor. If there is no will, then an administrator of the estate will need to be appointed. In either case, it requires going to the courthouse and appearing before the Register of Wills to be sworn in. Doing so legally empowers the executor or administrator to exert control over the assets and dispose of them according to the terms of the will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy (where a loved one dies without a will).
On average, it takes a year and a half from the date of your loved one’s death to complete the process. It may take more time, depending upon the complexity of the estate or, frankly, family dynamics. During that time the assets are identified and reported on the inheritance tax return, which will be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The estate is also advertised in the local paper to allow for any creditors of the estate to make a claim to ensure any outstanding bills the decedent owed are paid. Once the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue reviews and accepts the inheritance tax return (typically six to nine months after it is filed), our attorneys will work with the executor or administrator to close out the estate and ensure the heirs receive their inheritance.
Secure Legal Guidance From An Experienced Attorney
If you have lost a loved one, contact our office to speak with a member of our legal team today to discuss your options. Call 724-841-0004 or complete our online form. Let our experience be your guide as you honor your loved one’s final wishes.