What is the Probate Process Like in Pennsylvania?

When a loved one passes away, family members will generally handle the deceased’s estate plan. During this time, if the decedent has a will, the probate process will begin. Probate works to determine the validity of the will and ensure its orders are ready to be carried out. The probate process is often complex, which is why it is best to retain the services of an experienced Pennsylvania estate administration attorney to ensure your legal affairs are handled properly.

What is Probate?

When an individual leaves assets to beneficiaries in a will, they must be handled with care. The probate process may include an assessment of the assets’ value, paying off any outstanding debts or taxes, and giving the executor of the estate plan the authority to begin distributing the remaining assets within the estate to its rightful beneficiaries. Ultimately, the process exists to ensure that the last wishes of the deceased are carried out as intended.

What Does the Process Look Like?

To begin the probate process, the executor must file the deceased’s will with the Register of Wills’ office in the county where they resided. With this, they must provide the court with the individual’s death certificate, the probate petition, as well as any other necessary supporting documentation. If you are an executor, a skilled attorney can ensure you are prepared and have everything you need during this time. 

The probate petition states the executor’s identity, as well as a list of any heirs or beneficiaries to the estate. The listed individuals will then receive a citation that establishes where probate will occur, the rights of all parties involved, and the responsibilities of the executor moving forward. 

What are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

If you are appointed as the executor of an estate, you should know that the job comes with many tasks and responsibilities. For example, executors must collect and protect the deceased’s assets. Additionally, executors must ensure that all of the decedent’s debts and taxes have been paid off. Executors are also responsible for distributing the assets within the estate to the correct beneficiaries. 

Once this is done, they must provide a detailed account of these transactions to the court so the estate can be closed. If you have been selected as the executor of an estate, you should not hesitate to reach out to our firm for legal assistance. We have helped individuals through the probate process for years, and we are ready to do so for you.

Contact our Firm

Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.