The process of administering an estate is a very complex and time-consuming process. It is because of this that it is important to be prepared if you have a loved one that recently passed away. During this time, it is beneficial to retain the services of a compassionate and experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
What is the Probate Process Like?
When a person passes away with an estate plan, it is important to know that it will usually be subject to the process of probate. This begins by filing the deceased’s last will and testament with the Surrogate Court in the county they lived in. Once this is done, all beneficiaries to the estate receive information on where probate takes place. The process of probate itself works to determine whether or not a person’s will is a valid document. In order for the document to be valid, it must have gone through the proper legal steps to be considered authentic. This includes writing the document and signing it in front of witnesses while of sound mind and without being coerced into doing so.
If a will is considered valid, the administration process can continue. This involves paying debts, gathering assets, and transferring all remaining properties within the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. This is done by the executor of the estate who is responsible for carrying out the administration process.
The Trust Administration Process
If a person passes away while and their assets are not transferred to a trust, estate administration may be necessary. This ensures all of the assets within the estate are taken care of. This includes paying off debts and taxes, clearing the title to the assets, and settling any ongoing arrangements with the deceased’s loved ones and beneficiaries. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, it is possible to take care of the following tasks to administer an estate correctly:
- Monitor trust terms to ensure all assets are paid out on time
- Marshal assets and obtain appraisals
- Help with the sale of assets
- Help distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Accountings — either formal or informal
- Keep track of contingencies and other provisions
- Provide notifications to government agencies as required by law
- Negotiate with and pay creditors
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.