PROBATE & 
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

"Death is not the end ... there remains the litigation over the estate."

                                                                       - Ambrose Bierce                                  

Experienced Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration Attorneys

When a family member or friend passes away, the estate often goes through a court-managed process called “probate” or “estate administration” where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed.  

The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a variety of factors, including the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a Will, and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay.

 

Our firm addresses all aspects of estate administration and works closely with the appointed individuals to ensure that the process is handled competently and efficiently. Contact our Philadelphia probate lawyer for a consultation regarding your case.

 

At Daly & Clemente, we represent executors and administrators by providing a variety of probate and estate administration services. We provide personalized legal advice in an effort to understand and fulfill your specific needs and wishes.

 

Would you like to speak with an attorney regarding our estate planning services? Contact a Philadelphia area estate planning lawyer at Daly & Clemente, to arrange for your consultation.

Hire the Best. Expect the Best.

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Probate Law book and wooden gavel in the

WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF ADMINISTERING AN ESTATE?

Every estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:

  • Filing of a Petition with the proper probate court;

  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists);

  • Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate;

  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator;

  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors;

  • Sale of estate assets;

  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable;

  • Final distribution of assets to heirs.

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WHAT DOES THE EXECUTOR/TRUSTEE/ADMINISTRATOR HAVE TO DO?

As the executor or trustee, you will be tasked with the following and more:

  • Obtaining death certificates

  • Verifying the deceased’s will or terms of a trust

  • Notifying beneficiaries of the estate

  • Notifying creditors of the deceased

  • Identifying and gathering all property belonging to the estate

  • Developing a system to track the estate’s accounting

  • Valuating property to determine     how much the estate is worth

  • Paying taxes owed to the state or federal government

  • Preparing a final tax return for the estate

  • Paying off valid debts owed by the deceased

  • Paying yourself an executor’s commission (if you wish to take a fee)

  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the decedent’s wishes

Of course, this is just a simplified overview of what will be involved in the estate administration process. There are many smaller – but no less important – tasks that will need to be accomplished.

Daly & Clemente can help you know which steps to take, when to take them, and how to take them. Our estate administration legal team provides you with the support you need, takes as many tasks off your plate as possible, and provides you, the client executor, or trustee with protection from liability.

MINIMIZING DISPUTE

Estate administration is a difficult process that comes at a difficult time. The passing of any loved one can itself cause tension among those they left behind. It’s not uncommon, for example, for the death of a parent to spark renewed tension and feelings of rivalry among siblings.

Familial tension and disputes can result in unnecessary litigation costs and lost time. That’s why it’s important to seek representation from a lawyer who can ensure this process is carried out as smoothly and transparently as possible.

Our attorneys can help estate executors and trustees comply with their legal responsibilities as fiduciaries. While litigation can arise under any circumstances, Daly & Clemente's guidance can minimize the risk of it originating from reasonable parties.

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