Notice of Probate: 1-2 Months © 2018 Baer Romain & Ginty, LLP. When a person dies owning assets in his or her name alone, an estate must be started by a personal representative to handle the decedent’s assets and take care of settling the decedent’s affairs. You may have seen dramatic scenes in which family members sit for the reading of a person’s will, or scheme to have the terms of a will changed. There are many factors involved in the Pennsylvania probate system, including estate size, value, and complications such as number and type of heirs. What is the Probate Process Without a Will in Pennsylvania?

Much of that is due to the misunderstanding of the reasons for probate, the mismanagement of estates and the misrepresentation of Pennsylvania probate by unethical or uninformed people who spread misstatements as gospel. If the decedent fails to name an executor or dies intesetate, the probate court will appoint a personal representative to fulfill the executor duties. The fees associated with settling an estate vary depending upon the work that is required and the size of the estate. Prepare and file Pennsylvania inheritance tax return. Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help with the probate process. We remain “remotely” open for business and are ready to assist you with any legal and tax matters. Finally, assets held in a trust are governed by the terms of the trust rather than the decedent’s Will and pass outside the probate process. Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. (by appointment only). When a Pennsylvania resident dies, their property and assets (collectively known as the �estate�) are subject to Pennsylvania probate laws that dictate their collection and distribution. © Jan L. Brown & Associates Attorneys-at-Law Reasons for the probate process include prevention of fraud and protection of creditors and rightful beneficiaries of estates. The probate attorney will need several items in addition to the will. When all these tasks have been completed, the executor can distribute assets to the heirs once the court closes the estate. This person is appointed in the will or established in court to administer the decedent’s estate by contacting the heirs, collecting the property, managing accounts, and putting it all together. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own particular situation. A representative of an estate that is valued at $25,000 or less can petition the court to allow for a simplified probate process. The probate process in Pennsylvania is an efficient way to protect beneficiaries and creditors and to assure proper distribution of estate assets.What are the costs of probate? One of the most important estate planning tools to consider is the use of non-probate assets. It is important to note that assets controlled by the decedent at death, even if not subject to probate, are still subject to all of the same death taxes as probate assets. If you’ve never had anyone close to you die, there’s a good chance that your only exposure to the legal process that follows a death comes from the movies or television. In general, we cannot guarantee that all information on the site will be applicable to your situation or that it is current, accurate or complete. Personal representatives are accorded broad powers to accomplish the administration of estates expeditiously. After the period has ended and the final heirs have been decided, the property is passed on. First, the executor needs to be found and empowered to administer the estate. Because probate can be costly and time-consuming, people tend to look for other options to avoid probate. A probate proceeding begins when the court appoints someone to handle the administration of estate, i.e. However, there may be reasons why you would not want non-probate assets to go directly to a beneficiary. But distributions can often be made much quicker.

Firefox, or If you would like to obtain more detailed information about the process of probate, download our special report. The process of administering a will or distributing the estate under the intestacy statute has clear steps that need to be accomplished. April 21, 2015 by Joe Masiuk, Estate Planning Attorney If you have not looked into the full story, you may think that a last will is a simple document that can facilitate fast, efficient asset transfers after you die. How Long Does the Probate Process Take? Here’s an overview of the approximate costs of Pennsylvania probate: Court costs for various filing fees will total approximately $225. Either way, the probate court will be in charge of supervising, distributing, and administering the decedent's estate. All Rights Reserved. Does probate take a long time? The Ten Most Common Mistakes Pennsylvania Executors Make...and How to Avoid Them, ©2020 David M. Frees III, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission, Protecting Heirs from Divorce and Litigation, Ideas and Information That Make Life Better, See David by Appointment call 610-933-8069 For David Frees. All Rights Reserved. Here's a basic timeline and specific steps for a typical probate process. A person can pass away either intestate or testate. The executor presents both the will and the death certificate and pays a probate fee. Many people who spend the last years of their lives in nursing homes or preparing their estate have their affairs in order before they pass away, making this process smoother. This report is free to our readers, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Free Probate Report. This process is known as probate, and in the State of Pennsylvania, it involves numerous steps, as outlined below. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Do You Have to Impoverish Yourself to Qualify for Medicaid. The probate process involves certain fees and costs, such as attorney's fees, the executor or personal representative fees, and court costs. Attorney Advertisement, < class="site-title" itemprop="headline">, Latest posts by Joe Masiuk, Estate Planning Attorney, Emergency Medicaid & Nursing Home Planning, Top 10 Estate and Legacy Planning Techniques, Frequently Asked Questions for Families Without an Estate Plan, How to Know if You Need Extra Help With Your Grieving, Things You Need To Do When a Loved One Passes Away With a Trust, Things You Need To Do When a Loved One Passes Away With a Will, Trust Administration & Probate Definitions, Flood & Masiuk LLC | Southampton Estate Planning Attorneys. My brother says since he shared a joint account with my mother when she passed he is not legally obligated to split the estate and inheritance. The court will first collect all of the decedent's property. They are empowered to handle most details (liquidating assets, paying debts and expenses, etc.) This process is known as probate, and in the State of Pennsylvania, it involves numerous steps, as outlined below. The idea is that the executor that you name in the document can follow your instructions and make things happen right after you pass away. Luckily in Pennsylvania, we have a probate process that is much simpler than some states, i.e. He refuses to probate the estate. If you need competent legal assistance in probating a will, contact our offices today to schedule an appointment. The job of the personal representative is to wind up the decedent’s affairs by notifying beneficiaries, gathering assets, paying debts and taxes, accounting for all estate transactions and properly distributing the estate. Delaware County estate planning attorneys, How the Secure Act can affect your Estate Plan. Search, a probate court where the decedent lived or owned property, Choosing an estate administrator, executor, or representative, Identifying all heirs and other relatives, Orders for probate, duties and liabilities. The exact duration of the probate process will vary depending on the circumstances. Microsoft Edge.

Personal representatives are required to file only an inventory of estate assets and periodic short status reports stating whether the estate administration has been completed. What Is the Difference Between a General and a Limited Power of Attorney? A typical probate process will take up to 24 months from the date of the decedent's death. In some cases, wills are poorly written or impossible to decipher, and courts may need to step in to resolve the issues. TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and the information offered does not create an attorney client relationship. When a person dies owning assets in his or her name alone, an estate must be started by a personal representative to handle the decedent’s assets and take care of settling the decedent’s affairs. While there are ways to avoid probate, some states will require it in certain circumstances.

by David M. Frees, III Attorney, Speaker and Author This means the heirs can receive these funds nearly immediately and begin using them much more quickly. To learn more, please download our free Pennsylvania Probate Always Required here. Once the testator dies, the executor must file the will for probate. Before we look at the full probate process and the time consumption that goes along with it, we should point out the fact that there is a simplified probate process in Pennsylvania. How much does probate cost in Pennsylvania? After that, it may take additional time to get the property properly disbursed to the intended heirs, especially if they are far away geographically or difficult to contact. You could potentially implement strategies that would facilitate timely asset transfers outside of probate. She had no Will from what I understand which means her estate should have gone through the probate process. They will need previous income tax returns, bank account statements, information about retirement accounts, pension accounts and other assets, as well as any bills or loans that the person owed money on. They will also advise on inheritance and federal tax that is likely to be due. The probate process ends upon receipt by the beneficiaries of their proper share of the estate and release of the personal representative from further responsibility for the administrationof the estate. Accounting of estate transactions to beneficiaries and heirs may be accomplished informally (not involving the court) or formally (filed with the court).

In Pennsylvania, probate need not and normally does not take long in comparison with other states. However, in cases of contested issues or lawsuits, the process may take up to several years, or even decades, to settle the issues and conclude probate. The probate process in Pennsylvania is an efficient way to protect beneficiaries and creditors and to assure proper distribution of estate assets. Legal information on this site should not be considered as legal opinions or as a substitute for legal counsel. As a partner in the law firm of Flood & Masiuk, LLC, Joseph Masiuk is committed to, a practice which provides people of all ages and walks of life with thoughtful and comprehensive solutions in Estate Planning, which includes Elder Care, Medicaid and Special Needs Planning.