Estate Administration Attorneys

We work with families upon the death of their loved one. We review the will if there is one and obtain information about the heirs of the decedent. We prepare a Petition for Probate and accompany the client to the Register of Wills to be appointed. We help the Executor gather the assets of the decedent, pay any bills including the funeral bill, and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. We prepare any necessary Notices of Administration and any Inheritance Tax Returns and final income tax returns that are required.

To schedule your consultation with Shober and Rock, Call (215) 345-4301 and speak with our experienced Estate Administration Lawyers.


Probate and Trust Administration FAQ’s

What is Probate? The process by which someone’s assets are collected and distributed to their rightful heirs.  In PA, the Register of Wills handles this process subject to PA law.  According to Wikipedia, “probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. A probate court (surrogate court) decides the legal validity of a testator’s will and grants its approval by granting probate to the executor. The probated will becomes a legal document that may be enforced by the executor in the law-courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the will.”

What is the cost of probate lawyer Chalfont PA? Reasonable in PA.  Probate fee to the Register is based on size of the estate.  Costs of administration depends on the amount and complexity of assets and whether there is any business or other assets needing to be managed and disposed of.  Additionally, costs are usually higher if there are disagreements among the beneficiaries.

How long does the probate process take? At least one year since that is the amount of time it takes to clear creditors claims.

What is the Uniform Probate Code? According to Wikipedia – “the Uniform Probate Code (commonly abbreviated UPC) is a uniform act drafted by National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) governing inheritance and the decedents’ estates in the United States. The primary purposes of the act were to streamline the probate process and to standardize and modernize the various state laws governing wills, trusts, and intestacy.”

What is an executor? The personal representative of the deceased, either named in the Will or appointed according to statute.  The executor has legal authority to collect and administer the decedent’s assets and to satisfy his obligations and distribute the remainder to his heir.

Do I pay taxes when someone leaves me money? Depends.  A bequest is not taxable by itself to the beneficiary in most cases.  However, the right to give that money carries a death tax obligation to the estate which usually pays the death taxes.   If the estate does not pay, that obligation falls to the recipient.  Furthermore, if the estate earns income on its assets and then passes them out to beneficiaries, the income will be carried out to them as well resulting in some income taxes to the beneficiary.

Are named recipient(s) in the will (nephews) responsible to also pay an inheritance tax in PA? Can this be deferred? The beneficiaries do not have the obligation to pay the inheritance tax, that is the oblliation of the estate.  However, a Will can provide otherwise and direct that the beneficiary pay his pro rata share of those taxes.  You should consult the executor to determine whether this applies to your situation.

How long after all assets are liquidated should it take the lawyer to finalize distribution in PA? If the executor is willing to do so, he can make a “risk” distribution as soon as the final appraisal and assessment is received on the inheritance taxes.  Since the taxes are not due for 9 months and the appraisal takes a couple of months, you are still going to be waiting a year or so.

How long does it take for Pennsylvania to issue a tax clearance letter for an estate? That takes a couple of months.

Is probate always required? No it is not and you should not do it unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure you have to.  Unnecessary probate happens all the time and ends up slowing down the process and taking more money away from the beneficiaries.

What are the drawbacks of probate? Time and cost mostly.

What is a POD or TOD account? A “payable on death” and “transfer on death” account vests with the named payee at the death of the account holder. Many people use these type of accounts in lieu of a Will or along with a Will.  They are difficult to manage as a Will substitute and should be used with caution as they do not change as the financial picture changes.

Contact Us Today!

The Elder Law Attorneys at Shober and Rock represent clients with a wide range of needs. Call (215) 345-4301 today to consult with our experienced Estate Administration Lawyers.