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Probate Administration Attorneys in Chester County, PA
Probate is the legal process that is used to ensure that a deceased person’s debts and taxes are paid, and that assets are distributed according to their Last Will and Testament. At Perna & Abracht, LLC, our experienced probate lawyers guide you through the probate administration process every step of the way, which can make a difficult time easier for you and your family.
Our Probate Lawyers Help You Understand the Process
Simply put, in probate, the deceased person’s assets are collected and accounted-for, debts and taxes are paid, property is distributed to beneficiaries, and the estate is settled. Our probate litigation attorneys begin the process by filing a petition with the Register of Wills in the Pennsylvania county where the deceased person resided.
If there is no Will, the court appoints an administrator to handle the estate and assets are distributed according to Pennsylvania Intestacy laws- usually to the deceased’s closest relatives such as a spouse or children. Even if there is a Will and it is deemed valid, beneficiaries or other family members may attempt to challenge it during the probate process.
There are other circumstances that may also affect probate, including:
- Contesting of an executor’s appointment
- Ambiguities in a Will
- Unpaid taxes
- Issues with disputed debts or unresolved contracts
- Insufficient assets to cover all debts
- Property left to minors who do not have an appointed guardian or trustee
- Out-of-state property in the estate
- a Very large estate with diversified assets (our probate attorneys have experience handling estates both large and small)
It is vital to keep in mind that the court also has the authority to designate a guardian for minor children if there is no Will. This is just one reason why estate planning and creating a Will that reflects your wishes is so important.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Probate Include:
How Long Does Probate Take?
Probate is a time-sensitive process. Depending on the complexity of the estate and any issues that may arise, probate may be completed in a matter of months or it can take years. Seeking the counsel of an experienced probate lawyer who will ensure all necessary probate paperwork is timely and properly filed, property is transferred, and fees and taxes are paid in a timely manner, is essential to expedite the process. A probate attorney can also help you avoid becoming mired in time-consuming legal issues when family disputes and other challenges arise.
Are All Assets Required to Go Through Probate?
Typically, only assets that are solely owned by the deceased person go through probate. Many common assets are exempt from probate, including:
- Assets held in trust
- Proceeds from life insurance policies
- Some Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s or IRAs
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Joint tenancy or Co-tenancy property
Our knowledgeable probate lawyers will advise you on which assets must be included in probate. We can also assist you with valuable estate planning tools such as trusts, which can provide tax benefits and ensure that certain family members are well taken care of after you die.
Learn about the 3 things that could happen if you do not probate a Will.
If you have a specific legal question that you would like answered without any obligation to retain our firm, please ask below and one of our attorneys will respond within 48 hours at no cost.
Our probate law firm is committed to making the probate process as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family. Contact us here or call us at 610-444-0933 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Chester County estate planning attorneys at Perna & Abracht, LLC.
Our Office is Located at:
610 Millers Hill
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware
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For legal representation in Southeastern Pennsylvania or Northern Delaware