Compassionate And Skilled Guidance Through The Probate And Estate Administration Process
After the death of a loved one, there is much grief and many emotions. Unfortunately, there are also many issues that need to be addressed, including legal issues. The individual who passed away, called the decedent, left assets and possessions behind, which need to be handled. The process through which the estate, which includes all assets and property owned by the decedent, is called probate. It can often be overwhelming and complex. However, our firm is here to help you understand the process and how to move forward.
At Linton & Distasio, P.C., we are dedicated to taking on the legal issues you are facing after the death of a loved one. From our office in Reading, our lawyers and staff work tirelessly to put our clients and their needs first.
How Probate Is Handled In Pennsylvania
The process begins by determining if the decedent had a will in place.
- If there is a will: In the event that the decedent had a valid will, then the estate is distributed according to the terms of the will. This is typically an easier and faster process than if there was no will. However, issues may still arise if a beneficiary has questions or challenges the validity of a will.
- If there is no will: When no will has been located or there was never a will created, the state of Pennsylvania dictates how the assets and property will be distributed. This will be according to the laws set forth by the state and will most likely not be the same way the decedent would have wanted them to be handled.
The next steps include transferring any assets to the beneficiaries and paying off the decedent’s debts. The personal representative named in the will, or appointed by the court in the event that there is no will, is responsible for gathering all of the decedent’s assets, paying any of the debts with the estate assets and finally, disbursing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
Probate is not always a required process. There are situations in which it can be avoided, depending on the type of estate planning tools that were used to manage property and assets. Structuring your estate to avoid probate may be possible and can be discussed with one of our insightful attorneys.
Estate Litigation And Will Contests
While many probate and estate matters move forward smoothly, some do not. There may be challenges to the estate or even individuals questioning whether or not the will is accurate or valid. In these situations, it is essential to involve an attorney who has extensive litigation experience. Our lawyers are highly skilled litigators and can aggressively advocate for you in court, whether you are defending the estate from a will contest or you are the party with concerns about the will and estate.
Get Answers To Your Questions Today
Linton & Distasio, P.C., represents clients throughout Berks County.