Pennsylvania Lawyers Adept in Probate and Estate Administration
Pittsburgh firm dedicated to representing executors and estate administrators
Being appointed as the personal representative for the estate is a serious legal responsibility. Whether you were named as an executor in a will or have been appointed to distribute the assets of someone who has died intestate in Pennsylvania, the experienced attorneys at Feldstein Grinberg Lang & McKee, P.C. will guide you through the legal steps necessary to complete the probate or administration process while minimizing expense and hassle.
Seasoned legal advocates work to enforce instructions set forth in wills
In Pennsylvania, probate matters are handled by the Orphans’ Court, a division of the Court of Common Pleas. It doesn’t matter if the probate process is relatively simple or is fraught with disputes over such issues as fraud or undue influence. With practices that include work in litigation and estate planning, our firm can assist with every aspect of the process, including:
- Probating the will — After someone dies, the designated executor should file a petition of probate in the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. From there, the court initiates the estate proceeding and appoints the personal representative. Letters testamentary are issued, authorizing the representative to act on the estate’s behalf. We can advise you, after an evaluation, whether Pennsylvania’s simpler small estate process can be used.
- Gathering the decedent’s property — Even if a decedent did not have extensive assets, there may be complex assets that are difficult to locate or secure. Our experienced probate lawyers know how to find them and transfer them into the estate.
- Inventory and expenses — It’s important to remember that estate expenses continue to mount during probate. We help executors create a detailed inventory of estate assets and liabilities and assist them in making payments and fulfilling their legal duties.
- Tax issues — Our attorneys can assist with preparing a final income tax return for the deceased and with matters relating to property, inheritance and estate taxes.
- Distributing the assets — Once assets have been moved into the estate, we’ll seek approval from the court and distribute the decedent’s property efficiently, in accordance with his or her directions.
Each estate is unique and the amount of time it takes to conclude probate depends on the individual circumstances. Extra months might be required to deal with if real estate needs to be sold or there are tax complications. Regardless of the complexities, we will handle each aspect of the estate and work to complete the process as quickly as possible.
Skilled attorneys advise on assets that are transferred outside of probate
Whether you’re planning your estate or looking to distribute the property of a recently deceased loved one, it’s important to remember that some assets are not subject to the probate process. Some people place their assets into a revocable living trust, which lets them use the assets throughout their lifetime and upon their death shifts ownership to named beneficiaries. Ownership of jointly held property, such as shared bank accounts or real estate held in joint tenancy, passes immediately to the surviving owner(s). Life insurance proceeds and certain gifts made during the decedent’s lifetime are also excluded from probate. We’ll offer knowledgeable information about your circumstances and options for the handling of all such assets.
Contact a Pittsburgh estate administration attorney to schedule an appointment
Feldstein Grinberg Lang & McKee, P.C. assists Pennsylvania clients with a full range of probate and estate administration tasks. Please call 412-436-5788 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our office in Downtown Pittsburgh.