The skilled probate lawyers at The Martin Law Firm, located in Montgomery County, PA, regularly handle probate and estate administration matters in southeastern Pennsylvania. Our experienced Montgomery County probate and estate administration lawyers represent executors and administrators of an estate, who are tasked with a variety of responsibilities under Pennsylvania law.
Properly administering and closing an estate in Montgomery County, PA can be overwhelming, especially in the wake of the death of a loved one. We are proud to offer the following estate administration services and anything else you may need during this difficult time:
- Estate Inventory
- Estate Executors & Administrators
- Notice to Beneficiaries
- Estate Bank Account Management
- Estate Claims
- Estate Debts and Expenses
- Inheritance Tax
- Notice to Creditors
- Closing an Estate
- Joint Property
- Life Insurance
- Retirement Plans
At The Martin Law Firm, your knowledgeable probate lawyer will provide compassionate, comprehensive guidance throughout the entire Montgomery County, PA estate administration process, ensuring that your responsibilities as executor or administrator are met and that you remain protected from personal liability. Our probate lawyers represent clients in Montgomery County, PA as well as the surrounding areas of Bucks County, Philadelphia County, Delaware County and Chester County.
Pennsylvania Estate Administration | Montgomery County, PA
When loved one passes away in Pennsylvania, his or her estate must be properly administered and closed in accordance with PA law. The person who has died is called the decedent. Any property that was owned solely by the decedent becomes a part of the decedent’s estate.
There are two scenarios that may exist when a loved one dies in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Either the decedent has a valid PA Last Will & Testament that names an executor of the estate, or the decedent does not have a valid Will. When there is no valid Will, the estate is called “intestate,” and an administrator of the estate must be appointed. In either case, the estate must be processed through the Montgomery County Register of Wills office.
Probate in Montgomery County, PA
Probate in Pennsylvania is defined as the process of legally establishing the validity of a decedent’s Last Will & Testament before a judicial authority. Probate entails “proving” a Will by submission of a decedent’s Last Will & Testament to the Montgomery County Register of Wills, who will determine its validity. If the Will is valid, the Register issues a decree appointing an executor (usually named in the Will) to administer the estate. The Montgomery County, PA Register of Wills grants Letters Testamentary, and the executor is then tasked with complying with Pennsylvania law for probate and estate administration.
If the Will is not valid, or if there is no Will, then Pennsylvania intestacy laws will determine who should serve as the administrator of the estate. The Register of Wills will appoint the administrator and issue Letters of Administration. An estate administrator in PA has the same responsibilities and obligations as an executor.
Responsibilities of an Executor or Administrator in PA
The executor or administrator of a decedent’s estate in PA must accomplish several tasks to properly complete the probate and estate administration process. The estate administration process is detailed, complex, and can be overwhelming for anyone unfamiliar with estate law in PA. For these reasons, executors and administrators often consult an experienced PA probate lawyer for guidance.
The responsibilities of an executor or administrator include, but are not limited to the following:
- Probating the Will
- Notice to estate beneficiaries and heirs
- Notice to estate creditors
- Completing and filing a PA Estate Inventory
- Opening an estate bank account
- Paying debts of the estate
- Settling claims against the estate
- Selling estate assets, including real estate
- Preparing and filing a PA Inheritance Tax Return
- Preparing and filing an estate tax return
- Distribution of estate assets
- Orphans’ Court litigation, if necessary
- Formally closing the estate
Probate Lawyers in Montgomery County, PA
Although an executor or administrator is not required retain an attorney for assistance, the guidance and counsel of an experienced PA probate and estate administration lawyer can be tremendously helpful. If you are the executor or administrator of an estate in Montgomery County, PA, you are considered a fiduciary, meaning that you are held to the highest standard of loyalty and care under the law.
An executor or administrator must administer the estate in full compliance with PA probate law and make important decisions with regard to estate assets and liabilities. Furthermore, if you fail to comply with any of your obligations as executor or administrator, you can be held personally liable for claims against the estate.
The Martin Law Firm is an experienced probate and estate administration law practice located in Montgomery County, PA. Our skilled probate and estate administration lawyers regularly assist executors and administrators in southeastern PA, including Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Philadelphia County. Our probate and estate lawyers offer a free estate evaluation for an executor or administrator. Contact The Martin Law Firm today at 215-646-3980 to speak with an experienced Montgomery County, PA probate and estate administration lawyer today.