Estate Administration

The death of a loved one is an overwhelmingly emotional experience. Not only do you have to deal with the loss of someone you love, but there’s also the matter of settling that person’s life. It all comes down to one question – what happens to my loved one’s property?

This is a crucial time when you need someone to make sure your loved one’s wishes and your rights are protected. And the Pennsylvania estate administration lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are there to help.

With years of experience in estate planning and administration, we can help protect your loved one’s assets and make sure all debts are paid. We know that each estate is different which is why we spend to take the time to make sure everything is right.

What is Estate Administration?

Anyone who passes away has an estate. The administration of an Estate is taking that person’s assets (if any), and distributing them to where they are supposed to go. So, if that person has some debt; we pay the debt. If that person has a will, it goes as the will directs. If there is no will, we do as the state directs.

Whenever someone dies, the family members are left with this question, “What do we do with the property?” Chances are you will have some assets or debt at the time of your death. When this occurs, the assets and debts are placed in an “estate.”

Administering an Estate Without a Will

When someone dies without a will, they have died “intestate.” If you die “intestate” in Pennsylvania, it will be the up to the state to decide who will represent the estate. But how does the state decide? The following is the order in which the state determines who will administer the estate:

1. The surviving spouse
2. The children
3. The deceased’s parents
4. The deceased’s siblings or their children
5. The deceased’s grandparents
6. The deceased’s extended family (uncles, aunts, and cousins)
7. And, if there are no survivors, the Commonwealth

After a representative is appointed, the state will then direct what should be done with the decedent’s assets, including an order of which creditors are to be paid first. It is the state, not the decedent, who makes assumptions as to who you want your assets distributed to.

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Administering an Estate With a Will

According to Pennsylvania law, the estate's representative is chosen by the decedent in the will. This representative may be appointed the Executor of the Will. This gives the representative the authority to act on behalf of the estate and he or she will be responsible for carrying out the provisions of the will. This means the representative will be able to do the following:

  • Conduct business for the estate. The representative will be granted legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. This can include shutting down bank accounts, transfer property, obtaining the date of death values, etc.
  • Oversee all estate property. It is the executor’s legal responsibility to protect and maintain all estate assets. This means identifying all estate assets, such as stocks, bonds, and insurance, and place them in an estate account.
  • Taxes. Not only does the executor need to pay federal and state income taxes for both the estate and the deceased but may have to pay the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax and the federal Estate Tax.

Once all assets are accounted for and approved by both the court and the beneficiaries, then your attorney will approve and begin distributing the estate.

How Our Estate Administration Lawyers Can Help

If your loved one dies, one of your first steps is to pick up a phone and contact a probate attorney at Fellerman & Ciarimboli. By hiring an estate administration lawyer, we will make sure your loved one's estate will be administered quickly and efficiently. We can help with all aspects of the estate administration processes, including:

  • Any issues with creditors
  • Distributing the assets fairly and evenly among the survivors
  • File the estate’s tax returns
  • Qualify personal representatives

Get the Help You Need Today. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli

We know you want your family’s future secured especially after you’re gone. And that’s why it’s essential to hire an experienced estate administration attorney to handle your affairs after you’re gone. We can make sure your family is well provided for and your property is divided according to your wishes, allowing your family to focus on the healing process and move on with life.

The Pennsylvania estate administration lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli is here for you and for your loved one. Make an appointment today to help with your estate planning and administration needs.

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