Estate Administration or Probate is the formal process of having a representative appointed by the local Orphans' Court.
A person can either be named an Executor (the decedent had a Last Will and Testament) or an Administrator (decedent did not have a Will - determined by statute).
What are the duties?
A client must present the signed original Will and proof of the decedent's death (original death certificate) to the Register of Wills in the county where the decedent lived before their death.
The Register of Wills will charge a fee and will provide the client with Short Certificates which provide proof that the client has been appointed as the legal representative of the Estate.
Once appointed, the Executor/Administrator either follows the terms of the Will or statutory form of distribution and makes distributions to the beneficiaries.
The Executor/Administrator's duties include but are not limited to gathering the assets, filing all the appropriate tax returns, providing legal notice to creditors, and making distributions to the beneficiaries.
What is our role?
Our office provides a personalized plan on how to efficiently distribute the estate.
Our office will attend the meeting with the local Register of Wills.
File all necessary forms with the required beneficiaries and the Register of Wills.
Arrange for publishing the legal notice in the local paper.
Assist with gathering all assets and depositing them into an estate account.
Prepare all necessary tax returns.
Prepare a family settlement agreement and/or accounting to close the estate.
Fees are calculated on a flat fee basis and depend on the amount of work needed to be completed.