Probate Lawyers in Delaware County, PA, Assisting Families Obtain Their Rightful Assets
Dealing with losing a loved one can be emotionally challenging, especially if the individual dies suddenly due to an accident or medical condition. In many instances, the deceased could not create a will or trust that would allow their estate to avoid the lengthy probate process.
The legal process surrounding probate administration can take significant time and leave your family needing help accessing much-needed financial resources. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, the estate may be subject to litigation from other family members or entities.
For these reasons, it is imperative that you have a well-qualified probate attorney on your side to help you obtain the estate assets you rightfully deserve.
Contact Peak Legal Group of Delaware County, PA, and ask to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, who will gladly answer any legal questions and explain your legal options.
Why Does an Estate Have to Go Through Probate in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law stipulates that if a decedent owned assets only listed in their name with no beneficiary designations, their estate must go through probate. These assets can be in the form of financial resources or real estate.
These financial and real estate assets are referred to as probate assets. If the deceased or testator left a last will, the executor has a fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries. This duty involves handling estate administration, including distributing assets.
However, if the deceased passed away without a will, probate would be handled by the next of kin, such as a surviving spouse or their children. This process starts when the executor requests that the estate be opened by filing a Petition for Probate document.
If an estate is valued at over $50,000 and there is no will, it will be subject to probate laws. However, in a smaller estate of less than $50,000, the family and other beneficiaries will most likely be able to avoid probate.
It is always best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate your situation. The probate attorneys of Peak Legal Group are more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about the probate process.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer?
If you are an executor of an estate, hiring a probate lawyer is one of the essential steps you can take to ensure that your rights and those of any beneficiaries are safeguarded.
A skilled probate attorney can assist you with the following administration proceedings:
- Prepare and file all necessary legal documents with the probate court.
- Assist with paying bills, income tax, or other debts the deceased owes.
- Ensure that all creditor claims are resolved.
- Distribute and transfer assets and proceeds of life insurance policies to beneficiaries.
- Arranging appraisals of the decedent’s real property.
- Determining if estate or inheritance tax is due.
- Action for each transaction the estate makes in ensuring that all creditors or businesses are fully paid.
In addition to the above-listed duties, an estate lawyer like those of Peak Legal Group can provide legal counsel if a family member or other entity decides to contest the will.
What Assets Are Exempt From Probate in Pennsylvania?
Even though probate can be a lengthy process, specific assets are exempt. These assets include:
- Property owned in joint tenancy, such as a house or bank account with joint owners.
- Assets that have a named beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy.
- Small amounts of cash under $10,000 may be released to a surviving spouse or children of the deceased.
- Wages owed by an employer to the deceased totaling up to $10,000 may be released to an immediate family member.
If your family member has died and you require financial resources, you must seek qualified legal representation immediately. A skilled attorney may be able to petition the court to release other necessary funds you need after the death of your loved one.
How Can Your Law Firm Help Me Resolve My Probate Issues?
Probate law can be challenging to understand on your own without an experienced attorney’s help. Therefore, it is always in your best interests to consult with an estate attorney who can offer your legal advice and help determine the best way to deal with any issues that may arise.
Peak Legal Group of Delaware Co, PA, has extensive experience in handling probate matters. Our legal team has the skills necessary to handle your probate legal issues and help your family obtain the resources they were meant to receive.
Contact our law office at 610-989-7064 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.