If you are about to enter into the often difficult and confusing process of administering a loved one’s estate, stop and do your homework before you jump in. Just because your loved one left a Will, it does not necessarily mean that you are going to have to open and probate their estate.
Probate is triggered not by the fact that someone had or did not have a Will at the time of their death, but rather by how their assets are held and titled at that time. In a nutshell, if the person that died owned nothing that was titled in their name alone, their estate is not going to have to be formally opened and administered. So, if all of the individual’s assets had joint names or beneficiary designations listed on them, you probably are not going to have to go through the probate process. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the assets will be exempt from Pennsylvania inheritance tax, but it does mean that you need to be careful that you are not starting a process and incurring costs and expenses that are unnecessary.
American Wills & Estates is a locally founded, owned and operated law firm that has been guiding clients in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania through the Probate Estate Administration process with competency, compassion and care for over 25 years. We have a number of convenient office locations and also offer home, hospital, evening and weekend appoints upon request. We provide comprehensive free initial legal consultations and offer the majority of our estate administration services on an affordable flat fee basis.
So, if you’ve been named as the Executor or Personal Representative of a loved one’s estate and are not sure where to turn for trusted, experienced and affordable legal assistance, give us a call today at (412) 381-7370 to schedule your free consultation or visit our law firm online. You’ll be glad you did!