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Probate and Estate Administration Archives

Understanding your options in a comprehensive estate plan

Most people probably know that they should have an estate plan, but many are reluctant to dive into this process because they believe it might be too complicated. But, while there may be complications to overcome and difficult decisions to make in the estate planning process, it is well worth the time and effort.

Does your estate plan include "digital" assets?

While most Pennsylvania residents think of their home, bank accounts and other investments when they approach estate planning, there may be a critical part of life that they aren't thinking about: their "digital assets." These assets, which can include online accounts, social media accounts and cloud-based data storage, are all items that most people interact with on a daily basis. What will happen to these assets when a person dies?

Having a will to avoid probate

Probate is a legal term that some may not be familiar with. But, unlike many other areas of law, probate is an area that almost everyone will encounter at some point in life - or, at least, their assets will go through the probate process. When it comes to probate, the most important document is a will.

Representation in probate matters

Our readers who are familiar with probate and estate administration know that this is the area of law which deals with what happens to the assets of individuals who pass away and who have wills or trusts that direct who receives these assets and who is in charge of handling the decedents' affairs.

Estate planning can help simplify and organize your finances

Many of our previous posts here have pointed out how estate planning can help Pennsylvania residents get piece of mind when they make a plan for how their assets will be distributed to their family members and close friends upon death. However, there are many different "in life" benefits to estate planning as well. For example, power of attorney documents are part of an estate plan, and these documents appoint an individual to make decisions for the planner in life if the planner is unable to make those decisions.

Know your options in a contested estate matter

With probate and estate administration, Pennsylvania residents may sometimes get involved in a will contest. They don't know quite what to expect. The average person has limited exposure to our legal system, but even those who know a bit about the process can be left to wonder what their options are when an estate matter is contested.

What are the basics of probate?

Many people know that estate planning involves crafting a set of priorities for assets and determining who will become the guardian of minor children. But, there are certain terms involved in the estate planning process that some people may be unfamiliar with, like "probate." So, what is probate and what is the role of a probate court in estate administration?

Appoint the right people for important roles in an estate plan

When Pennsylvania residents are having a comprehensive estate plan drafted, they are, out of necessity, determining who they can depend on in crucial moments of their life. First and foremost, choosing the right attorney to help craft your estate plan is a big decision. But, who will you appoint to play key roles when your estate plan is put into effect?

The basic components of an estate plan

Some people avoid the topic of estate planning because they think it is morbid. Why would you spend time thinking about what could happen to your property after death? Well, perhaps the biggest reason to think about estate planning is to consider the impact that passing on your assets to heirs and beneficiaries will have on those people's lives. When it comes to estate planning, the biggest step is to just get started.

The duties of the Executor of a Will

Who handles probate and estate administration for a decedent? Pennsylvania residents are probably aware that it is the Executor named in the decedent's Will. Many people consider it an honor to be designated as the Executor, but they do not fully understand the duties of the executor of a will. When these duties are explained, most individuals know that they will need the help of an experienced estate attorney to properly fulfill their responsibilities.

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