Handling the estate of a loved one can be overwhelming, especially during the emotional time right after your loss. Being suddenly responsible for their assets and wishes can be daunting, but hiring the right attorney can lift an enormous weight off your shoulders.
When someone passes away, there is a laundry list of legal requirements that come with handling an estate. As the executor, you’re not just tasked with that list, but are possibly liable if you don’t handle things as planned. A comprehensive estate and probate administration attorney can aid you in checking things off that list that right way.
Make sure you’re getting the guidance you need, from covering federal laws to fulfilling benefactor’s needs. You’ll want a clear letter of intent that spells out what you can expect when you enlist an attorney, and where their area of expertise lies. Having local help that understands estate and probate requirements specific to your area of Pennsylvania can also go a long way toward avoiding issues.
There’s a lot to go through once you’re named the executor of a will. Keeping track of every detail is often too much for the inexperienced, but a capable attorney can take on many responsibilities that are coming your way:
- Accounting: Make sure your attorney can assist you with things like tracking assets, managing accounts and handling outstanding claims.
- Taxes: Taxes are rarely a simple matter, and those stemming from estates are no different. Make sure your attorney is ready to deal with things like state and federal estate taxes, inheritance taxes and capital gains taxes.
- Benefactors: Dealing with missing or uncooperative benefactors can grind the affair to a halt. Knowledge of claim windows and providing proper notice can protect from later arguments against the proceedings.
The will of the court
Going to court to deal with the handling of an estate can seem imposing, but having professional representation can bring ease when handling various probate concerns:
- Clarity: If there are issues with the will, like vague assignments or non-compliance with legal standards, then the courts may have to step in and clarify.
- Eligibility: Benefactors can bring a will into question with claims of inaccuracy, like a forged signature, creation under duress or during questionable mental acuity.
- Exclusion: If someone believes they were left out of the will when they should have been among the list of beneficiaries, that argument will be handled in court.
Get help moving through this trying time with extensive, professional guidance from an attorney that specializes in estate and probate administration. The sooner you get help creating a clear picture of their wishes, the sooner you can put their estate to rest.