When a family member or friend passes away, the estate often goes through a court-managed process called “probate” or “estate administration” where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. Every estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:
- Filing of a petition with the proper probate court
- Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists)
- Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate
- Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator
- Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors
- Sale of estate assets
- Payment of estate taxes, if applicable
- Final distribution of assets to heirs
The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a variety of factors, including the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a Will, and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay.
Our firm addresses all aspects of estate administration and works closely with the appointed individuals to ensure that the process is handled competently and efficiently. Contact our Philadelphia probate lawyer for a consultation regarding your case.