The death of a loved one is an emotional and challenging period in a person’s life. It can also be overwhelming for an executor, administrator, trustee or other fiduciary because of the many obligations the death of a loved one entails. It is your job to administer the estate of the deceased and ensure all the necessary steps in the process are done correctly and timely. Make no mistake, the process is confusing.
Some of the many things an executor or other fiduciary must do include probating a Will, gathering assets, advertising the estate, paying creditors, preparing final income and inheritance tax returns, preparing an accounting, transferring ownership of real estate and distributing property to the beneficiaries. Under Pennsylvania law, some tasks differ depending on whether the deceased left a valid Will or not. If disputes arise between (potential) beneficiaries, you must mediate them or litigate them if a resolution cannot be reached amicably.
If the executor/administrator does not properly administer the estate, he or she may be held personally liable. At this difficult time, it is important to have competent and caring representation in Pennsylvania. I have assisted people in administering estates in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. I have also represented beneficiaries in Orphans’ Court in Pennsylvania to ensure that the wishes of their deceased loved ones are honored and to prevent others from undeservedly receiving an inheritance.