When a person dies in Pennsylvania, someone must deal with their assets and personal items and distribute them to heirs. However, before that can happen, the individual administering the estate must pay any necessary debts and taxes, going through probate court to ensure that the deceased person’s will is valid. Friends or family members taking on this task often enlist a probate lawyer to help them.
What is a probate lawyer?
Estate attorneys are another name for probate lawyers. They are involved in estate administration by helping clients through the probate process. These legal professionals help clients fulfill their roles as executors, administrators or personal representatives of the deceased person. Executors can ask for as much or as little help from probate lawyers when going through the process of settling the estate.
What is the difference between probate and estate planning?
Probate occurs after an individual’s death. Probate attorneys prepare the legal documents necessary for probate court. They may even act as an executor or administrator if someone does not have anyone they can trust to fulfill their wishes.
Estate planning occurs before someone’s passing, with lawyers drafting documents according to the individual’s needs and wishes. These documents can involve trusts, drafting wills, powers of attorney, health care directions and similar documents, plus elder law issues.
Do I need an estate administration attorney?
If you are overwhelmed with the task, you may need an attorney to help you through probate, as the legal process can become highly complicated. When you have an estate plan in place, you make the aftermath much easier for your survivors. Working with a probate lawyer can make many required tasks much easier, even if you understand the legal and financial implications.
Many legal practices specialize in both facets: the planning phase and the estate administration phase. Having one professional handling both areas of concern can considerably lessen your estate concerns. By starting estate planning early, you can avoid many problems that your administrator will have to deal with following your passing while ensuring your needs are met.