Probate Can Be Expensive And Slow
Probate is the process, supervised by the court, that oversees the distribution of assets and payment of the final bills and taxes of someone who died. The related issues can be complicated. If a will exists, the court will make sure their will is valid; look at what they owned and owed; and make sure their property is distributed to heirs and beneficiaries according to their wishes as expressed in the valid will.
Probate can be costly and can sometimes take years to finally distribute all assets of the estate, especially if your loved one did not have a will. The Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas governs the probate process in this state. The various steps of the probate process are time-consuming and frustrating. They include determining who will be the personal representative, creating an inventory of the assets and debts, and locating and notifying heirs. Some families try to handle probate on their own and end up in bitter disputes with probate stalled.
While working with a seasoned probate attorney does not guarantee a speedy probate process, it will streamline probate and relieve your family of the stressful burden. With the help of the Estate & Elder Law Firm of Erik Spurlin, you do not have to wonder if you have completed the steps properly. When you work with attorney Erik Spurlin, you can be confident that probating your loved one’s estate with be completed in an efficient and timely manner.
A Skilled Attorney Can Help You Avoid Probate
In most cases, property that was owned only by a deceased person will go to probate court. If they own property with another person, it can probably be transferred without going through probate.
Factors that can help you avoid probate include:
- Death benefits – These are financial assets that can be designated for a beneficiary after your death. Because a beneficiary was designated, these benefits are not part of your estate. These can include retirement accounts; payable on death accounts; and transfer on death registration of securities (including stocks, bonds and brokerage accounts).
- Gifts – You can give your property away before you die. However, if the value is above a certain amount, you may have to file a gift tax return. Also, if you die within one year of making the gift, then the gift will be part of your estate for Pennsylvania inheritance tax purposes.
- Jointly held property – The property that is owned by more than one person can avoid probate because it will pass to the surviving owner.
- Revocable living trusts – This is property that you can give to a trustee to hold for you, but you can take it back at any time. When the property is given to the trustee, it is no longer part of the estate. Instructions can include the transfer of the property back to the family after death.
Working With A Probate Attorney Can Ease The Probate Process
Our founding attorney, Erik Spurlin, understands the complexities of Pennsylvania’s probate laws. He can help you control these issues and effectively manage probate issues. If you need help with probate in York County, call 717-501-4009 or visit our contact page.