Bethlehem, PA Probate Attorney

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Experiencing the death of a family member is never easy. If they did not get their affairs in order in place before they died, it could become an even more challenging experience. In such an instance, assets like their bank accounts and property usually need to go through the court process known as probate, or estate administration, before they can be legally allocated to beneficiaries.

If you’ve lost someone close to you, we’re sorry for your loss, and we know that probate can become confusing without someone guiding you through the legal process. Daly Law Office’s compassionate Bethlehem probate attorney, Joshua N. Daly, can help you navigate probate and get the quickest, most efficient result so you can move forward.

How Does The Probate Process Work In Pennsylvania?

Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone passes away in Pennsylvania with no clear or valid estate plan plan for how their assets should be distributed (or with only a will that still has to go through the probate process). Probate is how a person’s possessions and the money in their name legally transfer to their heirs’ names. Unfortunately, it is notoriously time-consuming, taking several months or even over two years to resolve. 

Probate can also become extremely expensive (as taxes, court costs, and filing fees can amount to thousands of dollars). If your loved one’s estate has a total value of less than $50,000, requesting a simplified form of probate is possible. If the decedent’s estate value exceeds that amount, you and any potential beneficiaries will likely have to go through traditional probate.

Pennslyvania’s “intestacy” laws must determine how the probate process will proceed when no will is left behind. If there is a will, the court will appoint an executor or personal representative named in the document as an overseer when allotting the assets. The executor has many legal responsibilities to see through and deadlines to meet before closing the probate case.

What Can Our Bethlehem Probate Attorney Do For You?

After the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is sort through paperwork and deal with the legal system. If the deceased has named you as the legal representative, you will have duties that you must handle carefully; you can be held personally liable for any missteps throughout the process. These mistakes can leave you vulnerable to lawsuits, additional fines, or an extended probate process.

It’s imperative to have the counsel of a legal professional who is knowledgeable about probate planning, trust, and estate law. Having an attorney by your side can make probate easier, less expensive, and less stressful. Attorney Joshua N. Daly, a knowledgeable and experienced Bethlehem probate attorney, can explain your options and next steps without losing you in legal jargon and can handle everything for you so you can mourn in peace.

Daly Law Offices can:

  • Explain your legal options in a way that anyone can understand, not just a law school graduate.
  • Listen to all your concerns and take the time to get to know you to provide personalized, compassionate guidance.
  • Ascertain whether your loved one’s estate must go through the probate process.
  • Answer any questions you may have about the probate process.
  • File the probate petition on your behalf.
  • File the will with the court in the county where your loved one was living.
  • Get sworn statements from witnesses of the will and file them with the county court.
  • Issue formal notice to creditors and beneficiaries of the will.
  • Take inventory of the decedent’s assets and do an appraisal.
  • Negotiate and settle debts with creditors.
  • File a tax return and pay estate taxes when necessary.
  • Assemble a final accounting.
  • Transfer assets to all heirs and beneficiaries.
  • And more.

Like many Bethlehem residents, your loved one was probably unaware that an estate plan was necessary to spare your family the burden of probate, or they simply didn’t complete it in time. Daly Law Offices can assist you with creating a personalized, effective estate plan that includes a trust so that when you pass away, your family won’t be stuck in this same lengthy probate process.

Why Choose Daly Law Offices

Attorney Joshua N. Daly has 15 years of experience as a Bethlehem probate attorney. As a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association – Elder Law Section and the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys, he is well suited to offer you the highest quality legal representation possible. Call today to book a free consultation and learn more about what our firm can do to make this difficult time easier.

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Bethlehem, PA Practice Areas

Worked together on a relative’s Estate Planning. Very easy to work with and knowledgeable. So glad we chose Josh. Thank you.

Beth Macik

Josh we wanted to take a moment to thank you from the 3 of us from the bottom of our hearts. You are a gift and you have such a gift in what you do and they way you actually do it.
A total class act with the perfect personality for your profession. We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you and honestly thank so much. And it won’t be the last you see of us. Much Appreciation. The Stine/DiGiovanni family
*We highly recommend Joshua Daly for Elder Law, wills, etc. This is something that people don’t know what can happen when your parents pass away or what to do. Josh helps prevent as much as you legally can the home and assets being taken by elder care home and/or govt.
What a great experience on a subject people don’t like to talk about but is so important. Josh makes this process pleasant. We are recommending Josh to all our friend and family and friends. Everyone should get their ducks in a row. I am glad we met Josh & finally did this!
Thank you Josh

Stephanie DiGiovanni

Daly Law Offices

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(484) 293-1885