Fullerton, PA Probate Lawyer
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If you are mourning the recent passing of a family member, you have our deepest sympathies. Death is hard to deal with. This is universally true emotionally, but can also be true financially and legally, particularly if your loved one’s estate needs to go through a Pennsylvania court process known as probate. Our compassionate Fullerton probate lawyer, Joshua N. Daly, can help you understand your next steps and navigate the way forward. We can take the burden off you! Call today to book your free consultation and learn more.
What Is Probate?
Probate is a court proceeding that officially transfers a deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries. If there was a legal will left behind, then probate is the process of validating the will and carrying out its terms. If there was no will, Pennsylvania’s intestate laws will determine how assets are distributed. Assets can only be distributed once taxes and debts have been paid, which is part of the process. There are many steps that have to be followed and many fees involved; it is unfortunately a complex, time-consuming, expensive ordeal that is the last thing most grieving families want to have to face.
Does Probate Have To Occur?
Probate can be avoided, but usually all steps to avoid probate must be taken before the person passes away. After they pass, there is usually little that can be done rather than undergo traditional probate proceedings. Probate won’t have to occur if your loved one had a comprehensive estate plan or a trust, or if they owned all of their assets jointly or with specific beneficiary designations. If the estate was less than $50,000, there is a simplified version of probate that may be able to be obtained. Our Fullerton probate lawyer can look into your situation and help you understand if there is any way that your loved one’s estate can bypass probate. If not, we can make probate easier!
What Is Probate Like In Pennsylvania?
The deceased’s last will and testament, if they made one, will need to be submitted to the local county probate court within a certain time frame after the death. The court will appoint an estate executor, who is usually named in the will (or if not, is a close relative) to oversee the probate process. The estate executor (who may also be called the personal representative) will need to…
- File a petition to open probate
- Give legal notice to creditors, beneficiaries, and the public
- Collect, protect, and inventory assets
- Have assets appraised
- Settle debts with creditors
- File final tax returns
- Pay taxes (including the inheritance tax)
- Prepare a financial accounting
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Close the estate
- And more.
How Our Fullerton Probate Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been named as the estate executor, you have many responsibilities and a long road of paperwork ahead of you. Completing probate in Pennsylvania can take anywhere from six months to a year to a year and a half or longer, depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Any mistakes you may make along the way can leave you personally liable with the potential of being sued by creditors or other parties, or incurring court fines.
Shouldering that responsibility is heavy in addition to your grief. Joshua N. Daly, the lead Fullerton probate lawyer at Daly Law Offices, has over 15 years of experience guiding people in your shoes through probate. As a lifelong resident of Lehigh Valley, he is familiar with all of Pennsylvania’s laws, procedures, and he can protect you from the pitfalls! Having him to take care of the probate tasks for you can give you peace of mind.
Call Daly Law Offices Today
Because probate can take time and because there are specific deadlines you have to meet, don’t hesitate to reach out to our law firm today to book a free consultation, discuss your options, and start the process.
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Fullerton, 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.
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
Why Choose Us?
14+ Years Of Experience
Dedicated Small Firm Attention