Pennsylvania Estate Probate Guide Resources

Guidance on the Estate Probate Process in Pennsylvania

The loss of a loved one is a very difficult time that may require us to make many decisions that some of us are unprepared to make. Information is the key to those decisions, but we are often not able to obtain the information needed until certain legal requirements are met. And we are often not sure what to do first.

One of the first steps is to have someone appointed as the… Continue reading »

What is a Personal Representative?

The Personal Representative, also know as the Executor or the Administrator, is the person who is given the legal authority to act on behalf of the Estate. The Personal Representative has many responsibilities, which include locating, collecting, valuing, and preserving the personal assets of the Decedent, paying all debts of the Decedent, including all… Continue reading »

Documents That The Proposed Personal Representative Will Need To Present To The Register Of Wills

Generally speaking, in order to be appointed as the Personal Representative, your attorney or an agent in the Register’s Office will complete a petition for your appointment. You will need to bring with you to the Register’s Office a government issued photo identification, the original Will (if there is one), an original death certificate, and a… Continue reading »

Out-Of-State Personal Representatives

In today’s mobile society, it not uncommon for the Personal Representative to live out-of-state. If the proposed Personal Representative of the Decedent’s Estate lives outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this person wishes to be appointed without traveling to the Office of the Register of Wills in the county where… Continue reading »

When Not To Open An Estate

There are times when the family may elect not to open an Estate. For example, if all of the Decedent’s assets are titled in joint names with right of survivorship. And, where the value of the Estate does not exceed $50,000, the rules provide for a less formal probate process. There are also… Continue reading »

Power of Attorney

Very often, a Decedent, prior to death and especially during a long illness, may have appointed a family member or friend as their Power of Attorney (Agent). The Power of Attorney allows the agent to conduct some or all of the Decedent’s financial affairs during their lifetime. However, the agent’s Power of Attorney ends when… Continue reading »

Funeral Arrangements

Many Wills provide funeral and burial instructions. The Personal Representative must be careful about making funeral arrangements, even if specified in a Will, if it appears that the Decedent might be insolvent or without funds with which to pay for the funeral. In this case only, reasonable arrangements should be made. However, there are… Continue reading »

Protecting and Securing The Assets of the Decedent BEFORE the Appointment of a Personal Representative

Prior to the appointment of a Personal Representative, it may be necessary for a family member or the person to be appointed as the Personal Representative to act in a responsible manner to protect and secure the assets of the Decedent. This may include the placement and safety of family pets, which will… Continue reading »

Initial Duties of the Personal Representative AFTER Appointment

In those circumstances where the Decedent had a Will, it is essential that the Personal Representative read it carefully. If there are any ambiguities in the Will or doubt about its contents, or the possibility that the Will may be contested, then consultation with an attorney is recommended. The are also circumstances which may require… Continue reading »

Protecting and Securing the Assets of the Decedent AFTER the Appointment of a Personal Administrator

Once a Personal Representative has located the assets belonging to the Decedent, they must act immediately to protect, secure, and evaluate certain of these assets. This is one of the most important responsibilities of the Personal Representative. Failing to do so may subject the Personal Representative to personal liability. And sadly, as… Continue reading »

More coming soon:

In the coming weeks and months, we will post additional information that we hope you find useful. In the meantime, should you have specific questions concerning the Estate probate process or are seeking an attorney to represent you in this process, please contact our office. There are no fees for an initial consultation.