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Why Would You Need a Pennsylvania Probate Attorney
Assets must pass through probate before being distributed via a will or through Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws. Estates valued under $50,000 (excluding real estate and funeral expenses) can go through simplified probate. This is generally a quick process. However, estates valued at $50,000 or more must go through standard probate. This is complicated and can take over a year to complete. Executors often hire an attorney to help with regular probate.
Benefits of hiring a probate attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
People hire probate attorneys for an assortment of reasons. Attorneys are often hired for help with the inheritance tax return and protection from lawsuits. Executors also turn to attorneys for help managing the assets and to ensure all rules are followed. Hiring an attorney allows executors to take a hands-off approach to probate. Take a closer look at the reasons people hire probate attorneys.
Avoid mistakes when filing an inheritance tax return
Pennsylvania charges an inheritance tax on estates. Children under 21 years of age and surviving spouses do not have to pay the tax. However, lineal heirs, direct descendants, siblings, and others must pay it. A Pennsylvania probate attorney can prepare and file the inheritance tax return. An attorney can also help executors save money by filing it within three months of the decedent’s death. Those who pay early receive a 5% discount on the tax.
Protect the estate from lawsuits
Many executors face legal claims during probate. Someone might contest the will or attempt to collect money from the estate. An attorney can protect the estate from challenges while also alleviating stress from the family. The attorney can provide legal counsel and represent the estate in court, if necessary.
Help managing the assets
An executor must uphold specific responsibilities during probate. These responsibilities include managing the assets. If stocks are involved, executors are expected to sell the shares at the right time to ensure the most value. Executors must also receive fair market value when selling assets. Failing to manage the assets can lead to a lawsuit. Fortunately, a probate attorney can handle all of these, so executors do not have to worry about making costly mistakes.
Ensure all rules are followed
People often hire a probate attorney to ensure that they follow all the rules. Executors must follow the probate process, including notifying creditors. Skipping one rule or guideline can cause probate to grind to a halt. Many people prefer handing the duties over to an attorney, so they do not have to worry about it.
Seek legal counsel for probate
If you are going through probate and want to ensure the process goes smoothly, reach out to a probate attorney today. Your attorney can take over the lead for you. Then, you can move forward without the stress often associated with this process.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, call our Pittsburgh office at (412) 804-4048. Call Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law today.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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Posted on: March 1, 2021 by Kim Bodnar