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Probate Administration Basics

A probate administration basics dispute attorney in Pennsylvania will need to help you if you believe that you have grounds to contest a will or a revocable trust. A probate administration dispute lawyer in Philadelphia is a powerful advocate for you and your best interests as you move forward with a legal claim. In this article, you will learn more about how the probate works. When a person owns assets in their individual name, an estate must be opened by a personal representative in order to settle the decedent’s affairs to handle the official assets. This estate is officially opened in Pennsylvania by filing a petition for grant of letters with a death certificate with the local register of wills. An attorney should be used to prepare this petition and file it so that all matter can be handled appropriately.

If you have a probate dispute, however, the timeline for moving through the case can be extended. Anyone who believes that a will has issues like lack of capacity on the part of the person who signed it or other issues should file a legal claim.

A fee is charged to handle such a petition. The fee is associated with the estimated value of the estate. If the decedent died testate, the original will has to be filed alongside the petition and this procedure is known as probate. In the event that the will is notarized, it is self-proving. In other cases however, two witnesses have to prove the decedent's signature. When a person passes away without a will, however, the register of wills will issue a letter of administration to the personal representative, and letters will only give to certain individuals who have priority beginning with residuary receptions under a will, the surviving spouse, intestate heirs, principle creditors and other fit persons. Letters of administration and letters testamentary explains that the personal representative has been appointed, and a fiduciary bond maybe required to protect the estate's assets. The personal representative has numerous different duties and all of these can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit in the event that the person to appointed to handle these affairs does not do so correctly.

When a probate dispute is filed, this can be disheartening for loved ones who thought their family member did everything possible to avoid disputes by putting in place proper planning structures. Disputes can do happen, however.

Some of the various duties associated with the personal representative include advertising the death of the deceased, safeguarding and collecting assets including generating an inventory, notifying beneficiaries or heirs about the death of the decedent no later than three months after the grant of the letters, filing the inventory, providing status reports, paying expenses, taxes and debts, as well as Pennsylvania inheritance taxes, if applicable, closing the estate and formally distributing the assets to heirs who may be able to receive a portion of the estate. If you believe that there are grounds to file a lawsuit, you need the support of an attorney to help guide you through this process. A lawyer will help you avoid many of the most common challenges in related will and trust contest cases, and can help you to prepare ample evidence to indicate that you believe that the documents as filed with the court are invalid. The support of a lawyer is invaluable during this challenging time whether you are appointed as the personal representative or whether you have grounds to initiate a legal claim against a personal representative.

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