Wills & Estate Administration

Pittsburgh Wills & Estate Administration Attorneys

A long list of responsibilities often piles up after the loss of a loved one. Distributing assets appropriately, paying debts, and dividing inheritances can get complicated – especially when you are overwhelmed with emotion. Probate is the legal process that happens after someone dies. It ensures that assets and property are passed on to the right heirs.

When Is Probate Necessary?

Probate is necessary after the death of a loved one even if there is a valid will. Probate helps you distribute assets and property to those named as beneficiaries in the will. This process is much easier if there is a will. Without a will, the court will be involved with valuing the estate, determining beneficiaries, and deciding how to distribute assets.

The Probate Process

This process varies if there is a will. The first step of the process is to present the death certificate to the court. The executor of the will, your lawyer, or a close member of the family can complete this step.

Next, a probate bond will need to be posted for the estate to make sure everything is distributed according to the wishes of the will or the court. The bond protects the beneficiaries against any errors the executor might make during the probate process, whether purposely or accidentally.

After, the executor or family representative will need to inform any possible beneficiaries about the death and contact potential creditors to settle outstanding debts. The next step is to determine the value of the property and assets.

From there, you will pay necessary funeral fees and any additional debts or medical expenses. Once this is all wrapped up, the executor or family representative will transfer real estate titles to the beneficiaries and follow the directions in the decedent’s will. If there is no will, you will follow the probate judge’s directions.

Reasons to Choose a Will to Handle Your Estate

Opting for a will to manage your estate provides numerous advantages that simplify the probate process and ensure your wishes are honored. Firstly, a well-constructed will offers clear instructions on distributing assets, reducing disputes among family members and beneficiaries. This clarity avoids potential disagreements and legal battles, which can be emotionally and financially draining. Additionally, a will allows you to appoint a trusted executor who will oversee the distribution process and manage your estate according to your directives.

Another critical benefit of having a will is the ability to specify guardianship for any minor children, ensuring they are cared for by someone you trust. A will also enables you to make specific bequests, allowing you to leave particular items to chosen individuals or charitable organizations, reflecting your personal values and relationships. By having a will, you also mitigate the risk of your estate being distributed according to state intestacy laws, which may not align with your wishes. Ultimately, a will provides peace of mind, knowing that your estate will be handled in a manner that respects your desires and supports your loved ones.

Protect Your Legacy with a Well-Crafted Will

Creating a comprehensive will is essential to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. Our experienced Pittsburgh wills and estate administration attorneys can help you draft a legally binding document that covers all aspects of your estate, including property, finances, and personal belongings.

Benefits of having a well-crafted will include:

  • Peace of mind knowing your loved ones are taken care of
  • Avoiding disputes among family members
  • Minimizing estate taxes
  • Ensuring your assets go to the intended beneficiaries
  • Streamlining the probate process for your heirs

How a Probate Lawyer Can Help

As you can see, the probate process can be lengthy, especially if no will was created. Additionally, without a will, you could risk having the court decide important matters regarding your estate. To ensure that your wishes are protected, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced lawyer. Our lawyers at Schmidt Bresnahan Law Group, LLC can get you started on the estate planning process today. We are only a phone call away.

Contact our office online today or call us at 
(412) 693-6681 for help establishing a will or assistance with the probate process.

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