Guiding you through Pennsylvania probate with competence and care
At Fromhold Jaffe & Adams, we are mindful of the difficult period that follows the death of a loved one. We are also aware that in many cases, significant benefits can be lost if prompt actions are not taken and penalties can be imposed if legal deadlines are not met. Our estate administration attorneys are sensitive to these sometimes competing factors and they take pride and care in assisting family members, executors and administrators in the administration of decedents' estates – both where wills are involved and where there are no wills (intestate proceedings).
We also assist and advise trustees in the administration of trusts. We represent beneficiaries and creditors in protecting their interests in estates and trusts, assist in the appointment of guardians for incapacitated persons and engage in litigation and proceedings in Orphans’ Court and before the Register of Wills involving wills, trusts and other related matters.
Estate and trust administration can involve many traps for those not familiar with the law or proper procedures. From the first step through the conclusion of estate and trust administration, our probate lawyers are ready to help our clients properly carry out their duties to the estate, trust and beneficiaries and to protect them against mistakes and claims. Even where the executor is the only beneficiary, we assist her or him to have all tasks performed properly so the taxing authorities do not come looking for the executor later.
Assistance for executors, administrators, beneficiaries and creditors during estate administration
We help and provide advice to executors and administrators and assist them in estate proceedings and in performing their duties and fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities through the entire probate and estate administration process in as smooth and efficient a manner as practical. We assist with the early administration tasks such as:
- Having a will admitted to probate and having an executor appointed
- Having an administrator appointed where there is no will
- Providing all the legally required notices
- Arranging for the proper inventory of assets
- Obtaining appraisals for all estate assets using reputable experts
- Liquidating assets when necessary
- Securing information necessary for tax returns on a timely basis
- Locating “missing” beneficiaries
As the estate progresses through its administration, we assist in more complicated tasks such as:
- Preparing and filing Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Returns
- Preparing and filing Federal Estate Tax Returns where required
- Paying proper outstanding debts owed by the deceased
- Defending against improper claims and will challenges
- Drafting and implementing an estate settlement agreement
- Preparing and filing a court accounting where required
- Obtaining court approval where appropriate
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries as provided by the will or intestate laws
From the beginning to the end of the estate administration process we advise the executor, administrator or trustee about the tasks to perform and how to perform those tasks so that everything is done properly and they follow Pennsylvania law, helping the executor, administrator or trustee in:
- Meeting all legal deadlines
- Complying with all legal requirements
- Fulfilling all fiduciary responsibilities
For beneficiaries, we help to protect their interests in estates and trusts. Where a beneficiary questions the conduct of an executor, administrator or trustee, if necessary, we pursue probate litigation in Orphans’ Court. Challenges to a will (a will contest) may be asserted on behalf of our client before the Register of Wills or in Orphans’ Court. When representing a creditor, our attorneys help to have its claims satisfied before the estate assets are distributed.
Our Main Line estate planning attorneys craft plans for clients prior to their deaths that facilitate efficient administration of their estates and attempt to anticipate and reduce potential future problems.
Our estate administration lawyers share with you our knowledge acquired over many years of practice
At Fromhold Jaffe & Adams, we believe that the more you know about the law, the more informed your decisions will be, and the better we can help you. Please see our estate administration articles and inheritance and estate tax articles and tax tables for useful information about estate administration, probate fees, executor’s fees, will contests, Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax and Federal Estate Tax among other topics. Complete listings of our articles can be found at these links.
Please contact Fromhold Jaffe & Adams to speak to an estate administration lawyer who brings practical advice, wisdom and many years of experience to meet your estate and trust administration needs.
Our estate administration attorneys serve clients along the Main Line, in Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties and the greater Philadelphia area.