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Estate Administration Attorney in Berks County, PA
Our Qualified Team Can Ease The Challenges Of Your Loss
When someone passes away, their estate plan must be administered.
The task of administering the estate is done by:
- The executor named in the deceased's will
- An individual named as a trustee in the deceased's trust
- A court-appointment administrator if there is no will
Whether you are an executor, trustee, or family member of the deceased person, the administration of their estate is important to complete correctly.
How We Can Help
Dorko Wealth & Estate Planning can help people who may feel unprepared or overwhelmed by the estate administration process. Those tasked with estate administration can be held liable for errors or missteps by an estate’s beneficiaries. Our attorney, Jeff Dorko, guides executors, administrators, and trustees through each step along the way. He provides the oversight they need to guard against common mistakes.
Essential Tasks During Estate & Trust Administration
Estate administration is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process regardless of how simple or large an estate may be. Less complicated estates can take as long as eight months to administer. However, more complicated or disorganized estates can take years to fully settle.
In any estate administration there are three basic steps:
- Compiling an inventory of what is included in the estate and gaining control over those assets
- Paying all debts, funeral expenses and taxes including final income taxes, Pennsylvania Inheritance tax and, in rare cases, Federal Estate tax
- Distributing the decedent's assets according to the Will or Trust
The specific tasks in each estate administration will vary.
Factors affecting the administration process include:
- Whether there is a will or trust
- How assets are titled
- Beneficiary designations
- Existence of creditors
As the executor or trustee, you will be tasked with the following and more:
- Obtaining death certificates
- Verifying the deceased’s will or terms of a trust
- Notifying beneficiaries of the estate
- Notifying creditors of the deceased
- Identifying and gathering all property belonging to the estate
- Developing a system to track the estate’s accounting
- Valuating property to determine how much the estate is worth
- Paying taxes owed to the state or federal government
- Preparing a final tax return for the estate
- Paying off valid debts owed by the deceased
- Paying yourself an executor’s commission (if you wish to take a fee)
- Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the decedent’s wishes
Of course, this is just a simplified overview of what will be involved in the estate administration process. There are many smaller – but no less important – tasks that will need to be accomplished.
Our estate administration legal team in Berks County provides you with the support you need. We can take as many tasks off your plate as possible and provide you with protection from liability.
A seasoned Berks County estate administration attorney at our firm help you understand which steps to take, when to take them, and how to take them. Call us at (610) 957-0018 or complete an online form to request a free consultation.
Our Berks County Estate Administration Attorneys Can Minimize the Risk of A Dispute
Probate and estate administration is a difficult process that comes at a difficult time. The passing of any loved one can itself cause tension among those they left behind.
The death of a parent to spark renewed tension and feelings of rivalry among siblings. Family members may discover they were left out of the will, and pursue a will contest. Unclear and inconsistent estate documents can exacerbate existing family problems.
Familial tension and disputes can result in unnecessary litigation costs and lost time. It is important to seek representation from a lawyer who can ensure this process is carried out as smoothly possible.
Attorney Jeff Dorko can help estate executors and trustees comply with their legal responsibilities as fiduciaries. While litigation can arise under any circumstances, Jeff’s guidance can minimize the risk of it originating from reasonable parties.
Legal Support Through Estate Administration
If you need an attorney’s assistance during the administration process of an estate, Dorko Wealth & Estate Planning can help. Attorney Jeff Dorko has given legal advice and services to people like you for nearly 30 years.
We can help you administer an estate quicker than you thought and help you feel more confident about the overall process. For more information about what Dorko Wealth & Estate Planning can do for you, please schedule a free initial consultation with us.
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