Settling a probate case in Cranberry Township requires quite a bit of time and a lot of organization. It has the potential to be a long, drawn-out process depending on the state of affairs of the deceased and how easy it is to work with the probate court. However, if you’re well-equipped and prepared to deal with the role and duties of an Executor, you may be able to settle the estate in a timely, uncomplicated manner. Our attorneys could assist anyone with settling a probate case in Cranberry Township.
The Last Will and Testament is the first document that comes to mind when a person passes away, and an Executor needs to start handling the estate, but it’s not the only one. Deeds, bank statements, insurance policies, and any other documentation relating to personal or business finances need to be located. In addition, numerous documents and forms must be filed with the probate court in order to get the probate process started.
It is the Executor’s responsibility to notify any agencies the deceased had dealings with at the time of death, including banks, utility companies, or any other business where the deceased had an account. In addition, government agencies such as Social Security, Medicaid, and the VA need to be notified if the deceased was receiving benefits at the time of death.
In most Cranberry Township cases, the probate court will require a thorough inventory of the deceased’s assets and property. This is for numerous reasons, including estate tax purposes and beneficiary designations. It may also be necessary to have some property appraised, especially if it is collectible. This includes automobiles, art, jewelry, antiques, and even items such as baseball cards or comic books.
One of the Executor’s duties is to make distributions to beneficiaries. Before this can happen, the assets in the estate must be fully accounted for, and this includes debts owed to and by the estate. Any bills owed by the estate must be paid, but it is also possible to seek out any money that may be owed to the estate in order to begin making the correct distributions to beneficiaries.
The Last Will and Testament will direct how distributions should be made to beneficiaries, but it is the responsibility of the Executor to make those distributions. All distributions must first be approved by the probate court in order to ensure that all debts have been paid by the estate before beneficiaries receive assets. This is a complicated step and may require the help of a probate lawyer.
If you are an Executor and need help settling a probate case in Cranberry Township, or if you would like to know how you can possibly avoid the probate process through the use of a Revocable Living Trust, please give our law firm a call to set up a consultation.