Navigating The Probate Process

The probate process can be very time consuming, costly and public. Family members can become easily vexed when they are stuck in court after a loved one has recently passed. A formal probate proceeding can be handled by a skilled lawyer with ease. I have been working with clients for more than 34 years, ensuring that their probate case is handled as efficiently and professionally as possible.

While going through probate during such an emotionally challenging time can be difficult, I always aim to provide my clients with compassionate and caring support.

When you enlist my services, you can rest assured the probate process will be carried out in a timely manner. When there is no will for an estate, there must be a petition for probate or distribution of the deceased's assets. My law office is prepared to help with a variety of probate concerns. Whether the property qualifies for simplified probate or is required to go through regular probate, I have the experience to guide you through the process. If you are looking for effective legal support in the Pittsburgh metro area, contact D'Onofrio Law Office, P.C.

What Does Probate Involve?

While the whole purpose of probate is to legally distribute property and avoid any abuse from relatives or creditors, it can lead to more frustrations if not handled efficiently. I always work with my clients to help them enjoy a smooth process, cutting down the amount of time that they must spend in court. I offer a variety of services involving probate.

The duties of the personal representative include, but are not limited to:

  • When the process begins, the personal representative is required to notify the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate. Due to the nature of probate court, you must also notify the general public that the proceedings have begun.
  • Any potential creditors must also be alerted. By publishing a legal notice in local newspapers and in legal journals, you will accomplish this.
  • Debts and taxes against the estate are paid.
  • Accountings are provided to the court.
  • After the liabilities are paid, the remainder is distributed among the rightful beneficiaries.

I help clients draft the above legal notices, ensuring that they supply all the required information. In Pennsylvania, anyone who is not a surviving spouse will have an inheritance tax imposed on the assets they receive from the distribution process. The only entities exempt from this are charities. There won't be a federal estate tax on any property under a certain amount.

This process can be legally complex and confusing if you don't have any previous knowledge of probate. It's helpful to enlist the services of an attorney who can handle will settlements, trust administration, trust settlements and other final matters. While the court process can be very frustrating, dragging on for months or even years in some cases, I always encourage my clients to consider the ways they can avoid probate in the future. Whether you need legal representation for the probate of a loved one's will or the settlement of a trust, I will be happy to assist you.

Schedule A Probate Consultation

For more information on how you can enlist my services for your probate matters, contact me online or call 412-637-2596 and schedule a complimentary initial consultation.