What is Probate?

  1. What is Probate? Let me approach it this way. When we die with a will or without a will, all assets in your name only are dumped into something called an “Estate” and must go through “PROBATE” before going to our heirs /beneficiaries.
  2. The Objective of Probate:
    • To establish the validity of the decedent’s will, if there is one and establish title to the assets in the Estate. When you’ve passed on, your assets are titled to your Estate. It takes the probate process to get title to these assets in the name of your intended heirs and
    • Basically, the assets in your estate are trapped by the system until the released by the Probate process.
  3. To Whom does Probate apply? – Estates valued above $25,000
  4. How does Probate work?
    • Petition Register of Wills for appointment or approval of P.R. – Payment of fee;
    • Notify creditors and heirs and beneficiaries;
    • Take inventory of and have appraised Estate assets; identify and pay the bills;
    • Prepare the inheritance tax return and pay any tax due;
    • Finally, distribute what’s left to heirs /beneficiaries per the Will or intestacy.
    • The process involves lawyers, the Register of Wills as an agent of the Orphan’s Court, the Orphans Court itself, appraisers, accountants and a host of other professionals depending upon the estate.

Important Estate Planning Terms

Beneficiary. A person or organization who benefits by the terms of a will or trust. Estate. Everything you own, at your death, whether in your living trust or owned in some other form. Heir. A person who has a right to inherit property from a decedent under a state’s intestacy law. Intestacy. If the deceased…

Difference Between A Living Trust, Living Will and Ordinary Will

Do you know the difference between a Living Trust? Living Will? Ordinary Will? A will, living will, and a living trust are important legal documents. Every adult should understand what each does. What is a LIVING TRUST? You can put property into a living trust while you are still alive. When you die, the property…