Short answer: Yes
Longer answer follows:
Probate Law in Pennsylvania
There are some important things that you need to be clear on, with respect to the Pennsylvania state probate process. First off, you will need to recognize the importance of understanding how the procedure works. If you don’t understand how the procedure works, it will be very difficult for you to move from one task to the next, given that you won’t be able to anticipate future actions. People who don’t know about the Pennsylvania state probate code often hire attorneys to help them, so that their matters can be handled appropriately.
It is also important for you to understand what an intestate estate is. When dealing with the probate process, you are going to need to understand various aspect and terms, which you probably don’t have to deal with very often in your life. It will be beneficial for you to know about the right of election, which is reserved for the surviving spouse. People who don’t know about these kinds of things, and who attempt to get through the Pennsylvania probate system on their own, usually end up facing irresolvable problems that could have been avoided, had an attorney been hired.
You will also need to know how long the state allows letters of administration to be issued. This information is extremely important for anyone dealing with the probate system. People who try to get through the system on their own run the risk of mishandling their matters.
There are two main factors that you are going to want to take into consideration, with respect to the importance of understanding Pennsylvania state probate procedures. The first factor has to do with the formal nature of all writing that takes place in the process. People who do not have experience reading and writing formal, legal documents often have a great difficulty in this. Due to the specific guidelines set by the state, it is necessary to write these documents in a precise manner, in order to avoid lengthy and costly delays.
The second factor related to the Pennsylvania state probate process, has to do with the time limitations that the state places on a number of the procedures and documents that are required for all probate procedures. It is common for people to hire attorneys in Pennsylvania in order to handle these deadlines that are often difficult to meet, when trying to take care of matters on your own. When deadlines are not met, you’ll have to repeat procedures and most likely resubmit documents, as decided by the court.
You will want to make sure that you know how an intestate estate is handled in Pennsylvania. “Intestate” refers to someone who dies without a will. Any part of the estate, or even the whole estate, which is not accounted for in a last will or testimony is to be delivered to the heirs of the decedent, as described in the Pennsylvania state statutes.
It’s also noteworthy that a will can limit or exclude the distribution of property to the heirs of the decedent. In matters like these, you will benefit from the presence and guidance of a probate lawyer, given their extensive knowledge and experience in the field.
The right of election reserved for the surviving spouse of the decedent is also important to understand in order to gain an overall picture of the Pennsylvania probate process. The spouse is entitled to the entire estate or any part of it, when the decedent dies intestate. This is considerably important, given that it could determine the overall delivery of the decedent’s estate. In the case of a minor spouse, the spouse’s guardian or attorney can only carry out the right of election.
You also should know that in Pennsylvania, when 21 years have passed after the time of the decedent’s death, administration for the probate of the estate will not be granted except in the case where it is ordered by the probate court. This is particularly important for people who are trying to probate an estate, when the decedent has been dead for more than 21 years.
As you can see, handling Probate laws is not an easy thing to go through or deal with, which is one of the many reasons why it’s often a good idea to hire an attorney experienced in the field of Pennsylvania probate law to help you with the matter. Having an attorney on your side will help you make sure that the estate and assets of your loved one’s particular case are handled in a proper and legal fashion.
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