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Probate & Estate Administration Attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Losing a loved one can be a harrowing, gut-wrenching experience. When someone passes away — with or without a last will and testament in place — you may be unsure of your next steps.  You do know that you may need to go through estate administration, but what does the process look like for you and your family? 

If you find yourself needing to understand or go through the estate administration or probate process, you may have a lot of questions: What is the probate process? How do I appoint an executor or administrator? What do I do if I’ve been named as an executor or administrator? What happens when someone dies without a will? All of these questions are valid. At Luvara Law Group LLC, our estate administration attorneys are more than prepared to help you answer these questions. Once they’re answered, we’ll guide you through the process every step of the way. If you live in Pittsburgh or anywhere in the state, including Greensburg, Washington, Waynesburg, Uniontown, and New Castle, set up a consultation with our team. 

Estate Administration 

Estate administration is, essentially, what happens to someone’s assets and finances from the time a person passes to the time everything is distributed. The steps may include: 

  • Closing out the estate 

  • Wrapping up estate issues 

  • Accounting for all parts of the estate, including money, property, objects such as jewelry, and any other asset, as well as appointing beneficiaries to receive said assets 

  • Distributing those assets to the appointed beneficiaries 

Estate Administration vs. Probate 

Estate administration is the umbrella term that may include the probate process. Whether there’s a will in place or not, a deceased person’s assets still need to be distributed. When there’s a will, the will needs to be verified to ensure its validity, beneficiaries need to be identified, and an executor needs to be named in accordance with the will. If there’s no will in place, then the state will determine where assets are distributed, as well as who becomes the executor.  

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The Probate Administration Process 

Probate includes authenticating the last will and testament, appointing an executor, notifying creditors, locating assets, paying debts, filing tax returns, and distributing the estate. 

Appointing an Executor or Administrator 

Generally, the deceased individual will have appointed an executor. However, if there was no will (or they didn’t name an executor in the will), then a court will determine who will become the administrator. The person appointed as executor is generally the person closest to the deceased individual.  

The Executor’s Role  

An executor proves the validity of the will and presents the court with all of the assets from the will. They find, secure, and manage those assets. The process can take as little as several months, but it can also take as long as a year.  

Assets That Go Through Probate 

Some assets require probate, while others do not need to go through probate. Probate is only necessary for any property that either the deceased person owned without anyone else’s name on it or shared property that was owned as “tenants in common”, which essentially means that property was named to be shared between two people with a certain percentage shared.   

Assets that do not need to go through probate may include the following: 

  • Retirement accounts 

  • Life insurance proceeds 

  • Property held in a living trust 

  • Any kind of fund or securities registered in a payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) form or account 

  • Many more kinds of assets 

Your attorney can help you determine whether the asset needs to go through probate and what the best steps you should take regarding the estate in question. 

Probate & Estate Administration Attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Don’t face the complex process of estate administration alone. From our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, our probate and estate administration attorneys proudly serve the surrounding areas of Greensburg, Washington, Waynesburg, Uniontown, and New Castle. For detailed guidance, reach out today, and schedule a meeting.