Estates and Probate | Will Probate Attorney - Bucks County, PA
The experienced Will probate attorney at The Martin Law Firm regularly represents executors and administrators (aka personal representatives) with Will probate in Bucks County, PA. Our Bucks County Will probate lawyer assists executors in Doylestown, Quakertown, Warminster, Yardley, Richland, and Pottstown. Our estate administration professionals also handle probate and estate matters throughout Southeastern PA, including Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties. Contact The Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980 to speak with an experienced Bucks County Will probate attorney today.
What is Will Probate?
Will probate in Bucks County, PA means determining the validity of a Will via submission of the Will to the Bucks County Register of Wills. If the Bucks County Register of Wills determines that the Will is valid, the Register issues a decree appointing an executor (aka personal representative) to administer the estate. The Register of Wills grants Letters Testamentary to the named executor, and the executor must then comply with applicable Pennsylvania law for administration of the estate.
Who is the Executor of a Bucks County Will?
An executor, also known as a personal representative, is usually named in the decedent's Last Will and Testament. Typically, the person named as executor is a close family member or friend of the decedent. An executor of an estate in Bucks County, PA must follow the terms in the Will and make distribution to the estate beneficiaries after the probate formalities are followed and all debts and expenses of the estate are satisfied. Probate formalities in Bucks County include some of the following: notice to estate creditors; notice to estate beneficiaries, inventory of estate assets; payment of estate debts, sale of estate assets, completion of appropriate tax returns; Bucks County Orphans' Court litigation; and closing the estate.
Does a Bucks County Executor Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer?
A Pennsylvania executor is considered a fiduciary under Pennsylvania law. A fiduciary is held to the highest standards of loyalty and care under the law. As such, the executor must:
Comply with Bucks County probate law
Make appropriate decisions with regard to estate assets (i.e., decisions for investments, payment of taxes, sale of home, etc.)
Decide how to satisfy estate debts
Handle claims against the estate
If a Bucks County executor fails to comply with any of these obligations, even by mistake, the executor can be held personally liable. Therefore, an estate executor should be extremely diligent and prudent in carrying out his or her duties. Our experienced Bucks County, PA Will probate attorney can provide tremendous help in this regard.
Fees for Legal Representation
Pennsylvania law does not list express requirements for what a probate attorney may or may not charge, except to say that the legal fees must be reasonable. The skilled Will probate lawyer at The Martin Law Firm is flexible and offers a variety of fee arrangements for executors, including flat fees, hourly fees, or contingency fee arrangements. During your initial case evaluation, our Bucks County probate lawyer can discuss an appropriate fee for your estate administration matter. Legal fees will be discussed in full prior to commencement of formal attorney representation. Attorney fees are paid out of the estate, and attorney fees are listed as deductions for inheritance tax and estate tax purposes.
Estate Administration Attorney | Bucks County, PA
The role of estate executor or administrator can be extremely stressful, especially in the wake of the loss of a loved one. If you need guidance regarding Will probate or other estate matters in Bucks County, PA, the experienced estate administration attorney at The Martin Law Firm, Jason B. Martin, can help. For a free case evaluation with a skilled Bucks County estate administration attorney, contact The Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980.