Comprehensive Counsel In All Manner Of Estate Concerns
Losing a loved one is difficult, and trying to administer their estate adds another layer of difficulty to the situation. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. The attorneys at Spence Custer have the experience and knowledge necessary to handle complex and simple estates in western Pennsylvania. From our office in Johnstown, we serve individuals and families throughout the area in estate administration, probate, trust administration and estate planning.
Probating The Estate
Estate administration includes probating the estate, which generally involves finding any creditors and paying debts, gathering the decedent’s assets and passing them to the heirs and beneficiaries specified in the will. Any applicable estate taxes must also be paid.
If the decedent had a will, the personal representative/executor follows the instructions set forth in the will. If the person did not have a will, they are said to have died intestate. In these cases, probate follows Pennsylvania law, and the court will name an administrator of the estate to oversee the probate process.
Providing Guidance For Personal Representatives, Administrators And Trustees
If you are a personal representative or an administrator, you will likely want to work with a probate lawyer so they can ensure that each step of the process goes smoothly. There are myriad issues to handle, and this can be overwhelming if you do not have experience with estate administration or knowledge of probate law. We have administered hundreds of estates, from simple to complex, and can efficiently manage the process for you. We also will protect your interests in will contests and other disputes over the estate.
In addition, we help trustees with trust administration if the decedent had a trust. We can also help trustees with the management of the trust before the grantor’s death. Trusts can be complicated to manage before or after the grantor dies, so it is advisable that trustees seek legal help when necessary.
Planning Ahead Makes A Difference
Having a carefully crafted estate plan is crucial in securing the financial future you want for your family. With our considerable experience in estate administration, we know how to avoid mistakes in wills and trusts, which can prevent disputes from occurring. We can help you select the trust(s) that are appropriate for the goals you have for the protection of your assets today and in the future.
As part of a complete estate plan, we also create powers of attorney for finances and health care as well as advance directives/living wills.
Let Us Know How We Can Help
Estate administration, trust administration and estate planning are too important to allow them to become vulnerable to error or breach of fiduciary duty. Discuss your legal needs with us, and we will review your options with you. For nearly 80 years, the firm has provided representation to people in the Johnstown area. To arrange a consultation, please call 814-250-0389 or complete a short online form.