Probate is the process of settling one's estate and the items/assets that were left through the individual's Last Will & Testament. In comparison to other states, Pennsylvania's process is easier.
Here are a few tips regarding probate, which may be useful to you if you are an Executor of an estate:
- The county where the deceased individual last resided is the county in which probate occurs. Each county has a Register of Wills office where probate occurs, typically at city hall, the municipal court building, etc.
- Be as transparent as possible with the beneficiaries of the person's will. This will make the process easier.
- If the estate is complex (multiple accounts, beneficiaries, family issues, etc.), you may want to hire an attorney to help you through the probate process.
- If possible, pay an estimated Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax amount within 3 months. You'll receive a 5% discount from the tax due.
- Keep a list of all transactions, and keep all receipts. The more organized you are, the better.
- Understand that as an Executor, you are a fiduciary, and are legally responsible for the estate. Do not take the job lightly, and make sure you follow all rules and laws.