In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, when an individual passes away, any and all possessions owned by the decedent will go into their estate. If the individual who passed away has left a Will, it will name an executor who will oversee the estate and fulfill all the duties and responsibilities that they are obligated to do. If there was no Will left by the decedent, an administrator will be appointed by the Register of Wills in the county in which the decedent resided. The administrator has the same responsibilities and duties as an executor has in regards to overseeing the estate’s functions.
The Fiduciary Role of an Estate Administrator/Executor
An administrator/executor is a very important position which cannot be overstated. In the eyes of the court, this position is a fiduciary one, meaning that the individual has to look out for the interests of the estate and make sure that it is administered properly. If the estate is not handled properly, the administrator/executor may be held personally liable for any problems that arise during the time their position is active. An administrator/executor is responsible for:
Probating the Estate;
Notifying any and all beneficiaries of the Estate and that the beneficiaries have an interest;
Publishing notice of the Estate administration in local PA newspapers in order to give any and all potential creditors of the Estate notice - at which time the creditor can file a claim;
Notifying creditors of the Estate and paying all debts and claims of the Estate;
Filing an inventory of the Estate;
Creating an estate bank account and transferring all assets into the account;
Selling any and all estate assets;
Filing a PA Inheritance Tax Return as well as a Federal Estate tax return (if necessary);
Distributing estate assets to all beneficiaries in accordance with PA law and the Will; and
Conduct a formal closing of the Estate.
Who Can I Contact if Need Assistance with An Estate Administration?
At The Town Law, we understand just how difficult estate matters can be. With our vast experience handling estate cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with attentive attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced estate attorneys in Pennsylvania is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.