Legalization of a will is not necessary for assets that were jointly leased with another person, such as a house that was jointly owned by a spouse or a bank account owned by the spouse, as long as the other owner is still living. Some assets may not be legalized, but most of them will need to go through a probate process. Examples of assets that cannot avoid legalization include personal items in a house, such as furniture, works of art and other collections. Vehicles and real estate that are the sole property of the person and accounts in which no beneficiary is included in the list of beneficiaries will also be included in probate.
Real estate assets that are below a certain state value may not need to go through formal succession either. The probate process in Pennsylvania is actually quite simple and quite easy, and it's not something that should induce fear or apprehension. If a person dies in Pennsylvania while the owner of an asset in their name, their estate must be legalized. Whether you have a will or not, your estate must be legalized.
Probate is simply the administration of your estate by a court in accordance with the terms of your will or, if you don't have a will, under state intestate succession laws. In order to avoid the need for probate, it is important to file the will and a petition for succession or a simplified legalization immediately after a person's death. To help determine if a probate is required in Pennsylvania or to manage a probate administration in Pennsylvania, contact Douglas L. Since each state has a different minimum probate value threshold, as well as other different probate and probate laws, the dollar value itself may not be enough to tell you whether or not an inheritance requires a succession. It's also a good idea to sit down and figure out how to organize your assets to avoid legalizing probate for your heirs. There may also be a situation where the estate includes several assets that do not require probate, but the total value of the estate is high.
Some people assume that if the deceased person had a will, it means that you don't have to go through probate proceedings. However, if assets must be legalized, they must go through the process regardless of whether the person had a will. If the estate is small, you may not need to go through the full probate process, even if there are probate assets. It is up to the executor to go to a probate court and, if there are no will or no executor, the probate court will appoint someone as administrator. In some states there are simplified procedures that only require an affidavit to allow the transfer of small-wealth assets. Probate can be an intimidating process for executors who are unfamiliar with it.
However, it doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming if you know what you're doing. To make sure your estate is handled properly and efficiently, it's important to understand when probate is necessary and when it isn't. With this knowledge in hand, you can ensure that your loved one's estate is handled properly and their wishes are respected.