The dedicated legal team of Caputo & Mariotti
Scranton Probate Lawyer
As the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." As you know, life comes with so many twists and turns. Unfortunately, these events affect the lives of everyone, including our lives and those of our loved ones. As you can see, people can find estate planning and administration to be an inconvenience. You would be right in assuming this since it involves long, costly, and frequent visits to the court. At the Law Offices of Caputo & Mariotti, we take a client-focused approach to help you take control before it's too late. Eliminate the mystery, pain, and stress out of planning for the future by having a Scranton probate lawyer draft up your last will and testament.
FAQ About Probate Law
What is Probate Administration?
Probate administration is a judicial process where someone's will needs the approval of a court of law. This approval is required to make this document the last true statement of the deceased. However, in instances when there is no will to be used to determine the administration of the estate, the estate is settled using the laws governing their state of residence.
Generally speaking, most states have sensible probate administration laws. But, not having your last wishes clearly stated can put you in a bad position where the government decides where your assets go. Having a living will be drafted and reviewed by a Scranton probate lawyer is important. This is the crucial first step to ensuring your last wishes are carried out per your desires.
What Assets Need To Go Through Probate?
The list of items that need to go through the probate process is a lot longer than those who don’t need to. If the item in question is owned only in the name of the deceased and the will doesn’t name a beneficiary, it requires probate.
What Assets Don’t Have To Go Through Probate?
Properties Held in Joint Tenancy:
- Bank Accounts
- Retirement Accounts
- Accounts with designated “Pay on Death” beneficiaries.
Assets the Deceased Places in a Living Trust in Life
Some of these assets include but are not limited to:
- Cash Accounts such as checking and savings accounts, money markets,
- CD’s, & other cash equivalents. Thes includes debts owed to you.
- Real Estate Holdings such as land, buildings, homes, etc.
- Stocks and Bonds in Certificate Form.
- Rights to lands such as oil, mineral, gas, and more.
- Life Insurance
- Personal Property such as personal items, house related items, motor vehicles, pets,
- Ownership of stock in a tightly knit corporation, business partnership, and membership in limited liability companies.
- Investment & Brokerage Accounts which don’t include a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or other qualified annuities.
If you have any questions about assets you’re not sure would need to go through probate, contact us today. For your information, probate legislation is enforced by the deceased state's Registrar of Wills. However, this is enacted when someone passes away without their assets being put into a revocable living trust.
How Do I Start The Probate Process?
There are only a couple of circumstances where you can start the probate process. These include someone who's the executor of the will or a personal representative of the estate where there's no will present. All of this seems exhausting, right?! There must be a simpler process!
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there is simple probate and formal probate proceedings. The simpler probate process makes things much easier than the formal alternative. However, it only applies to small estates with appraisals at or below $50,000. Considering which types of items go through probate, it can be easy to exceed this.
Plus, if the estate involves a home in Scranton, the median home price will far exceed this appraisal. The value of a home in Scranton in 2019 on average is $71,400. Just by inheriting a home, not even considering any other assets involved, this makes the majority of estates in Scranton eligible to trigger the probate process.
How Can A Scranton Probate Lawyer Help?
Unfortunately, the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not make the death-related proceedings easy to follow. Lots of times, you need a legal degree just to understand what you need to do. Additionally, there’s plenty of misinformation on the internet claiming to have a correct understanding of probate. So, after reading through all of this information, it's easy to get a headache.
Post-life events can be stressful and time-consuming enough as is. The important legal proceedings following one’s death can make it hard to deal with the emotional consequences. You end up getting so bogged down with these items you don’t get time to process what happened. Additionally, one simple mistake can be very costly to the estate and its beneficiaries. Despite all the difficult processes and bureaucratic red tape, you can navigate the probate process easily. However, if you have the right team on your side, you can save yourself a lot of frustration.
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation Today!
The Law Offices of Caputo & Mariotti have the pleasure of having a combined 55+ years of legal experience. In our time working in the law, we understand it’s important to understand why the laws are there. There are people and institutions who want to absolve their responsibilities. This is especially true in instances where money & other assets are involved.
Our fighting spirit has helped us claim millions in assets owed to our clients. If you are having difficulty navigating the understandably complex probate process, contact us today. One of our attorneys will host a free consultation to familiarize themselves with the estate and issues surrounding it. Contact us today.