Legal Issues After the Loss of a Loved One
If you have come to this page following the loss of a loved one, know that we at Vinsko & Associates, P.C., are deeply sorry for your loss and understand that you may feel overwhelmed right now.
In addition to the grief that you are experiencing, you may be facing confusing legal issues surrounding the deceased’s will and assets. We’ve created this brief guide to help you during this difficult time.
If you need personal assistance or advice from an estate and probate lawyer in Wilkes-Barre, please feel free to contact us by calling 570.970.9700. You can also contact our Philadelphia office at 215.278.4767 or use our online contact form.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of authenticating a Last Will and Testament of a deceased person. More broadly, it is the process of administering an estate and identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property.
Whether a person dies with or without a will in Pennsylvania, their estate will pass into probate. This legal process can involve elements such as:
- Proving the validity of a will
- Assembling the decedent’s assets for distribution
- Making distributions to those named in the will
- Paying back debts
- Preparing inheritance tax returns
- Addressing the breach of fiduciary duty
A representative named in the will or by the courts can administer your loved one’s estate, but it may alleviate some of your difficulties to have an attorney do it for you.
A Vinsko estate and probate lawyer in Wilkes-Barre will file the inheritance tax returns, gather and distribute assets, deal with creditors, and handle other tasks associated with probate. Your attorney will walk you through the process and the steps you need to take to get through probate quickly and with as little contention as possible.
What is Estate Litigation?
Estate litigation is the seeking of a resolution to a legal contest relating to a deceased person’s property by judicial process.
Unfortunately, even during this most difficult time, disagreements over money and property may arise.
Estate litigation is the legal process by which an attorney finds out what is happening with the money in the estate. He/she helps family members answer questions such as: have the inheritance tax returns been filed properly and on time? Have the beneficiaries received their inheritance?
Sadly, sometimes these questions are answered only in court.
What is a Will Contest?
A will contest is a dispute or proceeding (as a trial) begun by one who objects to the probate of a will on the ground that it is invalid.
If you are concerned that your loved one was unduly influenced or not competent when writing his/her will, the will can be contested.
Contact a Vinsko Estate and Probate Lawyer in Wilkes-Barre
We sincerely hope that you do not have to engage in estate litigation or a will contest of any kind following the death of a loved one. However, if you suspect abuse or waste of an estate, contact an estate and probate lawyer in Wilkes-Barre.
Never go to court alone, especially during a fraught time such as this.
Our attorneys at Vinsko & Associates, P.C., are here to help. Reach out to us today.