Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Klenk Law

How Do You Avoid Probate in PA

Posted on Fri Apr 16, 2021, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question,” Mailbag: “I want to make things easy for my children. How Do You Avoid Probate in PA?”

How Do You Avoid Probate in PA

Estate Planning Lawyer, Peter Klenk

How Do You Avoid Probate in PA?

The initial question is, do you understand what you are trying to avoid? Lots of people say you should avoid probate, but don’t even know what that word means.  Every state has a probate process. In some states, such as New York and California, probate is a painful process.  In other states, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, the process is much easier. 

First, understand probate? When a person dies, they don’t get to take “it” with them. Probate is the process where the state oversees that the deceased person’s assets end up in the right hands. That could be a creditor like the IRS or a reverse mortgage company. It could also be a friend or a charity. Probate, in its most simple form, is the process where the state helps make sure the right people get your things.

Pennsylvania Probate.

The Pennsylvania probate process starts with the Register of Wills. Each county has a Register. This is an elected position. When a person dies, the executor takes the Will and death certificate to the Register. The Register’s job is to review these documents and then give the Executor paperwork recognizing him or her as the estate’s executor.

How Do You Avoid Probate in PA?

If you wish to avoid the process of registering the will and avoid probate, you have several options.

  1. Jointly holding assets. During your lifetime, you could put another person as a co-owner on your real estate or bank accounts. Then, at your death, the co-owner can claim your share. This avoids probate. But, during your lifetime, someone else is a co-owner of your asset. Many people don’t care to “share” their property during their lifetime.
  2. Naming Someone a Beneficiary. Another method is to name a person as the beneficiary of your asset. This is a typical method for Life Insurance and IRAs. Some assets, such as land, don’t have a beneficiary option. Further, by naming a person directly as a beneficiary, you don’t provide them any protection from divorce or creditors. 
  3. Using a Revocable Living Trust. This option gives you control over your assets during your lifetime and allows you to set up protective trusts for your loved ones after your death. Most people like the idea that their heirs can access assets when needed but can’t lose them in a divorce or a creditor. A Revocable Trust is also a useful tool when you are older and need help managing your assets. Your child or trusted friend can help you, but you still keep ultimate control.

Would you like more detail? Follow this link to my article, Revocable Living Trusts: Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: How Do You Avoid Probate in PA?

I hope you found helpful this short article responding to How Do You Avoid Probate in PA.  I have also included some links for more detailed information. If you would like to know more, or have an estate that needs our help, contact us.  Let our Probate and Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

It’s What We Do!

Tags:

Probate, Probate Attorney

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I have worked with Peter Klenk & his associates for some time now and I have found them to be ultra-qualified, knowledgeable and diligent about their work. I highly recommend them.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Knowledgeable lawyers, helpful attitude, fair fees.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk and his associates are responsive and professional - It is a pleasure to work with their team. If you have needs in estate planning or administration, they are the firm to go to in the Philadelphia area!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Integrity, exceeding the client's expectations. In-depth knowledge of the law

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.