Klenk Law

What You Need To Know About Executing a Will

Posted on Mon Jun 10, 2019, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

Will Contest Law Firm in Philadelphia, PA

You make think that being the executor of a will means gathering the decedent’s assets and distributing them to heirs and beneficiaries. This is, indeed, a big part of an executor’s responsibilities, but there is a lot more to it than that. As the executor of a will, you are responsible for settling the decedent’s outstanding debts, closing his or her accounts, and informing the government that the individual is no longer living.

When regarded all at once, executing a will seems like an overwhelmingly enormous process. However, the task is more manageable, if not less time-consuming, if you take it step by step.

1. Obtain the Death Certificate With Multiple Copies

This is necessary to file taxes on behalf of the decedent, to transfer ownership of major assets, and to unlock annuities or life insurance benefits for the beneficiaries. While some agencies may allow you to submit a photocopy, others will require a certified copy of the death certificate, so you will need to obtain more than one. There is a fee associated with obtaining multiple copies of a certified death certificate, but prices vary by jurisdiction.

2. Locate and Gather Documents

The most obvious document you need to locate is the decedent’s will. Additionally, you’ll need to find tax documents, property deeds, insurance policies, credit card statements, etc. Another crucial document to locate is the decedent’s Social Security card. Hopefully, the decedent informed you of the location(s) of these documents before his or her death.

3. Take Inventory

The will should include both detailed information about the decedent’s property and names of recipients. Both of these should be carefully organized and recorded.

4. Notify Heirs

Anyone named in the will should be notified as soon as possible. Contact them to discuss the provisions of the will that pertain to them. This includes not only heirs but anyone with an interest in the will.

5. File With Probate Court

You typically have 10 to 30 days after finding the will to file it in probate court. If you and the decedent lived in different counties, you should file it in the county where the decedent lived. This will involve additional paperwork, which the court can provide.

6. Settle All Accounts

This means filing income taxes for the decedent; paying off debts; closing checking, savings, and credit card accounts; and distributing remaining property to heirs and beneficiaries.

When all of this has been completed, you can close the estate. This involves sending activity statements to all beneficiaries, filing all financial data, and submitting an affidavit or closing statement to the court, depending on state requirements.

The entire process can take six months to a year. It can be difficult, but you do not have to handle it alone. Attorneys may be able to guide you through the process. Contact a will contest law firm in Philadelphia, PA for more information.

Contact Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and executing a will.

What Our clients are saying

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Stars

Great friendly staff

Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Stars

Surprisingly easy

Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.