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Probate Attorney Allentown, PA
Probate Attorney Allentown, PA

Is Probate as Bad as it Sounds? Probate is a word feard by many people dealing with an estate’s distribution. However, is it as bad as it sounds? Estate lawyers often get phone calls by family members who are about to begin the probate process. In many of these situations, we provide legal representation to make their lives less stressful. The following provides you with a general understanding of the probate process. If you have any further questions or would like to retain an estate lawyer, please call a probate attorney Allentown, PA residents can count on, Klenk Law, a boutique estate law firm.

The Probate Process

Probate is considered to be a title proceeding and is mandatory after a person dies and owns property including land, houses, valuables, cars, etc. Probate will help to determine the ownership of this property and distribute it accordingly and a good probate attorney in Allentown, PA can guide you through the process.

When there is a Will

If the decedent (i.e., the person who died) left a will, the executor is sworn in by the court. It will be the executors responsibility to notify beneficiaries and anyone else who might have an interest in the estate; for example, creditors.

During this time, anyone who would like to contest the will can do so until the statute of limitations expires. Reasons a person might contest the will include:

  • The decedent was not fully aware of what they were doing when signing the will.
  • The decedent was under undue influence by another family member, friend, or person of interest.
  • The will is not valid or believed to be invalid
  • The will is a forgery or believed to be a forgery
  • + More

Will Contest or Not?

In general, if you would like to contest a will, you should retain a good probate attorney in Allentown, PA.

If there is no one to contest the will, and everything is in order, the probate process should be relatively straightforward. The executor will need to ensure all debts are paid, including taxes, before beginning the distribution of assets. In general, the larger the estate, the more time it will take to complete probate. Smaller estates, usually worth less than $50,000, will qualify for an expedited probate process. Probate can take between 1 month and several years or more before completion, but an experienced probate attorney serving Allentown, PA can help expedite the process.

When there is No Will

If the decedent did not leave a will, or if a court finds the will to be invalid, state laws and regulations will determine the next rightful owner. When there is no will, it is called intestate. The heirs of a will in intestate are usually the surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, and other nonintermediate family members. Although it varies by each state, the surviving spouse is typically entitled to one third to one half of the estate. Children might receive the remainder unless the surviving spouse was a joint owner of the property. In this case, it will likely pass immediately to him or her, in full.

Contrary to what you might have been told, if there is no will, the state does not automatically get the property. The probate process will still ensue and is similar to that of a process in which a will is involved. The time it takes to complete the probate process without a will could be slightly longer and having an Allentown, PA probate attorney on your side can help.

Is Probate that Bad?

Is Probate as Bad as it Sounds? Ask an estate lawyer about probate and whether it’s as bad as some say.  You may likely hear that it is a logical, and well-ordered process. The bad reputation often comes from fees such as taxes, administrative costs, accounting fees, court fees, and legal fees. The executor of an estate is entitled to compensation. Compensation can be between 5 and 10 percent of the estate. This of course varies by each case. Ideally, the creator of the living will arrange for professional compensation.  The Grantor can dictate the executor fees.

If you would like to learn more or have your concerns addressed, you can consult with a probate attorney Allentown, PA residents trust, Klenk Law, a boutique estate law firm.

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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.

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Peter Klenk & Associates is my go-to firm for estate planning and advice in probate and estate administration. Peter and his attorneys are top-notch and exceptionally responsive. Peter has the knack of being able to explain extremely complex tax and estate planning issues in a manner that clients are easily able to understand and comprehend allowing them to confidently make important decisions.

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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...

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

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

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