Losing a parent comes with a multitude of emotions, such as grief, sadness, anger and confusion. This bewilderment oftentimes stems from uncertainty about how to distribute your parent’s assets.
Regardless of whether they have a will, a living trust or no estate planning done, their estate needs to be settled and their assets divided. Probate constitutes an important part of this process if your parent had a valid will, or even if they had no will.
When do probate laws come into play?
The American Bar Association defines probate as the formal process for administering all your parent’s assets to the appropriate beneficiary. Probate occurs regardless of whether your parent had a will, but a living trust could avoid the probate process. Although, there are benefits to having a back-up or pour-over will to cover all assets.
A will outlines how to distribute your parent’s assets and properties. In cases without a will, Pennsylvania probate laws decide how to divide your parent’s property after their death.
Does Pennsylvania probate courts treat all size estates the same?
Some people enter the probate process cautiously because they view it as expensive and time-consuming. However, Pennsylvania offers simplified probate for smaller estates with less assets.
If your parent’s estate has a value of less than $50,000, excluding real estate values, non-probate assets and money used to pay for funerals, it might not have to go through all the same steps of regular probate.
Navigating probate alone is stressful, especially if you’re trying to figure it out while still coping with the loss of your parent. Guidance can fortunately help you distribute your deceased parent’s assets as they wanted.