Guiding Families Through Probate And Estate Administration

There are several legal and financial matters to address during the estate administration and probate process. Depending on the deceased's estate, it can be a relatively straightforward process or one that is quite complex. At Gregory L. Heidt, Attorney At Law, I handle all manner of estate law issues from my office in Erie, ranging from retirees putting their affairs in order to young families that need to determine guardianship in case something happens to the parents.

Practicing law since 1975, I am well-known in the community for my hands-on and empathetic approach to working with clients and their families. I sit down, listen to the families' needs, and explain their legal options and how the law works as they enter probate. I can also provide a steady and focused hand to oversee the administration of the estate.

How Probate Works

Probate is the legal process under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas that occurs following the death of an individual, or testator. It is the legal process by which a will is validated. If there is no will, a standard probate process by the state is initiated to disperse assets and fulfill financial obligations. If the value of the estate is relatively low, it can go through an expedited process. It goes through formal probate proceedings if it is above a certain financial threshold.

The Estate Administration Umbrella

The estate administration process includes probate, but it also includes other legal matters such as assets that are not part of probate. This could mean life insurance policies, retirement accounts and property in a living trust.

  • Durable power of attorney: This gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf if there are issues of injury, mental incapacity or illness. It is usually divided into financial areas and heath care (see living will).
  • Living will: This is a health care directive or advance care directive if you become incapacitated and cannot make your wishes known.
  • Probate litigation: A thoughtful will can help avoid this costly process, but unforeseen issues sometimes emerge or members of the family do not agree on a course of action.
  • Beneficiary rights: If something was bequeathed to you, you have a right to it.

Need Estate Law Guidance In Erie? Contact Us.

I have provided sound legal advice on estate law matters to clients since 1975. Call 814-580-9495 or contact me online if you are looking for a thorough and compassionate attorney for your estate law needs.