PROBATE ATTORNEY

MICHAEL DAIELLO

As a probate attorney to estate executors, Michael Daiello helps settle estates efficiently and reduce stress.

Solutions for Estate Executors

The process of settling a deceased person’s estate is called probate or estate administration. We understand the feelings of being lost or confused in the probate process, especially after the loss of a loved one. Navigating the legal and financial challenges alone is complex, and family dynamics can create additional challenges. Our firm handles the administration process so that the process stays on track and is fair to everyone involved.

If the deceased died with a will, then the estate executor or executrix will manage the estate according to the terms of the will. If there was no will, then the person appointed to manage the estate is referred to as the administrator. The legal process to settle the estate is different depending on whether there is a will.

We will guide you through the steps to help you start the probate process.

As a probate law firm, we can help navigate the complexities of the probate process by completing the court filings and other obligations associated with being a personal representative.

It is easier to avoid a costly mistake than to resolve a legal or tax problem due to improper estate administration. The details of even an uncontested estate administration matter can be daunting.  Most people who call our office do not know what to do, but feel a sense of urgency to move forward.

Our team will take over the probate process so that you can avoid legal or tax mistakes and properly distribute the estate assets. We have helped many personal representatives and heirs settle their families’ estates and maximize the inheritance for the heirs.

If you are the personal representative or want to become the personal representative of an estate, please contact us today.

Here are just some of the problems we can help you resolve:

  • Admitting the will to probate
  • Appointment of the executor or estate administrator
  • Transfer or sale of inheritance property
  • Distribution of estate assets to the rightful heirs
  • Efficient completion and closure of the probate process
  • Minimize the impact of creditor claims and tax liabilities
  • Preparation and filing of the inheritance tax return
  • Avoidance of legal liability due to improper estate administration
  • Court filings and petitions for extraordinary matters

Are you a Pennsylvania estate personal representative?

Call us for help to handle the details and efficiently settle your estate matter.

Whether you are an appointed professional, family member, or heir to an estate, we can help you reduce stress and avoid costly mistakes.

Open the Estate and Obtain Appointment as Personal Representative

Probate, also known as estate administration, is the legal process to settle the legal and financial affairs after a loved one passes away. Some of the important processes include appointment of the personal representative, distributing assets to creditors and beneficiaries, payment of inheritance taxes, and filing required legal documents. We will guide you through the steps to take your probate process from start to completion.

Distribute Estate Property on Behalf of Beneficiaries

One important goal of all estate matters is to maximize the estate’s value. Strategies are necessary to reduce the amount of creditor claims and ensure that the beneficiaries receive the maximum amount possible.

Keeping cooperation among the family is an important consideration in preserving the estate’s value. While the personal representative has the right to make legal and financial decisions, decisions should be made with the input of the heirs. Disputes can affect the length of the process and result in court appearances. We guide personal representatives to help avoid unnecessary disputes before they arise in the probate process.

Court Filings and Petitions for Extraordinary Matters

The person named in the will has the right to serve as the estate’s personal representative. But if the nominated person is now deceased or unable to serve, a legal petition may be necessary unless the heirs fully cooperate.

Other circumstances where a petition may be required include admitting a copy of a will when the original was lost or revoking letters issued to a personal representative who has not completed their duties to administer the estate.

Completion and Closure of the Probate Process

Each probate matter can have widely different processes depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Some factors that affect the process include the amount and type of assets, the number of creditors and the extent to which the heirs cooperate. The probate process should conclude only after the creditors and taxes are satisfied, tax returns and legal filings submitted, and all heirs sign a final family settlement agreement.

Avoid Legal Liability for Improper Estate Administration

The personal representative has the right to control estate assets and handle the legal affairs of the estate. But with these rights also comes potential liability for improper administration. Estate administrators can be held personally liable to creditors, disappointed heirs and governmental entities for disputes over handling of estate property. Proper administration can reduce the risk of liability for things that happened while the estate was being administered.

Resolve Legal and Title Problems for Estate Property

Real estate often comes with legal and title problems. For example, estate properties may have title defects or mortgage liens which were never satisfied in the chain of title. Property that was jointly owned with another person must be partitioned through the court system if the co-owner does not cooperate. In some circumstances, occupants who have no lawful right to reside in the property must be ejected. We use the court system to help you clear the legal obstacles to distributing or selling estate property.

TESTIMONIALS

Can’t say enough about Michael’s professionalism, honesty, and ability to get the job done. Great working with him.

I’m very pleased to say Mike is an excellent professional. I found him because of an article he wrote but it turned out to be a great choice. Mike is not only a highly capable lawyer, he is well versed in a broad range of areas of the law. I’d certainly recommend him to others and will ask for his help in the future.

PROBATE CASE STUDIES

Probate Process Resolved for Surviving Spouse

It is never easy coming to terms with the passing of a beloved spouse, especially the major lifestyle changes and financial challenges.

The spouse’s grieving process itself takes time and energy to process. Unfortunately, the burden of dealing with the administration of the loved one’s estate becomes a pressing matter while still working through the grief. This was exactly the situation for a Pennsylvania client of ours who lost her husband in 2019.

Our client was faced with numerous complicated estate matters involving the deceased husband’s assets. Her husband was the owner of a successful business in Pennsylvania that remained profitable through the time of his passing. Because the husband was co-owner of the business with other individuals, our client was now tied into the business with his former partners. Additionally, the husband owned real estate in Pennsylvania in his sole name which he acquired long before the marriage. Although our client was now the rightful owner under his will, the property was occupied by distance relatives who refused to leave.

We proceeded to petition the Register of Wills to open an estate for the late husband requesting our client to be name Executrix. Once Letters Testamentary were issued to our client, we handled all aspects of this complex probate process and settled the estate. We represented our client in negotiations for a sale of her interest in the husband’s business with the former business partners. Because our firm is also well equipped to resolve estate property roadblocks, we helped our client eject the occupant from the estate property. The property was later listed and sold, and our client was able to move on from entanglements with distant relatives.

Our client and all the rightful heirs received their inheritance due under the will and were satisfied with the outcome. The estate administration process was completed by our firm so that our client could focus on her own needs, not legal matters.

If you or someone you know is faced with a probate process, call for a free case evaluation at (215) 918-4242.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

Roadblocks Cleared for Beneficiary of Estate Property

Our office routinely helps our clients resolve roadblocks to selling their estate inheritance property. It is not uncommon for properties passed by a will to be encumbered by legal problems. Some of the legal problems our clients may face include estate properties that were co-owned by the deceased and title problems that prevent clear title to the property.

We recently handled a case in which our client was the beneficiary of an estate property, but legal problems prevented the property from being sold. Our client’s beloved grandmother left a will leaving her interest in a home to our client. However, the property was titled in the name of the grandmother and her former husband who was also deceased. Because the grandmother and her former husband co-owned the property after divorce, our client held a one-half interest from her grandmother. The other one-half interest belonged to the heirs of the former husband. Unfortunately, the heirs refused to cooperate with our client in selling the property or arranging a buyout.

To further complicate matters, a title search uncovered an old mortgage for $65,000 which had been taken out by the former husband. The mortgage was paid in full but was never recorded as “satisfied” by the lender. This resulted in a lien, or debt against his property that needed to be resolved. Our client could not receive his full profit from the sale of the house until the debt was resolved. But the lender was now defunct, so obtaining a satisfaction was difficult. This meant that the mortgage was valid so far as the public records were concerned.

Our office filed a legal action against the opposing heirs to sever the interests in the property and request court permission to sell. We also pursued a claim against the defunct lender seeking a court decree that the lien was invalid and unenforceable. Through the legal processes, we were able to successfully petition the Orphans’ Court for approval to sell. The mortgage lien was also declared invalid by the Court which prevented our client’s proceeds from being placed into escrow after sale.

If you or someone you know is faced with a legal roadblock to an estate property, call for a free case evaluation at (215) 918-4242.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

CONTACT US

Pennsylvania Probate

Law Firm

230 S. Broad Street

17th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19102

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FREE EVALUATION

MICHAEL DAIELLO

ATTORNEY

As a probate attorney to estate executors, I help my clients settle estates efficiently and reduce stress. It is always better to avoid a costly mistake than it is to resolve a legal or tax problem due to improper estate or trust administration. I provide sound guidance so that you can avoid pitfalls and focus on what matters most.