Pittsburgh Inheritance Attorneys
40+ Years of Helping Clients Plan for Their Futures in Armstrong, Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Butler, Westmoreland Counties
If your loved one recently died (without a will), you may be wondering what needs to be done with respect to assets and property that person owned during their life – our Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys can guide you through this legal process. Call us today to schedule a consultation with a Pittsburgh inheritance attorney.
If your loved one died (with a will), then visit our “probate” webpage.
Inheritance in Pittsburgh:
If your loved one died (without a will), then you will have to open what is called an Intestate Estate. Our Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys can guide you through this process which includes but is not limited to:
- Death Certificate: An important step is to get a copy of the death certificate. The formal intestate estate process cannot begin without a death certificate. Generally, we have seen clients in the past get death certificates as quick as two weeks and as long as several months.
- Submitting Paperwork & Appointment of Administrator: Once all the appropriate paperwork is together, we can submit it to the Register so that an Estate is opened. Moreover, you will want to have someone appointed as administrator of the Estate. The administrator is the person acts on behalf of the Estate and is responsible for carrying out certain duties. There is a statute in place that governs who has priority to be appointed as administrator. Alternatively, the beneficiaries of the Estate can just agree together who will be the administrator.
- Sending Out Notices: Notices also have to be sent out to heirs. Notices are required by law.
- Identifying All Assets: During the intestate estate process, you will want to be sure that you aware of all of the decedents assets and properties at the time of their death because all intestate property will have to be accounted for and disclosed during this process.
- Tax Issues: At Herb & Winters Law, our Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys will help you with tax issues that need to be addressed during this legal process. Inheritance tax returns will have to be filed with the Department of Revenue. Currently, Pennsylvania inheritance tax rates are as follows: 4.5% tax applied to transfers to direct descendants, and other lineal heirs like grandchildren; 12% tax on transfers to siblings; and 15% tax on transfers to any other heir, with the exception of charitable organizations, exempt institutions and government entities that don’t pay any tax. No tax is applied to transfers to a surviving spouse or to a parent from a child under the age of 21. There also is a Federal Estate Tax; however, most people don’t have to worry about that because in 2023 the federal estate tax exemption is $12.92 million and can be combined between spouses to a total tax exemption of $25.84 million. If you have tax questions relating to intestate estates, then call our law firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys.
- Dealing with Debts: Another part of this legal process is settling debts that the Deceased owed. Depending upon the facts, some debts should be paid while there may be legitimate and perfectly legal reasons for not paying other debts. Some debts that legally must be paid can sometimes be negotiated down to a lesser sum. There are strict time deadlines that must be met to file claims against an Estate.
- Distributions: Distributions of assets can wait until the very end of the intestate estate process. However, an advance distribution of assets can be made to beneficiaries if the executor allows such to occur and the beneficiaries are willing to sign certain paperwork that protects the Estate/Executor against an adverse risks should something happen before final distribution (e.g. unexpected Contested Estates).
When someone dies without a will, where does there property go in Pittsburgh?
If a loved one dies without a will, then his or her property will be distributed in accordance with the Pennsylvania intestacy statute. If you would like to know what you are entitled to (under the circumstances of your case), then call our Pittsburgh inheritance lawyers today to schedule a consultation.
What if the Person who is Deceased Died Without a Will?
If your loved one recently died (with a will), then you will want to speak with one of our Pittsburgh probate attorneys. Probate is the formal legal process that that you go through whenever someone dies with a will. If you would like to learn more about probate, then click “probate” which will lead you to that webpage.
Call our Pittsburgh Inheritance Attorneys Near You
In short, Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys at Herb & Winters Law can assist you. Be proactive and schedule a consultation today with the Pittsburgh inheritance attorneys at Herb & Winters Law today, so that you can start getting answers to your legal questions.