When someone has a loved one pass away, do they need to hire an attorney?

I am often asked, “Is taking care of my loved one’s estate something I can handle on my own?” My honest answer is no, it is not. If I am pressed for a further answer, I sometimes say “You could handle this yourself, providing you know everything I know.”

Estate administrations are all different; depending upon what assets are owned, how they are owned and where they are located. There may have to be an ancillary administration elsewhere in addition to the administration in your home county. There are also specific rules which must be followed, taxes which must be paid, and there is a hierarchy of which bills must be paid first. It is easy to accidentally make a mistake.

Each estate has an executor or administrator (depending upon whether or not there is a Last Will & Testament) who will be responsible for taking care of everything mentioned above. If you have been named the personal representative (which is another name for executor or administrator…as if you did not have enough terms flying at you already!) you are the one who is responsible to marshal your loved one’s assets and pay the bills, make the distributions and finalize the estate. Handling your spouse, parent or grandparent’s estate also has your emotional attachment which can further cloud your thinking, making it even more difficult to steer your way clear of unintended errors.

Mateya Law Firm in Carlisle can assist you with the administration of your loved one’s estate. We will be glad to talk with you and help you, each step of the way. Contact us at 717-241-6500 or at [email protected].