Estate Administration


Estate Administration Attorney

The death of a loved one is never an easy thing to manage. Unfortunately, family members who’ve experienced loss often have more than their grief to deal with. Those who are named as executors under a last will and testament must also see to the resolution and distribution of their loved one’s assets. The size of the estate, the number of beneficiaries, and the guardianship of minor children and other dependents can complicate the estate administration process even further. If there is no will to be found, the surviving family members must determine who can serve as an administrator and administer the estate.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with administrative processes in the aftermath of your loved one’s death, hiring a licensed and experienced attorney for probate and estate administration matters can go a long way toward removing some burden from your shoulders. For compassionate and thorough counseling on all things relating to estate planning and administration, schedule a consultation with Mette, Evans & Woodside today.

What is Probate?

The term “probate” describes the process of formally opening an estate of a deceased person where they owned property in their own name, and that property does not pass by operation of law, like an insurance policy that has a named beneficiary.  An executor or administrator must file a petition for grant of letters with the court, and thereafter use the short certificate to gather the assets of the estate, notify the beneficiaries of the existence of the estate, and publish notice for creditors who may have a claim against the estate, as well as prepare the necessary tax returns.  An experienced probate attorney can help the deceased’s next of kin navigate the detailed and time-specific process.

“Non-probate” assets may include retirement assets, life insurance, financial accounts with a transfer on death or payable on death provision, or another financial account with a beneficiary designation.   These assets may still be subject to tax and includable on the tax return, and often administrators need the assistance of their attorney to navigate the transfer process.

The complexity of the estate administration process depends on several factors, such as the size of the estate, the number of beneficiaries specified in the deceased’s will, and any contentions or claims made against the estate. Claims usually come from creditors to whom the decedent owed money, and may include medical bills, credit card debt, unpaid fees, or personal loans.  Understanding the priority of payment of these debts is important to avoid personal liability as an estate administrator.

Estate Administration Services

At Mette, Evans, & Woodside, we offer comprehensive services to clients in Harrisburg, PA, who are left dealing with estate administration, including the following:

  • Overseeing the distribution of assets according to the decedent’s will or intestacy statute
  • Determining and facilitating guardianship over dependents, including minor children
  • Reviewing and resolving creditors’ claims
  • Preparation of Federal Estate Tax, Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, and Fiduciary Income tax returns

As the premier estate administration law firm in Harrisburg, PA, our attorneys have ample experience in all aspects of the process, both probate and non-probate, and estate distribution. We’ll take as much of the weight as possible from your shoulders so you can focus on grieving and caring for your loved ones during a difficult time.

We can also offer preemptive advice and consultations for clients who have been named as executors and want to be as prepared as possible for the process ahead.

Top Probate Attorney in Harrisburg, PA

Working with a team of legal professionals will ensure your loved one’s estate is distributed properly, and all claims are resolved in a timely manner. It’ll also give you peace of mind knowing you can focus on taking care of your family rather than dealing with red tape and administrative procedures.

Need experienced and understanding support through the probate process? Schedule a consultation with Mette, Evans & Woodside today.

Estates & Trusts Attorneys

John A. Feichtel
Ronald L. Finck
Dominic V. Giovanniello
Aaron D. Martin
Hannah White-Gibson

Geographic Regions Served

Harrisburg • Lancaster • York • Philadelphia • Pittsburgh • State College • Altoona • New Jersey