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Estate Administration

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Estate Administration

What is probate or estate administration?

The first step of the process is where the executor submits a valid will belonging to the deceased probate.  Probate is the process where the assets of the deceased person are gathered, the debts and inheritance tax are paid, and the remaining assets are distributed to his or her beneficiaries. Probate assets are those solely in the name of the deceased.

If a bank account or house has two names on it, it is not considered a probate asset. Also, if the account or asset has a named beneficiary, it is not a probate asset.  Probate is necessary to pass ownership of the deceased’s probate assets to the beneficiaries. The administration of the estate ensures that the deceased’s creditors are paid if the procedures are followed correctly.

Safe deposit boxes in Pennsylvania

Executors may now enter a safe deposit box to conduct an inventory of it’s contents
Under a change in the law.  Prior to this, only banks, attorneys or accountants as well as Pennsylvania Department of Revenue agents could open and inventory a safe deposit box of a decedent.

The Department of Revenue by its Inheritance Tax Bulletin 2011-02, entitled Safe Deposit Box Inventories and Notice, issued May 11, 2011, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced a modification. Of “the procedures under which estate representatives may enter the safe deposit box of a decedent” pursuant to the provisions of the Inheritance and Estate Tax Act of 1991.