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The Probate & Estate Administration Attorneys - Serving Lancaster, PA

The loss of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time for families which can make the responsibility of handling a loved one's estate seem overwhelming. How do you choose the right attorney to handle all of the details of the estate, especially in cases where the estate is particularly complex?

No matter how simple or complex the estate may be, you want to hire an experienced probate attorney who can handle all the details efficiently and keep you apprised of any issues or complications in the process.

Fortunately, finding the right probate attorney is easy when you work with May, May and Zimmerman, LLP. We've been handling probate cases for Lancaster, PA families for three generations. Our extensive experience with every aspect of the probate process gives you the peace of mind to move forward with your life, while staying informed about the progress of your estate settlement.

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Understanding Estate Settlement & Probate

The process of settling an estate, otherwise known as estate administration or probate is the process in which the Decedent's assets are collected, his or her debts and taxes are determined and paid, and remaining assets are distributed to heirs. In Pennsylvania, probate is done whether there is a will or not. It is very important to hire an experienced probate lawyer to guide you through the process.

Some of the steps included in the estate administration process include:

  • ❭ Preparation of an executor's petition for probate
  • ❭ Raising letters testamentary or letters of administration
  • ❭ Closing all accounts and opening an estate account
  • ❭ Deposits into, and documentation for, the estate account
  • ❭ Compliance with all notice requirements
  • ❭ Estimation of potential estate taxes in advance, and payment where possible to obtain a discount
  • ❭ Payment of bills
  • ❭ Filing of state inheritance tax returns and federal estate tax returns
  • ❭ Distribution of assets agreeably to the terms of the last will and testament
  • ❭ Ensuring proper execution of family business succession plans
  • ❭ Meeting all time deadlines
  • ❭ Handling of miscellaneous tasks such as assistance with life insurance claims, obtaining refunds of unused premiums and subscription costs

Want to get your loved one's estate moving forward? Our firm has been helping families handle estate settlement and probate across Lancaster, PA and the surrounding area since 1929!

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Inheritance Tax

Inheritance taxes can derail your estate planning goals and deteriorate your overall wealth. There are ways to avoid these taxes legally and to minimize your tax consequences.

Our attorneys will give you the facts you need to make sound decisions and can recommend strategies for addressing federal, state or gift tax, estate or inheritance tax matters.

Our estate lawyers are problem-solving legal professionals who are highly familiar with a broad range of probate and inheritance tax issues. We will explore every avenue to minimize your inheritance tax burden. We will also identify which taxes will affect your estate and make you aware of proactive methods that can head off future problems.

Want to know more about how inheritance tax could affect your estate?

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Fiduciary Liability

Generally, if a trust earns more than $33 in a given year in Pennsylvania, the fiduciary must file a Pennsylvania fiduciary tax return. There are exceptions to this general rule, of course, but it is important to work with an experienced legal team to help make sure you are in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and that your interests are protected.

Fiduciaries responsible for the management of estate or trust assets have extensive financial liability exposure. If you are a fiduciary with legal concerns over tax and liability issues, the skilled attorneys at May, May and Zimmerman, LLP can help! Our senior partner, John S. May has extensive experience in representing fiduciaries in the context of decedents' estates and trusts.

Our firm's tax department, in addition to preparing personal and fiduciary income taxes for fiduciaries represented by the firm.

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