Probate Process for a Property in Philadelphia
Probate is simply the process of administering a decedent’s estate. Most of us have heard stories about how long and headache-filled the probate process for a property in Philadelphia usually is, and we dread it when we have to face it. The reality, though, is that done right, the probate process for a property in Philadelphia can be as simple as four easy steps. The flip side is that both the dread and simplicity often open people up to specific probate scams. Let’s take an in-depth look.
The Probate Process for a Home in Philadelphia – How to Avoid Getting Scammed
Probate Process for a House in Philadelphia
Probate usually follows a person’s passing without the right kind of trust in place. Probate is the process by which the decedent’s debts are settled, and their property (held in their name alone and not legally distributed) is transferred to beneficiaries and heirs.
Typically, the probate process follows four steps.
- The first step involves filing a petition with the probate court to admit the will and appoint an executor or an estate administrator if there’s no will. A hearing date is set, and notice of the hearing is published locally.
- After the court’s appointment, the decedent’s representative gives notice to all creditors, and an estate inventory is made.
- After determining which claims are legitimate, the personal representative pays all expenses, debts, and taxes from the estate. Sometimes, this involves selling estate assets to meet obligations.
- Assets (legal title to a house, for instance) are disbursed according to the decedent’s wishes expressed in the will or, in case there is no will, according to the state’s intestate succession laws.
And that’s it for the probate process for a house in Philadelphia; contact Buying Property 215 to sell my house fast Philadelphia. Just be wary about any scams that may pop up along the way!
Common Probate Scams
These are some new twists on old scams that owe their re-birth (and effectiveness) chiefly to the Internet and email. They always, however, target the vulnerable.
- Probate Avoidance Scam – The perpetrators of this scam usually target the elderly. It involves persuading victims to buy fraudulent products that help them avoid probate, for example, a costly living trust kit. Once the scammers have the money in their hands, they never deliver or provide a legally useless product.
- Inheritance/Estate Tax Scam – Some states still levy an inheritance or estate tax. Using a trusted person’s or organization’s name, scammers contact potential executors/personal representatives, informing them that they stand to inherit a bunch of money. The only catch is that – because in these states, the tax must be paid before probate can go forward – the victims must first send the scammers an inflated tax.
- Fraudulent Listings Scam – This one owes its effectiveness to the popularity of sites like Craigslist for home shoppers, especially renters, and applies particularly to the probate process for a house in Philadelphia. Scammers research the property of recently deceased individuals and advertise it for rent. Then, when the scammers collect the deposit and first month’s rent, they disappear, leaving the people engaged in probate to deal with the upset victim.
If you’re facing probate, especially the probate process for a property in Pennsylvania, it’s probably not as ominous and frightening as it first seems. Knowing what it involves and being aware of the common probate scams are reasonable first steps – but there’s more to consider.
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