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Philadelphia Area Probate, Estate and Trust Administration

Serving King of Prussia, Springfield and Bala Cynwyd Areas

Estate Administration

If estate planning is the process of designing a playbook, estate administration occurs when the playbook is put into action. The process begins with an event that triggers a provision in your estate plan, such as incapacity or death. The plan becomes ‘executory’, meaning that the individuals you designated in your plan documents must step into action and execute according to your instructions.

Estate administration can be complex and the people you have designated must have competent and experienced counsel to guide them through the process. They must make important decisions – sometimes quickly – and they need help to make them wisely. They may need to prepare inventories of your property, prepare tax returns, or sign other important documents on your behalf. Ultimately they must divide and distribute your property to those individuals or charities you identified in your will or trust agreement.

The estate administration process carries a lot of responsibilities. We can help guide your loved ones through the process as sensitively and completely as possible, and will try to make it as straightforward and efficient as possible.

Trust Administration

A living trust is a legal document that, just like a will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. But, unlike a will, a living trust can avoid probate at death, control all of your assets and prevent the court from controlling your assets if you become incapacitated.

Upon the death of a trust maker our law firm offers legal services to your successor trustee. The trustee is responsible for seeing that the assets of the trust are distributed properly and in a timely manner. An overview of the valuable guidance we provide includes:

Review of the trust document
Gathering of all trust assets
Explanation of trustee responsibilities
Estate Tax Analysis
Collection of death benefits
Creation of sub-trusts
Dissolution of trust

Who Gets What in Pennsylvania?

Under intestate succession, who gets what depends on whether or not you have living children, parents, or other close relatives when you die. Here’s a quick overview:
   If you die with:
   here’s what happens:
  • children but no spouse
  • children inherit everything
  • spouse but no descendants or parents
  • spouse inherits everything
  • spouse and descendants from you and that spouse
  • spouse inherits the first $30,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balance
  • your descendants inherit everything else
  • spouse and descendants from you and someone other than that spouse
  • spouse inherits 1/2 of your intestate property
  • descendants inherit everything else
  • spouse and parents
  • spouse inherits the first $30,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balance
  • parents inherit remaining intestate property
  • parents but no spouse or descendants
  • parents inherit everything
  • siblings but no spouse, descendants,
    or parents
  • siblings inherit everything


Johnson Estate, 4 Fid.Rep.2d 6, 8 (O.C. Del. Co. 1983)

Attorney’s Fees:
Value of Estate
% of Estate
 $0.01 to $25,000.00
 $25,000.01 to $50,000.00
 $50,000.01 to $100,000.00
 $100,000.01 to $200,000.00
 $200,000.01 to $1,000,000.00
 $1,000,000.01 to $2,000,000.00
 $2,000,000.01 to $3,000,000.00
 $3,000,000.01 to $4,000,000.00
 $4,000,000.01 to $5,000,000.00
Regular Commission P.O.D. Bonds and Trust Funds
Transfer Joint Accounts
Assets Which Are Taxable at One Half Value
Non-Probate Assets up to 1,000,000
Non-Probate Assets
Joint Accounts Fully Taxable: 
Full Commission

Philadelphia area Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney Dahlia Robinson-Ocken offers creative planning in the areas of estate planning, elder law planning, wills, revocable living trusts, long-term care asset protection planning, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, guardianships, irrevocable trusts, living wills, estate, probate and trust administration, probate avoidance, asset protection and planning for physicians, tax planning, lawsuit protection planning (including professional malpractice lawsuit protection planning), planning for minor children, faith-based planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits planning and resources, charitable planning and gifting, special needs and disability planning, estate tax planning, business law and succession planning, and Medicaid applications and long-term care crisis planning. Dahlia serves the entire southeastern Pennsylvania and southern and central New Jersey region, including Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, King of Prussia, Springfield, and Conshohocken in Pennsylvania, as well as Camden County, Gloucester County, Burlington County, and Mercer County in New Jersey.