Divorce Estate Planning LGBT Estate Planning Estate Planning for Women
Litigation Definitions

Probate and Administration of Trusts and Estates

Klenk Law specializes in trusts, wills, estate planning, probate, will challenges and will contests, with offices in Philadelphia, Bucks County, Allentown, New York and New Jersey.

Both Executors and Beneficiaries of an estate may need a Probate Attorney to advise them and to represent their rights. Much of this advice is simply to help the beneficiary or executor understand the complex probate process. Our Probate Attorneys regularly represent clients at the Register of Wills, Surrogate, Superior Courts and Orphans’ Courts. From our offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County) Voorhees, New Jersey and Allentown (Leigh County) we serve as Probate Lawyers for clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida.

What is Probate?

An Executor’s Probate Attorney

A Beneficiary’s Probate Attorney

What are the Executor’s or Administrator’s Duties and Responsibilities?

What is a Personal Representative’s Accounting?

Where is an Estate Probated?

What Tax Returns Does an Executor File?


Contact our Probate Department, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

What is Probate?

Probate refers to the process where the State or Commonwealth recognizes the executor or administrator as the estate’s official representative. The person wishing to serve as executor submits a petition, often prepared by a Probate Attorney, along with the original Will and an original death certificate to the Register or Surrogate. If there is no Will, the Probate Attorney instead prepares a petition for administration. If all is in order, the executor or administrator then receives documents proving that he or she is the estate’s official representative. Probate has begun.


Contact our Probate Department, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

An Executor’s Probate Attorney

I am an Executor, Why do I need a Probate Lawyer?
No matter where the estate is located, Center City Philadelphia; Broward County, Florida; Atlantic County, New Jersey; or New York City, New York, the Executor or Administrator is Personally Liable for errors that harm the beneficiaries. When an executor hires a Probate Attorney that Estate Lawyer’s primary job is to advise and protect the executor. A Probate Attorney guides the personal representative through the probate process which may include a multitude of responsibilities, such as the sale of real estate and personal property, completing many different tax returns, shutting down companies, and managing disputes between beneficiaries. Most important for the executor, the Probate Attorney also obtains a complete release of liability for the executor from beneficiaries. This is true whether the estate is in Center City Philadelphia; Broward County, Florida; or Atlantic County, New Jersey.

How is the Probate Attorney Paid?
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and New York the law allows an executor, administrator or personal representative to retain legal advice, paid for by the estate.

How Much is the Probate Lawyer Paid?
While other Probate Lawyers demand a percentage of the estate as payment, we do not. At our law offices we bill hourly. Different rules about payments exist, such as in Bucks County, Pennsylvania a Probate Attorney may charge a “reasonable rate”, but in Camden County, New Jersey a Probate Attorney is guided by a guideline that reflects a percentage of the estate as payment. Wherever the estate is located, be it Palm Beach County, Florida or Burlington County, New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers charge the same hourly rates which we quote to the client in an engagement letter and bill monthly.

What Does the Probate Attorney Do?
The Probate Attorney represents the executor or administrator and helps them follow the complex rules and laws surrounding estates. Though every estate is different, typical examples of what the Probate Attorney does for the executor are gather the estate’s assets, obtain the information necessary to prepare the estate’s fiduciary tax returns, prepares inheritance and estate tax returns, communicate with difficult beneficiaries and obtain liability releases for the executor. When hired by an executor, the Estate Attorney’s primary duty is to protect the executor from personal liability. The executor is personally liable for mistakes they make, the Will Attorney and Trust Lawyer help make sure no such mistakes are made. The Will Attorney protects the executor or administrator.

What Can The Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk Do for My Case?
Since opening his firm in 1996, Peter L. Klenk, Trusts and Estates Attorney, has done nothing but work in the area of Probate, Trusts and Estates. It is all we do!

We regularly represent executors, administrators and personal representatives and guide them through the probate process. We work with you to analyze your particular estate and advise you of what options exist to bring the estate to a close. Our firm provides services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. As Probate Attorneys we focus our practice exclusively on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of an Estate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

For a Free Initial Consultation:

In Pennsylvania, our Probate Lawyers will file your petition with the Register of Wills.

In New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers will file your petition in either at the Surrogate’s Office or Superior Court.

We have offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown (Bucks County), Allentown (Lehigh County), and Voorhees, New Jersey. We serve as Probate Attorneys to clients in all counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida. If you are outside the greater Philadelphia area and still would like to speak to us about representing you please contact us for a free initial consultation.


Contact our Probate Department, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

A Beneficiary’s Probate Attorney

I am a Beneficiary, Why Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
Beneficiaries have rights, but sometimes it is difficult to get the executor to respect these rights. No matter where the estate is located, Center City Philadelphia; Broward County, Florida; Atlantic County, New Jersey; or New York City, New York, the Executor or Administrator can be forced to provide information to a beneficiary and is Personally Liable for errors that harm the beneficiaries. When a beneficiary hires a Probate Attorney that Lawyer’s primary job is to advise and protect the beneficiary. A Probate Attorney guides the beneficiary through the probate process and, when necessary, petitions the court to seek enforcement of the beneficiary’s rights. Before a beneficiary gives the executor a release from liability, the Probate Attorney can help analyze if any liability may exist. This is true whether the estate is in Center City Philadelphia, Broward County, Florida or Atlantic County, New Jersey. The procedures may differ, but the basic concerns remain unchanged.

How is the Probate Attorney Paid?
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and New York the law allows a beneficiary to retain a Probate Attorney to represent them. In most cases the Beneficiary is responsible to pay that Attorney. In certain circumstances, the estate can be compelled to pay the Attorney fees and in other circumstances an executor can be surcharged and forced to pay the Attorney’s fees.

How Much is the Probate Lawyer Paid?
While other Probate Lawyers demand a percentage of the estate as payment, we do not. At our law offices we bill hourly. Wherever the estate is located, be it Palm Beach County, Florida or Burlington County, New Jersey, our Estate Lawyers charge the same hourly rates which we quote to the client in an engagement letter and bill monthly.

What Does the Probate Attorney Do?
The Probate Attorney represents the beneficiary and helps guide them through the complex rules and laws surrounding estates. Though every estate is different, typical examples of what the Estate Attorney does for the beneficiary are communicate with problem executors, interpret estate tax returns, petition for accountings and negotiate with other beneficiaries. When hired by a beneficiary, the Attorney’s primary duty is to serve the interests of the beneficiary.

What Can The Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk Do for My Case?
Since opening his firm in 1996, Peter L. Klenk, Trusts and Estates Attorney, has done nothing but work in the area of Probate, Trusts and Estates. It is all we do!

As Probate Attorneys, we regularly represent beneficiaries and guide them through the probate process. We work with you to analyze your rights in the particular estate and advise you of what options exist so you can obtain the benefits due to you. Our firm provides Probate Lawyer services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. As Probate Attorneys we focus our practice exclusively on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of a Probate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

For a Free Initial Consultation:

In Pennsylvania, for further information, please contact:

In New Jersey, for further information, please contact:

We have offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown (Bucks County), Allentown (Lehigh County), and Voorhees, New Jersey. We serve as Probate Attorneys to clients in all counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida. If you are outside the greater Philadelphia area and still would like to speak to us about representing you please contact us for a free initial consultation.


Contact our Probate Attorney Staff, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

What are the Executor’s or Administrator’s Duties and Responsibilities?

Executor Duties and Responsibilities?
Once a probate petition is accepted, the executor’s or administrator’s job is to gather all the assets, pay creditors, satisfy all income/inheritance/estate taxes, and then distribute the remaining assets as the Will directs. Each estate is different and the amount of work and responsibility may vary. The estate’s location will also effect the personal representative’s responsibility. A Philadelphia estate must make certain reports to the Philadelphia Register of Wills, which are completely different for the reporting for a Palm Beach County estate’s reports to the Palm Beach County Surrogate. Strangely, even within a state the various reporting standards may differ. The reports required for a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania estate to the Montgomery County Register of Wills are different from those required for a Bucks County, Pennsylvania estate to report to the Bucks County Register of Wills. A Probate Attorney can advise the executor on these reports. In the end, before distributing any funds, the executor should submit a report of what has been done to the beneficiaries and obtain a complete release of liability. Without this release, the executor can be forced to return to court years later and account.

As Probate Attorneys, we regularly represent executors, administrators and personal representatives and guide them through the probate process. We work with you to analyze your particular estate and advise you of what options exist to bring the estate to a close. Our firm provides services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. We focus our practice exclusively on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of a Probate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost free initial consultation.


Contact our Probate Department, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

What is a Personal Representative’s Accounting?

Accountings
An executor’s accounting is the report of the executor’s financial actions from the date the executor began serving until the end. It shows what was collected, what happened to those assets, any gain or losses on those assets and, in the Schedule of Distributions, how the executor plans to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.

Why Should the Executor Prepare an Accounting?
To obtain a release from liability to the beneficiaries, most beneficiaries will require the executor to show what has been done and where the assets that the deceased owned at death have gone. The accounting provides this information.

Can the Beneficiaries Force the Executor to Prepare an Accounting?

Yes, by petitioning the appropriate court an order maybe obtained.

What if I don’t have the Records to Show Where the Estate Assets Have Gone?
If the numbers do not add up, the executor maybe found personally responsible for any shortfall.

I am an Executor, How Can a Probate Attorney Help me with an Accounting?
When filing an accounting, the courts require the account to follow a specific format. The accounting must also be submitted with a specific petition. These petitions and reports vary. An accounting filed in Palm Beach County, Florida will differ from one filed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Further, accountings and the accompanying petitions may vary from County to County within each State. An accounting filed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania varies from one filed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and an accounting filed in Camden County, New Jersey varies from one filed in Burlington County, New Jersey. An Attorney who focuses in accountings is familiar with these differences.

I am a Beneficiary, How Can a Probate Attorney Help me with an Accounting?
At times an executor may refuse to provide a beneficiary with an acceptable accounting. Every county, from Broward County, Florida to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has a system that allows a beneficiary to force the executor to provide an accounting. An Estate Attorney can help the beneficiary obtain this accounting. Once obtained, the Probate Attorney can help the beneficiary interpret the accounting.

The probate Attorney helps make sure that all of the numbers add up. Contact us for a free initial consultation if you have questions regarding probate.

How is the Beneficiary’s Probate Attorney Paid?
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and New York the law allows a beneficiary to retain a Probate Attorney to represent them. In most cases the Beneficiary is responsible to pay the Probate Attorney. In certain circumstances, the estate can be compelled to pay the Probate Attorney and in other circumstances an executor can be Surcharged and forced to pay the Probate Attorney’s fees.

How is the Executor’s Probate Attorney Paid?
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and New York the law allows an executor, administrator or personal representative to retain legal advice, paid for by the estate.

How Much is the Probate Lawyer Paid?
While other Probate Lawyers demand a percentage of the estate as payment, we do not. At our law offices we bill hourly. Where ever the estate is located, be it Palm Beach County, Florida or Burlington County, New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers charge the same hourly rates which we quote to the client in an engagement letter and bill monthly.

What Can The Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk Do for My Case?
Since opening his firm in 1996, Peter L. Klenk, Trusts and Estates Attorney, has done nothing but work in the area of Probate, Trusts and Estates. It is all we do!

We regularly represent both executors and beneficiaries and guide them through the probate process. Our firm provides services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. We focus our practice on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of a Probate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

For a Free Initial Consultation:

In Pennsylvania, for further information, please contact one of our Probate Lawyers by selecting below:

In New Jersey, for further information, please contact one of our Probate Lawyers by selecting below:

We have offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown (Bucks County), Allentown (Lehigh County), and Voorhees, New Jersey. We serve as Probate Attorneys to clients in all counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida. If you are outside the greater Philadelphia area and still would like to speak to us about representing you as a Probate Attorney please contact us for a free initial consultation.


Contact our Probate Attorney Staff, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

Where is an Estate Probated?

Where do I Probate the Will?
A will is Probated in the County that the deceased person last resided. For a list of Pennsylvania Registers of Wills, CLICK HERE. For a list of New Jersey Surrogates, CLICK HERE. For a list of Florida Surrogates, CLICK HERE (coming soon).

How do I Probate the Will?
Each County is charged with probating its citizen’s Wills. In some states this is done by a person called the Register of Wills, in other states the title is Surrogate. The procedures vary. Filing a Will in Broward County, Florida is very different from filing a Will in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Further, procedures vary between counties, such as between Atlantic County, New Jersey and Camden County, New Jersey. In general, the person appointed as executor will file a Petition for Probate along with the original Will and Death Certificate.

How is the Probate Attorney Paid?
In New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York the law allows an executor, administrator or personal representative to retain legal advice, paid for by the estate.

What Can The Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk’s Probate Attorneys Do for My Case?
Since opening his firm in 1996, Peter L. Klenk, Trusts and Estates Attorney, has done nothing but work in the area of Probate, Trusts and Estates. It is all we do!

As Probate Attorneys, we regularly represent executors, administrators and personal representatives and guide them through the probate process. We work with you to analyze your particular estate and advise you of what options exist to bring the estate to a close. Our firm provides Probate Lawyer services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. As Probate Attorneys we focus our practice exclusively on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of a Probate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

For a Free Initial Consultation:

In Pennsylvania, For further information, please contact:

In New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers will file your petition in either at the Surrogate’s Office or Superior Court. For further information, please contact one of our Probate Lawyers by selecting below:

We have offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown (Bucks County), Allentown (Lehigh County), and Voorhees, New Jersey. We serve as Probate Attorneys to clients in all counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida. If you are outside the greater Philadelphia area and still would like to speak to us about representing you as a Probate Attorney please contact us for a free initial consultation.


Contact our Probate Department, Peter L. Klenk, Senior Probate Lawyer.

What Tax Returns Does an Executor File?

I am an Executor and Tax Returns must be filed, Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
It is important that all tax returns are filed correctly and in a timely fashion. No matter where the estate is located, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Palm Beach County, Florida; Burlington County, New Jersey; or New York City, New York, the Executor or Administrator is Personally Liable for errors that harm the beneficiaries. Filing a late tax return means interest and penalties, which the executor may have to pay from his or her own personal funds. When an executor hires an Attorney that Lawyer’s primary job is to advise and protect the executor. Probate Lawyers are well versed in preparing all estate related tax returns and can help make sure all returns are filed correctly and timely.

How is the Probate Attorney Paid?
In Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York the law allows an executor, administrator or personal representative to retain legal advice, paid for by the estate.

How Much is the Probate Lawyer Paid?
While other Lawyers demand a percentage of the estate as payment, we do not. At our law offices we bill hourly. Different rules about payments exist, such as in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania a Probate Attorney may charge a “reasonable rate”, but in Mercer County, New Jersey a Probate Attorney is guided by a guideline that reflects a percentage of the estate as payment. Wherever the estate is located, be it Palm Beach County, Florida or Camden County, New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers charge the same hourly rates which we quote to the client in an engagement letter and bill monthly.

What Can The Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk’s Attorneys Do for My Case?
Since opening his firm in 1996, Peter L. Klenk, Trusts and Estates Attorney, has done nothing but work in the area of Probate, Trusts and Estates. It is all we do!

We regularly represent executors, administrators and personal representatives and guide them through the probate process. We have been preparing estate related tax returns for over 15 years. We work with you to analyze your particular estate and advise you of what options exist to bring the estate to a close. Our firm provides Probate Lawyer services throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida from our offices in Philadelphia, Doylestown (Bucks County), Ardmore (Montgomery County), Allentown (Lehigh County) and Voorhees, New Jersey. As Probate Attorneys we focus our practice exclusively on Probate and Estate Planning. We bill by the hour, not taking a percentage of the estate. Other lawyers may do some probate, but are they dedicated to the practice of Probate, Trust and Estate law? Are they well versed in the practice and procedures of the Orphans’, Superior and Surrogate Courts? If you are in need of a Probate Lawyer, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

For a Free Initial Consultation:

In Pennsylvania, For further information, please contact:

In New Jersey, our Probate Lawyers will file your petition in either at the Surrogate’s Office or Superior Court. For further information, please contact one of our Probate Lawyers by selecting below:

We have offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown (Bucks County), Allentown (Lehigh County), and Voorhees, New Jersey. We serve as Probate Attorneys to clients in all counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida. If you are outside the greater Philadelphia area and still would like to speak to us about representing you as a Probate Attorney please contact us for a free initial consultation.

Our offices are located in Center City Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Doylestown, Allentown, Voorhees, New Jersey, and New York. We provide legal representation to clients in all counties in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

All Counties we serve in Pennsylvania:

Adams County, Allegheny County Armstrong County, Beaver County, Bedford County, Berks County, Blair County, Bradford County, Bucks County, Butler County, Cambria County, Cameron County, Carbon County, Centre County, Chester County, Clarion County, Clearfield County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Crawford County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Elk County, Erie County, Fayette County, Forest County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Greene County, Huntingdon County, Indiana County, Jefferson County, Juniata County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lawrence County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, McKean County, Mercer County, Mifflin County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Perry County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Potter County, Schuylkill County, Snyder County, Somerset County, Sullivan County, Susquehanna County, Tioga County, Union County, Venango County, Warren County, Washington County, Wayne County, Westmoreland County, Wyoming County, and York County.

All Counties we serve in New Jersey:

Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County and Warren County.