If you are the executor of an estate in Pennsylvania, you should understand when the state will step in. In most cases, if you are doing your job properly, the state will not interfere. If you have a will rather than a trust, you have to probate it in order to be appointed as the executor. Luckily, Pennsylvania has a very simple and inexpensive probate system. If all of the members of the family agree with you as the executor, you are able to opt out of most of the probate process and enter into a family settlement agreement. If done properly, the only contact you have with the state of Pennsylvania is when you file your state inheritance tax return. Once you have done that, you will be able to distribute the assets to family according the agreement. For more information, call the Law Office of Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees at 610-933-8069 or visit for free resources.


David M. Frees, III
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Attorney, Speaker and Author