Probate and Trust Administration

When a loved one passes, often there is much grief and stress in the aftermath of such a heartbreaking event. Hopefully, the decedent has a valid Will and, as necessary, a properly drafted trust. Probate is the legal procedure in which a probate court assumes jurisdiction over the assets of a person who has died. The court supervises and approves the payment of creditors of the estate, unpaid taxes, and probate fees, and, finally, the distribution of the remainder to persons/beneficiaries named in a Will, or to the decedent’s heirs if there is no Will. The probate process can be cumbersome and expensive in the event the decedent failed to have a Will and a Formal Administration is required. Less so, if the decedent properly titled his/her assets and utilized a Trust to avoid probate for as many assets as possible. In this case, a Summary Administration may apply if the value of the decedent’s estate is less than $75,000 (not including exempt assets such as a homestead). In fact, probate may be avoided entirely if the decedent had a fully funded Trust.

We offer the experience, sensitivity and patience to guide duly appointed personal representatives of probate estates through the probate process. We attempt to lift, if not eliminate, as much of the burden of these processes as possible to permit family members to focus on each other and resolve the difficult aspects resulting from the death of a loved one.

If you are reading this section of our website and are seeking counsel on a probate matter, please know that our prayers are with you and your family. We hope that you will contact us to provide legal advice and guidance to you and your family through this difficult time. Please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Trust administration involves overseeing the assets held in a Trust. The duties involved in trust administration vary depending on the nature of the trust created. The trustee of a Trust has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the Trust by not only protecting the assets of the Trust, but also acting in the best interest of the Trust beneficiaries. On trust administration matters, we have substantial experience providing legal advice to and representing institutional, corporate and individual trustees. Furthermore, we understand the internal policies and procedures that must be followed by an institutional or corporate trustee and provide guidance, accordingly. If you are a trustee in need of legal advice for a trust administration, please do not hesitate to call us for a complimentary consultation.

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