If a loved one, relative, family member or significant other has passed, the matters of their estate must be finalized. Our experienced attorneys can assist you during this trying time. The term estate commonly refers to all the possessions of one who has died. Estate administration may involve probate (administration supervised by the court) when a person dies intestate or having only a Will. When a person dies having a living trust, estate administration is referred to as trust administration and will involve administering the decedent’s possessions pursuant to the terms of the trust. Probate administration, can be a lengthy and complex process. The purpose of probate administration is to marshal all estate assets, ensure that all valid debts of a decedent are paid and transfer all remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries of the decedent. Probate administration proceeds under the supervision of the court who appoints the personal representative. Our trust and estates attorneys are well versed in probate administration and can help streamline the process. More importantly, our attorneys are experienced litigators in the probate arena and will use their expertise to obtain the best possible outcome.
Trust administration, typically, does not require court supervision. However, if a dispute arises or the trust agreement is silent or vague, the court’s involvement may be necessary. The complexity of trust administration is often determined by the terms of the trust and the relationship between the beneficiaries and the trustee. The role of the trustee in a trust administration is to marshal all trust assets and comply with the terms of the trust, all for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. Our experienced trusts and estates attorneys will guide and advise the trustee to ensure that he or she is meeting all fiduciary obligations. Additionally, if you are a beneficiary who feels that a trustee is in violation of his or her fiduciary obligations, our experienced attorneys can advise you on your rights and options.
Estate administration may also refer to administration of a conservatee’s or ward’s assets, known as conservatorship and guardianship, respectively. Our trusts and estates attorneys are experienced in representing both family member executors/trustees and professional fiduciaries.