What We Do   >   Probate & Trust Administration

Distributing Your Assets

When someone dies, there is work to be done.

Assets have to be identified and managed.  Bills have to be paid. And ultimately, assets have to be distributed to their proper new owner.  These responsibilities are handled by the administrator or executor of the estate if the deceased person owned the assets in their individual name.  If the deceased person had a living trust, and if the assets had been retitled into the name of the trust, the responsibility for the administration of the estate falls on the Trustee.  If you have experienced the loss of a family member, we can help you with the legal process to ensure the proper transfer and disposition of your loved one’s assets, the protection of minor children, and other important issues and concerns. We can guide you through the probate process or through the administration of a trust, where applicable. Our experience and compassion can be a source of comfort at a difficult time in your life. As experienced estate attorneys, we can add value by assisting the responsible person in filing the appropriate tax returns, satisfying requirements of the probate court and facilitating the ultimate transfer of the assets as the deceased person intended.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process by which the State ensures that the assets of a deceased person are distributed, after payment of debts and taxes, in accordance with the terms of that person’s will — or, if there is no will, according to state law.  The probate process may be relatively simple, or much more complicated, depending on a number of circumstances, including the types of assets included in the probate estate, the debts of the decedent, and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate.  We can assist you throughout the probate process, regardless of the nature and complexity of the probate, and regardless of your interest in the probate estate.

What is Trust Administration?

When a person dies leaving a valid trust, a Trust Administration becomes necessary to carry out the wishes of the decedent’s as written in his or her trust. A trust is a contractual relationship in which trust assets are given from a Trustor to a Trustee. The person who created the trust, the Trustor, appoints a Trustee to administer the trust upon their passing and essentially distribute the assets to the named beneficiaries in the trust. A Trustee must act in their fiduciary capacity in the administration of a trust, which means the Trustee has an obligation to protect the trust assets and the interests of the beneficiaries. If you have been appointed as a Trustee or are currently acting as a Trustee, we can assist you in fulfilling your fiduciary duties.

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