Probate Administration refers to the process that occurs when an individual’s property must be transferred and distributed after his or her death with the assistance of a Probate Court. Many assets pass to other people upon death without court oversight, such as jointly held bank accounts, or life insurance and 401K’s that have beneficiary designations. However, if an individual dies owning property in his or her own name, Probate Administration will be necessary whether the individual died without a will (“intestate”) or having had a will (“testate”). Our office is able to assist executors, administrators and families in navigating the complex rules of the Probate process.
Many of our clients establish living trusts as components of their estate plan. While the individual creating a revocable trust typically retains control of the trust assets, circumstances become more complicated when the trust creator dies or is unable to act as trustee. At this time, the successor trustee’s duties may be significantly more complex than those of the original creator, and potential liability may occur if the successor fails to follow the necessary procedures and directions of the creator. Our office regularly assists trustees through the transitional process of trust administration by advising clients as to the legal responsibilities of trustees and educating them about state-specific laws relating to trust administration.