Estate Administration

 

estate administration document safe boxIf your family has experienced the loss of a family member, we can assist you with the legal process that occurs when a loved one passes away. Our guiding principle is to provide families with quality Estate Administration services tailored for each client.

If your deceased loved one had a Revocable Trust, the family will go through a process called Trust Administration. The successor Trustee will take over management of the decedent’s assets immediately so that he/she can pay the decedent’s debts and distribute assets to the proper beneficiaries.

The first phase of a Trust Administration involves identifying assets and securing information, including appraisals where appropriate, to determine the value of the assets for estate administration purposes. State and federal estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns may be required, and we pride ourselves on having the appropriate experience and expertise to prepare these returns, file them on a timely basis, and defend them against challenge by the Internal Revenue Service. We also provide guidance with respect to the sale of assets where appropriate, and the eventual distribution of the estate in accordance with the governing documents and pertinent law. We often utilize a team consisting of your primary lawyer and a paralegal who specializes in estate administration to most efficiently and cost effectively administer an estate.

Disputes by Beneficiaries

It is a sad fact that often the beneficiaries and estate administrators or trustees do not fully agree on the manner in which the estate should be distributed. It is therefore extremely essential to have legal counsel available to you so any property or possessions are not distributed to your detriment and without your full understanding. We know these unexpected situations can arise and we are here to help you if you have a concern regarding a trust, either as the beneficiary or trustee.

We are active in all phases of estate and trust administration. We will work closely with individual and corporate executors and trustees to ensure that they properly fulfill their duties in a cost-effective manner. This assistance includes inventorying and valuing assets, maintaining books and records, preparing state and federal tax returns, arranging for the distribution of income and principal of assets, and preparing all documents, including accountings, which are required by the Probate Courts. Our goal is to relieve our clients of the substantial day to day burdens of estate and trust administration.

The administration of a trust after death is important, and it is sometimes more important than the creation of the trust. We are committed to making sure your best interests are taken care of in any legal matter. This is especially important to you in trust management as there may be many small details that can overturn the appropriate distribution of the trust assets.