Administering Estates through Intestate Succession, Probate, and Trust Administration
When someone passes away, legal steps are necessary to permit transfer of the decedent’s assets to the new beneficiaries. These steps involve the process of gathering information about and value of assets owned by the decedent, handling the debts of the decedent and then distributing the assets to the new rightful owners.
That process is required in one form or another whenever someone passes away. Depending upon the nature of the assets owned and the manner in which they were owned, it typically falls within one of 3 categories:
Small Estate Administration • Probate • Trust Administration
We regularly help our clients plan away from the probate process by establishing living trusts and “funding” assets into those trusts.
We also regularly handle estate administrations when someone passes away. It’s a significant part of our practice. If someone dies without a trust or with some assets not owned by the trust, we first examine opportunities to transfer of those assets without probate. It that can’t be done, we handle the probate process. Our attorneys and paralegals are experienced and comfortable working through the court system to probate estates.
Oftentimes new clients will have the conception that planning through use of a living trust means that no estate administration is necessary at death. This is a misconception. As noted above, there are always legal steps that need to be handled when someone passes away, even on the passing of the first spouse. But, a living trust does provide significant cost and time savings when compared to probate.