When a loved one dies, their estate needs to be administered to wrap up all outstanding matters. This is commonly an emotional and challenging time for the family. Guidance from a knowledgeable legal professional can help you through the process in a timely and efficient manner.
Probate is a legal proceeding which establishes the validity of a Last Will & Testament, and appoints an individual or organization as the deceased person’s representative. The representative is most often the person named in the Will to act as executor. The executor then identifies and inventories the deceased person’s property, pays the debts and taxes, and finally distributes the deceased person’s property according to the Will. If there is no Last Will & Testament, then your estate will be distributed to your descendants pursuant to state law.
Estate administration of someone who has died, and had a Trust, is done most often without court involvement. The representative, or trustee, is responsible for managing payments of medical bills and other outstanding debts, and distribution of remaining assets – all according to the decedent’s wishes as set forth in their Trust.