We know that working through the demands and requirements of administering a loved one’s estate can be challenging and overwhelming. Because of this, we not only design and implement estate plans, we also help clients fulfill their duties as Trustees and Personal Representatives in administering the plans after the death of a loved one. Many don’t even know where to start but with our help are able to avoid the hidden landmines always present in the administration process.
Generally, if assets were in the name of the deceased at the time of their death, Probate is required to have someone appointed as the Personal Representative with authority to transfer the assets. Probate is the court-supervised process of transferring assets from the deceased to his or her heirs. This process involves filing the proper legal documents, providing required notices to all necessary parties, marshaling and valuing assets, settling outstanding debts and making the appropriate property distributions to beneficiaries. Failing to promptly and accurately fulfil these necessary duties may lead to personal liability of the Personal Representative.
Trust Administration is a similar process, except that the assets are owned by a Trust, and the administration process is generally managed privately by a Successor Trustee without court supervision. Even though performed without court oversight, having our firm assist with the administration of the trust can help the Successor Trustee avoid the inherent risks present in the administration process and limit their exposure to personal liability. This is especially true if the trust is complex or contains a large amount of assets.