Trust Administration & Probate
The law is about Reason, but families are about Emotion. When a loved one passes away, his or her estate may go through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration. If your loved one held his or her property in a properly funded living trust, the successor trustee is responsible for administrating the trust according to its terms.
The administration of a living trust upon the death of the trustor involves many issues, including sending out statutory notices, identifying and taking inventory of trust property, paying debts of the decedent, identifying and locating heirs and beneficiaries, paying taxes, and distributing the trust assets to the beneficiaries. These required steps can be daunting and can be especially difficult to traverse when you are grieving.
You may find yourself in a situation in which you believe that your interest in the estate of a parent or other loved one has been compromised by the actions of someone else. I am experienced in dealing with these sorts of problems. I have successfully gone to court to right these sorts of wrongs.
Whether a death is expected or unexpected, and whether or not siblings and beneficiaries get along, emotions run high. Uncertainty can make the process even more distressful. I feel it is important for the client not only to know what steps should be taken, but the reasons for each step in the process, including establishing a reasonable timeline in which the trust or probate administration should conclude.