Probate and Estate Administration

What to Do When Someone Dies

Assisting families and successor trustees after the death of a loved one with estate administration and probate.

When a loved one passes, it is an understandably stressful time. It can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. It is important that you get the right advice on important steps to take and things to avoid in the death administration process.

We have years of experience advising and guiding families through this difficult time. We encourage you to call us first before attempting to handle the estate on your own. One of the first questions you will have is if you need a lawyer. We can arrange a quick consultation to help you understand what services you will need.

We will ask you these questions:

  1. Is there a Will and/or Trust?
  2. What is the value of the estate?
  3. How are the assets titled?
  4. Are there beneficiary designations?
  5. Are there any creditors?

Estate Administration

When a person dies, their assets will be managed and transferred to heirs, beneficiaries and creditors through a process called estate administration. If the deceased person (decedent) had prepared an estate plan with a living trust, then court involvement, or probate, can often be avoided, and the process is called trust administration.

However, probate is sometimes required even with a living trust, because the decedent neglected to retitle property into the Trust, called trust funding. In fact, we find that this occurs very frequently. This is why we are committed to helping our clients with trust funding after we work with them to create an estate plan.

Estate Administration includes tasks like:

  • Asset Inventory and Valuation
  • Distributing and Re-titling Assets
  • Managing Life Insurance, Pensions, and Annuities
  • Preparing Tax Documents
  • Transfer of Business Ownership
  • Filing of Relevant Documents
  • Dealing with Creditors
  • Probate Services

More about probate