A Mourning Widow Thinking About 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. We can schedule a consultation to help you understand what services you will or will not need from an attorney.

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?

Take the time to grieve. We’ll be here when it’s time for the next step.

Rarely is it necessary to open probate with the court right away or begin Trust Administration immediately, so please take time to be with your family and grieve the passing of your loved one. In the interim, before your consultation, please click below for some estate administration guidelines:

What to do when someone dies

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. (Learn more about Probate here.)

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