Probate & Guardianships
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. If your loved-one owned his or her assets through a well drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased. The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.
Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:
- Filing of a petition with the proper probate court.
- Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists).
- Petition to appoint Executor (for a Will) or Administrator for an Estate.
- Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
- Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
- Sale of estate assets.
- Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
- Final distribution of assets to heirs.
LAWRENCE & ASSOCIATES, INC., handles all aspects of probate, will contests, intestacy proceedings and administration of estates, from initial petitions and marshaling of assets through income and estate tax management, renunciations and disclaimers, accountings and all related proceedings.
Our attorneys are highly experienced in all aspects of trust administration and management. We work with beneficiaries in improving trustee responsiveness in administration and investment matters and any potential or actual breach of fiduciary duty. We also work with trustees in resolving differences with beneficiaries, ensuring that all trustee actions are consistent with the trustee’s duty of loyalty, and we are experience with a host of compliance matters. We handle all types of trust accountings, and address conflicts and differences with the goal of resolution using both alternative dispute resolution techniques and formal litigation in the Probate Court.
If you would like further information about a probate estate or a trust, please contact us for a no-cost initial consultation. email@example.com