WILLimgHave you been appointed as a trustee or executor? Whenever a person passes away, his or her estate needs to be collected, managed, and distributed. Estate administration is the probate court process by which the decedent’s assets are gathered together, debts are paid, and the remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries.  Trust administration is a private out-of-court version of accomplishing the same thing as an estate administration (but without the headaches of probate court).  As a fiduciary, utmost care is required to do the job well (and avoid getting sued by a creditor or beneficiary).

Merrill A. Hanson knows what it takes to wind up an estate, administer a trust, and he strives to wind up your loved one’s affairs outside of probate court as efficiently as possible. Most trust administrations require assistance in the following areas:

  • Trust interpretation
  • Preparation of statutory Notice to Beneficiaries
  • Preparation and recording of documents with the Registrar Recorder/County Clerk
  • Inventory of assets and liabilities
  • Obtaining trust tax identification number
  • Negotiation with creditors
  • Preparation of trust asset allocations and assistance with distributions
  • Trust Accounting
  • Business Succession
  • Changes in title
  • Coordination with other professionals for preparation of tax returns
  • Annual maintenance programs to assist with ongoing trust administrations

Most probate court connected estate administrations require assistance in the following areas:

  • Identifying and locating beneficiaries
  • Filing a petition for administration of the estate with the probate court
  • Collecting and marshaling assets
  • Performing creditor claim procedures and sifting through claims
  • Filing an inventory and appraisal
  • Selling real estate
  • Accounting
  • Closing the estate

If litigation cannot be avoided, Merrill A. Hanson can represent a Trustee or Beneficiary in court, including but not limited to:

  • Will contest
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Failure to Account
  • Trust interpretation or modification

Compliance with laws and fiduciary duties in a quick and efficient manner is key to a smooth estate administration. To avoid probate court, start with a properly written estate plan.