Probate and Trust Administration
 

Probate is the process of transferring assets from the name of someone who has died to someone who is living with the assistance of the probate court. Probate is necessary when a person's estate plan consists of only a will or no plan at all, and they die with assets titled solely in their name.

Trust administration is the process of transferring assets from a trust created by a person while living, with the assistance of one or more trustees appointed by the person who created the trust. It can be completed privately and without the assistance of the probate court.


The probate and trust administration process begins with an event that triggers a provision in your estate plan, such as incapacity or death. When that even occurs, the individuals you designated in your plan documents must step into action and carry out your instructions. It is important that those who you designate to handle these matters know about your wishes and where you have placed your planning documents so that they will be accessible when needed. 

Estate administration can be complex and the people you have designated should have competent and experienced counsel to guide them through the process. They must make important decisions, sometimes quickly, and they need help to make them wisely. They may need to prepare inventories of your property, prepare tax returns, or sign other important documents on your behalf.  Ultimately they must divide and distribute your property to those individuals or charities you identified in your will or trust agreement. Those you appoint to take these responsibilities must be people you trust completely. Without professional guidance, many who serve in these capacities make costly mistakes that can cause them heartache and result in loss to the family of the deceased person.

The estate administration process carries a lot of responsibilities. Russ can help guide you and your loved ones through the process as sensitively and completely as possible, and assist those who are responsible avoid risk and loss in the process.