The Process Of Probate And Estate Administration
Many people have misconceptions about probate and estate administration. One of our first tasks is to clear up any questions or concerns right away. Each estate is handled according to its own unique circumstances.
Basically, administering an estate is a process in which you gather up all of the assets of the decedent, set down the values of the assets, liquidate portions to the extent needed to address expenses and the costs of administration. After all this, the rest is distributed according to your last wishes, last will and testament or other estate planning instrument.
Often, we see insolvent estates because of the increased prevalence of payable or transfer on death accounts which do not pass through probate. These would include accounts such as life insurance proceeds and 401(k) accounts. This means they are not subject to creditors’ claims. Currently, there is no estate tax planning required, but rather we have shifted to income tax planning given the current status of the law.
Sure You Could Try To Do This Yourself, But Why Would You?
Estate and probate administration is fraught with the possibility for mistakes. If you make a mistake, it is very difficult to fix and may cost you more money in the end, especially if you have to litigate or face a will contest. Hiring an attorney can make the process simpler, more cost effective and easier. At a difficult time, an experienced lawyer can shift the burden off of you and your family.
We offer free initial consultations, so there is no harm to coming in and meeting with us. If you don’t need a lawyer, we will tell you that. We really are focused on keeping costs at a minimum and moving you forward toward resolution. We also believe that having good legal counsel and solid advice — even if only for an hour — is key to a successful outcome.