Our Estate & Trust Administration Services
Serving as the Personal Representative or Trustee on behalf of a deceased friend or family member can be a heavy load. We are here to help shoulder the burden and to assist you with your fiduciary duties. As the Personal Representative or Trustee, you have a responsibility to the heirs of the estate or the beneficiaries of the trust. If you fail to uphold your duties or take action in the wrong sequence (for example, pay off creditors in the wrong order), then you can be held personally liable. The stakes are high, but we are here to make sure your actions are beyond reproach!
Many people name a trusted family member or friend as their Trustee. Often, the designated Trustee has no financial, investment, asset-management, or legal background. Yet, taking on the Trustee role is a big responsibility. Since the Trustee is responsible to the beneficiaries for every decision and every action or inaction with respect to the trust, the Trustee can be sued for mismanaging trust assets, failing to invest assets prudently, not acting with reasonable skill, care, and caution, not properly communicating with beneficiaries, not following the terms of the trust, not preparing proper accountings, and more.
These risks are why it is advisable—at a minimum—to have an attorney as a "back-stop" if you are serving as a Trustee. Going it alone is dangerous and puts your family and your assets at risk. We can serve as legal advisors to the Trustee. We can also step into the Trustee role and take all of the Trustee duties off your shoulders.
Whether you are looking only for advice or wanting a more involved partner, we are here to serve! The first step to partnering with us on a trust administration is to use the scheduling link at the top of the page or to click here to schedule an Initial Consultation for Trust Administration.
In the absence of a trust, the estate is likely going to end up before the probate court in some way, shape, or fashion. There are several different types of estate administration, and each type has its own set of rules and requirements. If you start down the wrong path or file in the wrong county, you will be forced to start over again. Think of the children's game "Chutes and Ladders." You can be 3 blocks from the finish line, yet after one tiny misstep, you can suddenly find yourself sliding back down the board and having to climb your way back up again. The same is true with probate.
The most important decision you, as the Personal Representative, have to make at the start of the case is which "door" to the courthouse you are going to use. Below, we've given you a snapshot of the most common probate "doors."