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Probate & Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away, it is often a difficult and overwhelming time for family and friends.  We can help you carry the load by working with you to handle the estate matters.  From small to large estates, there are many considerations in any estate administration process, and we walk clients through each step of the process.  This is a journey that we are happy to help you navigate.

Estate administration requires the Executor or Administrator to take actions, some immediately and some along the course of administration.  These actions must be managed proactively to close the estate.  The Executor or Administrator has legal duties and the process of estate administration must be handled with the utmost care and diligence. 

The goal is to work with fiduciaries to see the estate administration process completed as efficiently as possible.  We enjoy working with various other professionals from accountants, realtors, insurance agents, appraisers, estate clean-out services and others.

Probate and Estate Administration
  • Determining if there is a Will or Wills

  • Determining if a small estate proceeding can be utilized

  • Determining family information

  • Handling issues with respect to distributees (next of kin)

  • Handling initial probate matters to prove the Will

  • Handling Will contests

  • Handling the opening of safe deposit boxes

  • Working with personal injury attorneys to commence an estate proceeding in light of a potential wrongful death action

  • Reviewing the fiduciary or fiduciaries to be appointed and preparing all necessary paperwork to file with Surrogate's Court

  • Obtaining fiduciary appointment(s)

  • Determining the rights of all interested parties pursuant to state law and any Will(s)

  • Determining assets

  • Protecting and insuring assets

  • Marshalling estate assets

  • Handling estate litigation matters

  • Handling right of election claims

  • Handling exempt property entitlements

  • Handling turnover proceedings

  • Handling discovery and related proceedings regarding lifetime power of attorney transactions

  • Handling real estate as a very important estate asset that needs special attention

  • Determining potential timelines for managing items within the estate

  • Filing personal income tax returns, if necessary

  • Handling out-of-state property, if applicable

  • Opening an estate checking account

  • Filing tax returns for the estate for income taxes and potentially estate taxes

  • Handling any creditor claims

  • Handling any complications that may arise within the estate

  • Handling distributions appropriately

  • Preparing an accounting

  • Preparing paperwork for beneficiaries receiving distributions from the estate

  • Handling issues within the accounting process, including Judicial Settlement

  • Closing the estate in Surrogate's Court

Each estate is unique, with any number of matters to be handled.  At any step along the way, there may be concerns or difficulties.  In a general sense, the following may be handled within the probate and estate administration process:

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