Estate Administration

After the death of a loved one, it is advisable for you to meet with an attorney to see if any legal work needs to be completed. Estate administration is the legal process of gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying that person's debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets as prescribed by law. If the person who died had a legally valid Will, the person died "testate." If the person who died did not have a legally valid Will at the time of his or her death, the person died "intestate." The deceased person's Will should name the persons, trusts or organizations who will inherit, and if the person died intestate, the heirs will be identified according to state law. The person in charge of the estate administration is known as a "personal representative" or " executor" or "administrator".

Probate is the court-supervised process of estate administration. Having a Will does not mean your estate will have to be probated. Some estates are probated; others are not. If you aren't sure whether an estate should be probated, contact an attorney in the state where the deceased person lived. Under certain circumstances an estate will need to be probated in more than one state.

Our firm can guide an executor through the process of probate, estate administration, wills/trusts, the preparation and filing of inheritance tax returns, and asset distribution after the death of a loved one.