Probate And Trust Administration: It Is Not Easy Work
Ask anyone who has done it, administering a trust or an estate after someone dies (and sometimes beyond) can be a lot of work. Many times, a family member is thrust into a completely unfamiliar role, at a very stressful and difficult time. We can help guide a fiduciary through the maze of post-mortem administration — or step in and do the work for you.
How We Can Help
For an estate that is subject to probate, members of our firm prepare the necessary paperwork to appoint a personal representative (or “executor”); attend the hearing, if one is necessary; and then work with the individuals step by step through what needs to be done, including required publication and mailing of notice, determination of creditors, filing with the IRS and Arizona Department of Revenue, obtaining a Taxpayer Identification Number, determining the applicable periods of limitation, advising on distributions, and eventually closing the estate.
For smaller estates and non-probate transfers, we can prepare affidavits to collect assets; prepare and record paperwork to transfer real estate; help collect life insurance proceeds; and advise on the options for distributions from IRAs, 401(k) plans and other inherited retirement vehicles.
For trust administration, we can ensure the trust estate is administered appropriately in accordance with both state law and the trust’s terms; assist with notification of beneficiaries and creditors; and assist with the ultimate distribution of assets.
For continuing trusts, we can represent trustees or beneficiaries in court for more unusual situations arising from trusts, including modifications, reformations, corrections, and terminations. We also can help resolve disputes, help trustees prepare accountings, and help beneficiaries understand and assert their rights to information.
For estates of all sizes and duration, we can assist with filing appropriate tax returns (including estate tax returns in larger estates or for portability), and advise and represent you in the event a dispute arises.
Like our goal in estate planning, our goal here is to determine what needs to be done in any given situation. Every estate is different, and the actions required depend on many variables, including the specific wording in the estate planning documents; the types of assets, their titling and beneficiary designations; and the family dynamic.