Our approach to handling an estate provides you with the best possible service, at the most appropriate time, in the most efficient manner. Our experience has shown that full service is the best approach, and costs you less in the long run.
The Need for Probate
When a person passes away, someone will need to open an estate at the courthouse. This is usually the person named as the Executor in the will. If the deceased person did not have a will, this would be a family member, who would then be called the Administrator. (Executor and Administrators are often referred to as the Personal Representative.)
There are some small estate proceedings we can use when the deceased person did not own real estate or if there is a surviving spouse.
(If everything is titled in the name of a trust, then the court is not involved.)
The Personal Representative’s Job
The Personal Representative then begins handling the assets and the bills of the estate. Handling an estate is a process with a particular order, so we assist clients in taking it one step at a time, explaining what needs to be done as we approach each step. When you are grieving for a family member or friend, we try not to overburden you with too much information all at once.
When you hire us, we will assist you, the Personal Representative, with closing financial accounts and transferring assets into accounts in the name of the estate. We assist with all steps, beginning with opening the account, obtaining the tax identification number, ordering the checks, writing checks for you to sign, making all deposits, reconciling the accounts, and finally closing the account once the estate is closed. In doing so, we are already preparing your accounting to the court.
We have developed relationships with financial institutions and processes for making this process as efficient as possible. We do this every day. When we are not involved in these steps, estates become more complicated, and it costs the estate more in attorney’s fees as we try to track down information, fill in the blanks, correct information, etc.
If you hire us, let us help you. Clients often try to save money by proceeding on their own, such as paying bills, distributing assets, contacting creditors, making deposits themselves or establishing the estate account. However, in all of those cases, the client ends up paying more in attorney’s fees as we do not have all of the information we need and cannot advise the client each step of the way.
The courts and legal system can be a difficult maze to understand, especially when you are mourning a recently deceased family member or friend. We can help ease the process.
Our office works with the Executor or Personal Representative (“PR”) or the Trustee in administering the assets, creditors, and distributions involved in an estate or trust. We can assist the PR with all of these steps, as well as more complicated situations, such as the sale of real estate, or methods of handling disputes among the heirs and beneficiaries. The probate process can be emotional, as well as paperwork intensive. We make that necessary process much easier for you.
We also handle guardianships. We can help you through the difficult legal process of declaring a family member incompetent, and then handling the guardianship accountings with the court.
Call or email today to schedule an appointment for a free personalized consultation with the attorney.