When a loved one passes away, the survivors typically go through a period of heightened emotions, including denial, anger, depression, and grief. If you recently lost someone close to you, the last thing you probably want to think about are the legal ramifications of your loved one’s death. If you were appointed as the Executor of the estate or the Trustee of a trust, however, it means your loved one is counting on you to oversee the probate of the estate and/or the administration of the trust. Given the complexity of both probate and the living trust administration, coupled with the grief you are undoubtedly experiencing, it is in your best interest to work closely with the probate lawyers at Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. to ensure that costly mistakes are avoided.
Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. represents executors and trustees who take on the responsibility of overseeing the probate and trust administration process after a death. We also represent heirs and beneficiaries throughout the process. To find out more about how our firm can assist you, give us a call at (775) 823-9455
Probate is the legal process that is usually required after a death to distribute the estate of a decedent. If you were named as the Executor of the estate, or you volunteer to oversee the administration of the estate because the decedent died without a Will, you must navigate the probate process from start to finish. Although no two estates are exactly the same, there are several common steps you are likely to encounter during the probate process, including:
You may also find yourself in charge of administering a trust after the death of a loved one if you were appointed to be the Trustee by the Settlor (creator of the trust). Many people elect to use a trust as their primary instrument for the distribution of their estate assets because assets held in a trust bypass the probate process. Consequently, trust assets can be distributed to the intended beneficiaries immediately after the death of the Settlor instead of waiting for the conclusion of the probate process. Parents who have a minor child also frequently add a testamentary trust to their estate plan as a way to protect the minor child’s inheritance because a minor cannot inherit directly from the estate of a parent. The fact that the terms of a trust agreement remain private, unless there is a need for litigation, is yet another reason why a trust may be chosen to distribute an estate.
If you find yourself appointed as the Trustee of a trust, and have never before served as a Trustee, the advice and guidance of an experienced trust administration attorney will be invaluable. As the Trustee, your duties and responsibilities will be complex and time-consuming. Your primary job as Trustee is to manage and protect the trust assets. You will also be responsible for investing and distributing the trust assets using the terms created by the Settlor. In addition, you have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust that requires you to use the utmost care when carrying out your responsibilities as Trustee. Finally, you must understand and abide by all state and federal laws, including tax laws, that apply to the trust. Working with a trust administration attorney at Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. is the best way to avoid costly errors during the administering of a trust.