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Wills and Estate Administration

Many people have misconceptions about the Probate process.   Probate is the legal process of administering a person’s assets after death and distributing those assets to those designated in a Will or who are heirs-at-law.  We can assist you with defining non-Probate assets, advising you on the benefits of jointly-held property and identifying assets with contractual beneficiaries.

 

We can assist you with:

 

- The Preparation of Wills

 

A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign as it distributes your Probate assets after death and nominates a Personal Representative (Executor) to take custody of those assets, pay your creditors and distribute the remainder of your Estate to your heirs.

 

- The Preparation of Trusts

 

A Trust is a legal entity that enables you to control your assets for the benefit of those you designate as beneficiaries.  Trusts come in several types and are usually designed to avoid probate and to quickly transfer assets upon death.

 

- The Administration (Probate) of an Estate of which you are the Personal Representative (Executor)

 

If you have been nominated as a Personal Representative (Executor) you have several legal responsibilities in the administration of that Estate.  Let us help you carry out that those responsibilities by informing you of your duties and working with you to discharge those duties.

 

- An Estate where there is not any Will

 

This is a called an Intestate Estate.  We can help you define and locate heirs-at-law, prepare necessary Court filings and provide you with experienced and appropriate counsel.

 

- The Voluntary Administration of a small Estate

 

This process has been recently simplified but still requires Court filings.  It is usually used to distribute a small bank account or other Probate asset.  Even if the deceased left a Will, this may be an option if there is less than $25,000.00 in Probate assets, excluding the value of the deceased’s automobile.