When a person dies with assets in his or her name alone without a beneficiary or joint owner, those assets are part of the deceased person’s “estate”. The “estate” must then be probated (whether or not there is a Will) in order for the assets to be distributed to the deceased person’s beneficiaries. This process typically involves: applying to be appointed Personal Representative (formerly known as Executor), marshaling the assets of the estate, paying any valid claims against the estate, filing tax returns, filing the appropriate court documents and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
When a person dies with assets in the name of a trust, probate is not needed. However, the trust must be administered. Trust Administration requires the Trustee to prudently invest trust property, make distributions as outlined in the trust, file tax returns and to account to the beneficiaries as provided in the trust.
Identification of estate and/or trust assets and liabilities
Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative (formerly known as Executor)
Preparation of Inventory
Preparation of Accounting/s
Assistance in coordinating appraisals of tangible assets and real property
Supervision of estate and/or trust receipts and distributions
Preparation of disclaimers for tax planning
Assistance in coordinating preparation of fiduciary income tax returns