It is important to meet with an attorney when a loved one passes away. After death planning, or “post-mortem planning” includes reviewing the steps you need to take in order to deal with the assets of the individual who has died, but also to determine if the change in circumstance requires a surviving spouse or child to update his or her plan.
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate may go through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. If your loved one owned assets in a trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased’s assets. The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate or trust administration depends on the size and complexity of the estate.
Our office represents personal representatives (executors) and trustees who have been named in a decedent’s Will or Trust to take charge of assets after a person dies. To protect the personal representative and/or trustee, we make sure that all of the proper steps are taken to notify interested parties, collect information on assets, pay liabilities and taxes, and ultimately distribute inheritance to beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s instructions.
If there is a surviving spouse, the process is usually straight forward, but a surviving spouse may need to update his or her estate plan.
After-death planning can seem complicated and overwhelming. We work closely with clients to simplify the process, minimize expenses and distribute assets to beneficiaries as quickly as possible.
If a loved one has recently passed away, or you would like to make sure you have a plan to make things as easy as possible for your loved ones when you die, Please call us today for a consultation.