When a family member has passed away, it is usually necessary to administer that person’s estate. That process is also called “probate.” We help many clients with the estate administration process. Our goal is to make the process as easy for you as we are able. We will do as much or as little of the administration work as you would like. Some clients are pleased to be relieved of the burden of administering the estate, and want us to handle every detail, which we will gladly do. On the other hand, some clients prefer to have us only prepare the legal documents, with them doing the remainder of the activities such as paying estate bills and handling personal property. We are willing to work with clients on that basis as well.
While there is no need to “fear” probate, as is sometimes thought, it is a process with its own rules, procedures and deadlines. It is easier to get through that process with a lawyer who knows those rules, procedures and deadlines well. For example, unless one is a lawyer, one wouldn’t likely know that the estate can shorten ordinary statutes of limitation for creditors by properly giving notice of the opening of the estate. As another example, few persons who aren’t lawyers would know the time deadline to deny a claim the executor believes the estate does not justly owe.
Executors and administrators owe what is called a “fiduciary duty” to the estate beneficiaries. A lawyer’s assistance can reassure the executor, administrator and beneficiaries that the duty is being met. This can help avoid misunderstandings and disagreements among family members.
Our firm is ready to assist you on estate administration matters.