Estate administration

Estate administration

The firm handles all aspects of estate administration, including the probate of a person’s will. The will provides for the payment of debts and taxes and dictates how assets are distributed upon death. Estate administration also includes the transfer of non-probate assets, such as trust assets, life insurance, annuities, and qualified plans, in compliance with applicable estate tax requirements.

While it normally takes four to six weeks for the executor or administrator to be appointed by the Court, the responsibilities of the executor to carry out the provisions of the decedent’s will or to comply with the laws of intestacy also include the following:  federal and state estate tax returns are due within nine months of death and creditors have twelve months from date of death to file claims against an estate.  Once all debts, expenses and taxes have been paid and all of the decedent's assets are distributed in accordance with the plan the estate can be closed.  There are usually certain options open to the executor to avoid or minimize estate taxes which will be considered.  If you have questions concerning this process please contact us for further explanation.

Our lawyers assist the personal representative of the estate in the gathering, valuation, accounting and distribution of the decedent's assets. We prepare federal and state estate tax returns as well as the appropriate documents in order to release liens on a decedent's real estate. We will represent the estate in any federal or state estate tax audit.  It is our responsibility to assure that all steps are properly taken in order to carry out the decedent's wishes.