Probate and Trust Administration

When your loved one has just passed away, you don’t want to worry about estate administration.  You need attorneys who are experienced, efficient and caring.  Let us take care of court filings, contacting insurance companies and preparing asset transfers to beneficiaries so you don’t have to.

    What is probate?

  • Probate is the process, supervised by the court, of transferring a deceased person’s estate to beneficiaries.   It includes filing an Inventory, which describes the value of all the assets in the estate as of the date of death, and a final accounting, which describes the claims paid during administration and how the assets of the estate are distributed.

    • Which assets by-pass probate?

  • Some assets are not subject to probate, including many jointly held assets, and those with a beneficiary designation.  Real estate held jointly with right-of-survivorship (common among spouses) and joint bank accounts pass automatically to the surviving owner.  Life Insurance, retirement accounts and other accounts with a beneficiary designation may be claimed directly by the named beneficiary and are not subject to a probate proceeding.

    • Do I need to open a probate for my loved one’s estate?

  • A probate is not necessary if the assets that would pass through probate total less than $50,000.  This is common after a first spouse passes away if most of the couple’s assets were held jointly.  It may also occur if most of a person’s assets pass through beneficiary designations.  If an amount less than $50,000 needs to be administered, an interested person can use a Transfer by Affidavit rather than open a probate.