Our firm would be more than glad to help you execute a last will or a trust to facilitate asset transfers to your loved ones after you are gone. Every situation is different, so we can gain an understanding of your legacy goals, your family dynamic, and the nature of your assets. We will explain your options, and you can ultimately choose the asset transfer vehicle that is right for you and your family.
If you engage us to create a last will, our work is not necessarily done after the document has been completed. A last will must be admitted to probate after the passing of the testator. This is the legal process of estate administration. The executor or personal representative that you name in the last will would administer the estate under the supervision of the probate court. Use our Probate Calculator to estimate the probate fees for estates over $150,000, but less than $10,000,000.
Many people appoint a family member or trusted friend to act as the personal representative. This is perfectly fine, but a layperson with no experience dealing with the probate court will often be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the tasks involved. Plus, the estate must be administered in accordance with California state laws. In many cases, the executor will not know where to begin.
The good news is that a probate lawyer can be brought in to facilitate a smooth passage through the process. You could arrange for our firm to assist your personal representative after your passing when you initially execute your last will. Of course, even if arrangements have not been made in advance, we can be called upon to provide assistance.
Trust Administration Lawyers
There are multiple different types of trusts that can be utilized to satisfy varying objectives. A trust that is a very popular alternative to a last will is the revocable living trust. The individual that establishes a living trust is called the grantor, and the trustee serves as the trust administrator. Beneficiaries are named, and they will receive monetary distributions from the trust after the passing of the grantor.
Initially, the grantor will serve as the trustee and beneficiary. Successors are named in the trust agreement, and many people will appoint a family member or associate to act as the successor trustee. This situation is similar to the scenario that unfolds with an estate executor. Immediately after the passing of the grantor of the trust, the trustee may not understand how to proceed.
This is where a trust administration lawyer can enter the picture to help the trustee take all the right steps. Once again, if you work with us to create a revocable living trust, we would be perfectly positioned to assist with the trust administration tasks after you pass away.
Representation for Inheritors
We can also be engaged by inheritors that need advice and/or representation during the probate or trust administration process. You may not know exactly what you are entitled to and when you should expect to receive it. In some cases, a disinherited family member may want to contest the validity of a last will during probate, and a beneficiary can file a lawsuit to initiate a trust challenge. If you feel as though the terms of a will or trust are not valid for one reason or another, we can be engaged to review the situation and make the appropriate recommendations.