The probate and trust administration processes can both take place after someone has passed away; however, there is no guarantee either will be necessary. The specific steps which have to be taken after a death will depend upon what estate planning, if any, the deceased did before passing away. Unfortunately, family and friends may be confused about what is actually involved in the probate or trust administration processes or even about what legal processes must occur when their loved one has passed on.
When you are a friend, family member, trustee, executor, or heir, you need to know what to do after a death and you must understand how to fulfill your role in protecting an inheritance and following the deceased person’s wishes.
Hodgkins Law, PLLC can help. Our Maine trust administration lawyer offers invaluable advice throughout the process of transferring assets after a death. Give us a call at 207-358-3270 to find out more about the personalized help we can offer in your situation and to get answers to questions including:
- Why are probate and trust administration needed?
- What is involved in probate and trust administration?
- How can a Maine trust administration lawyer help you?
Why is Trust Administration Needed?
When someone passes away, the deceased likely owned at least some property and had at least some assets. There must be some type of formal process used to make sure the money and other assets which belonged to the deceased will go to the person who the deceased would have selected.
The trust administration processe exist to ensure the wishes of the deceased person are carried out. Trust administration involves the trustee named in the trust document helping to ensure he wishes of the deceased are fulfilled.
Not only does trust administration make it possible to determine what the deceased would have wanted, but there are also other steps that are part of this process. This could include notifying creditors of the death so they can make claims on the estate; filing a tax return on behalf of the estate; paying taxes on the estate if required; and otherwise carefully managing assets before new owners take possession.
Without a formal process, families could fight over property and property belonging to the deceased could simply be taken. While the formal processes of probate and trust administration can sometimes seem frustrating and confusing – especially when coping with grief – they are effective processes to make asset transfer easier.
What is Involved in Probate and Trust Administration?
The trust administration process involves someone who is in charge of carrying out the wishes of the deceased. In trust administration, the person in charge of carrying out the wishes of the deceased is called the trustee.
Both trust administrators as well as executors and personal agents all have tremendous responsibilities during the probate process and during the trust administration process. Fulfilling these responsibilities can be complicated, especially since the trustee or executor is expected to manage assets carefully and act at all times in the best interests of the deceased and the property’s new owners.
Trust administrators and executors or personal agents need to know the formal legal rules, including how to address tax issues. While trust administration happens outside of court in most cases, executors will also be responsible for filing all appropriate paperwork with the probate court. An attorney can provide assistance with this complicated process.
An attorney can also help heirs to ensure executors and trustees are doing their job. Those who stand to inherit, or who believe they should have inherited under a valid will, can monitor what is occurring during the probate or trust administration process and/or can take steps to challenge the will. An attorney can offer guidance on options.
How can a Maine Trust Administration Lawyer Help?
A Maine trust administration lawyer at Hodgkins Law, PLLC can offer comprehensive advice about the asset transfer processes that are triggered after a death. We know the rules for making sure the wishes of a deceased person are respected and that the law is followed. We also work hard to protect people who stand to inherit, as they deserve to have their family legacy kept safe. Give us a call today at 207-358-3270 to learn more.