Losing a loved one is usually one of the most emotional events of your lifetime. Understandably, you may not be thinking about the legal ramifications of your loved one’s death; however, there are legal procedures that must be followed when someone dies. If your loved one left behind a Last Will & Testament and you were named as the executor you will need to begin the probate process. If the decedent created a trust prior to death and you are the trustee of the trust, you will also have duties and responsibilities to the trust and the trust beneficiaries. The advice and guidance of an estate planning attorney at this time is invaluable.
The probate and trust administration attorneys at the Mendel Law Firm, L.P. can help you through this difficult time by providing competent, yet compassionate, legal advice and guidance to you and your family. Contact us today by calling (281) 759-3213 or by filling out our online contact form to find out how we can be of assistance.
The Probate Process
Probate serves two primary purposes. First, probate is the legal method by which all assets owned by the decedent are identified, located, valued, and ultimately transferred to beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. The other purpose of probate is to allow creditors of the estate the opportunity to file claims against the estate. As executor of an estate your duties begin with filing the proper documents to begin the probate process and do not end until all taxes have been paid and all property has been legally transferred to the new owners. Probate can be a time consuming and complicated process which is why most executors retain the services of an attorney to assist throughout the process.
Administering a Trust
As the trustee of a trust you have a fiduciary duty to the trust and to the trust beneficiaries. You must carefully manage and prudently invest trust assets. In addition, you are responsible for communicating with beneficiaries and distributing trust assets according to the trust terms. You may even have discretion to approve disbursements when you see fit to do so. In short, the position of trustee is an important and complicated one, which is why many trustees depend on guidance and assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney.
At the Mendel Law Firm, L.P. our probate and trust administration attorneys are committed to helping you navigate the legalities that commonly follow the death of a loved one so that you can concentrate on the grieving process. Contact us today by calling (281) 759-3213 or by filling out our online contact form to find out how we can help you.