Just as every family is unique, every estate is different and the administration of each trust or plan depends on myriad variables. Administering a trust is a complicated process for someone unfamiliar with current law. Once someone begins working as the trustee for a trust, he or she has a fiduciary duty to the Grantor and to the beneficiaries named in the trust. This duty to safeguard and distribute assets, carrying out the wishes of the Trust Grantor can be a tedious, time consuming, often frustrating job for someone who has never acted in such a capacity.
Yet, if someone makes a mistake as the Successor Trustee, that person is liable and can be held legally responsible for the error. We often guide Successor Trustees so that they don’t step onto one of those unknown traps.
Camille has an extensive experience base is administering trust estates. We are happy to guide trustees who are unfamiliar with trust and estate matters to assist them in completing the Grantor’s wishes.
The term “Probate” refers to the Court oversight and administration of Last Wills and Testament of decedents. Many people think that if a person who has died had a Last Will and Testament, that no probate will be required. In fact, the opposite is the case. If a person died owning property and other assets, Probate is required to transfer those assets to others.
A Will only has weight or power after a Judge has certified it to be valid and that it lays out the true wishes of the deceased individual. This is the beginning of Probate.
Once a Will is introduced in probate, the Court oversees every transaction made on behalf of the estate, from sending notice to all who may be creditors of the deceased to paying those creditors and all other expenses of last illness and funeral. Finally, the Court must identify the heirs-at-law and review the distribution scheme set out in the Decedent’s Will. This process lasts several months, at a minimum, to years, at a maximum, and the process can be emotionally and financially costly.
We have represented clients in Probate Court for over 30 years and are well acquainted with the process. We are committed to making this process as painless and easy for our clients as possible. Camille is familiar with the intricacies of the probate world and works to see that each estate in her care is administered appropriately, with an eye on financial efficiency and timeliness.
We often recommend that clients consider creating a trust and appropriately fund that trust for use in handling the distribution of one’s assets after death in order to avoid the entire probate ordeal.
Call us at 918.749.0606 if you find that you have questions.