Estate, Probate and Trust Administration
Good stewardship that protects future generations
Our lawyers bring a compassionate approach to helping families through transitions after death. We can act as trustee or administrator for the estate or work closely with you and/or your heirs and beneficiaries to help them fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities as executors and trustees. In the event that trusts have been set up for the benefit of incapacitated persons or minors, we also represent guardians in their role as administrators of such funds.
The probate process refers to the process of filing a will in court and administering the estate. If you have a will upon your death, your will must be “probated.” That is, a filing must be made with a probate court and the court, more particularly a judge, will oversee the administration of your estate. An executor will be chosen to carry out the financial issues and dispositional wishes outlined in your will. If you die without a will, a similar process (referred to as intestacy) will occur.
We are available to guide you through the four types of probate paths in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont: full administration, summary administration, ancillary administration, or waiver of estate administration. Whether your estate requires a full probate administration or a less formal settlement process, we have the experience necessary to protect the interests of beneficiaries.
In the area of trust administration, we are ready to provide the necessary bookkeeping, management of important financial and legal issues that commonly arise in the administration for on-going trusts, provide guidance on fiduciary duty and proper investment management and frequently represent fiduciaries in connection with the filing of interim accounts, or other uncontested proceedings before the courts. Generally, we coordinate efforts with other financial professionals such as planners and accountants to ensure compliance with all regulatory laws governing an estate’s administration.
The administration of the estate or trust of a deceased individual requires certain standard procedures in order to distribute assets in accordance with their wishes. These procedures can seem onerous in an already difficult time, and we are available to assist you with the collection and valuation of assets, notices to appropriate parties, preparation and filing of all necessary forms, inventories and tax returns (estate, inheritance, gift and income taxes), and the sale of real property and business interests.