Probate is the legal process to transfer property which is not held in trust, which is not jointly owned, and which otherwise does not transfer automatically to the decedent’s heirs. The court procedures and statutes that control administration of the estate can be confusing, especially when grieving the loss of a loved one.
Whether you have been appointed as the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate or you are an heir or beneficiary seeking to ensure that the probate estate is properly administered, the attorneys at Barrow & Grimm are available to provide professional legal counsel and knowledgeable representation to individuals and families involved in the probate process.
The most common method of estate planning to transfer assets upon death involves the creation and proper funding of a trust during a person’s life. The person designated in the trust document to administer the trust assets is the trustee. A trustee is also a fiduciary, meaning that they owe the highest duty to protect the assets in the trust and to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
It is important to fully understand the duties and obligations involved with administering a trust and ultimately distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. If a trustee fails to meet their responsibilities and duties, or if a trustee’s actions are in conflict with the best interests of the beneficiaries, the legal consequences can be quite serious. A trustee should strongly consider seeking legal counsel during trust administration to properly fulfill their role.
While serving as trustee and administering a trust involves great responsibility, it can also be quite rewarding as you carry out the decedent’s wishes. The attorneys at Barrow & Grimm are available to guide the trustee through the trust administration process and provide assistance to the trustee in fulfilling their legal responsibilities.