Administrative Services

Estate administration is the legal process by which assets and obligations of the decedent are consolidated, so that his or her obligations can be efficiently paid and assets distributed to beneficiaries. All estates must be administered in one of two ways: probate or trust administration.

Probate Administration
The probate process is a Court supervised proceeding that establishes the validity of a will, or if there is no will, establishes and controls a decedent’s estate. The Court provides judicial oversight to ensure accuracy in accounting for the decedent’s assets, protection for the rights of the decedent’s creditors, and fairness in the treatment of heirs. When there is no will, assets are distributed according to a statutory scheme outlined in The Probate Code. Without competent legal counsel, the process can take years.

Trust Administration
While a revocable living trust may avoid probate, there is still much legal work that is necessary after a death. The tasks involved are often beyond the ability and resources of the successor trustee. The assistance of legal counsel can save thousands of dollars and countless hours of frustration and confusion.