Trust & Estate Administration

Whether an estate plan is carefully organized in advance or very few arrangements are in place, the death or incapacity of an individual usually requires others to take charge of his or her affairs and assets. This process is often called ‘administration’ and it may refer to a formal probate proceeding in Probate Court, a formal conservatorship or guardianship. In a well-organized estate plan, the need for formal court proceedings can often be avoided through the use of the concepts referred to under Estate Planning. But in some circumstances, proceedings in Probate Court are valuable or necessary.

The process of such an administration following death can also involve estate and tax issues, the preparing and filing of estate tax returns and payment of taxes. For this purpose a decedent’s assets often have to be formally appraised and reported to taxing authorities.

Key concepts in trust and estate administration include:

  • Determination of incapacity
  • Management of an incapacitated person’s affairs through a conservatorship or guardianship
  • Estate planning for incapacitated individuals through Probate Court proceedings
  • Administration of a decedent’s assets and affairs following death with or without Probate Court proceedings
  • Using the Probate Court’s authority to gain control over assets
  • Resolving disputes concerning a trust or a will though Probate Court
  • Determining and paying estate taxes
  • Post-death estate planning opportunities, including disclaimers and other concepts

We have a great deal of experience in dealing with these and similar matters. Our trust and estate administration attorneys are Robert R. Johnson and Denae L. Oatey and our trust and estate administration paralegal is Elizabeth Holihan.