Legal Guidance For The Duties Of Estate Administration
When you are chosen to settle the estate of a loved one or administer a trust, you soon realize it is a daunting responsibility. There is a long list of tasks and many rules. Where do you even start?
The probate lawyers of Darling & Wilson, PC, offer close support to executors and administrators to manage the duties as efficiently as possible and in compliance with California law. We help you get organized and understand each of your tasks, and we are here to resolve any issues that arise during the process.
Our firm handles probate and estate administration in Kern County, Tulare County and throughout California. When you are ready for legal help, call us at 661-325-5075.
Navigating The Probate Process
In most cases, when a person passes, their estate must go through a legal process called probate. The objective of the probate court is to make sure the deceased person’s obligations are satisfied and that the remainder of the estate is distributed to the proper beneficiaries either in accordance with the will or (if there is no will) in accordance with the California laws of intestacy.
The executor named in the will or (if the person died without a will) the court-appointed administrator is responsible for:
- Opening the estate in the county probate court
- Gathering all the assets
- Locating and notifying heirs
- Paying creditors
- Filing taxes of the estate
- Managing distributions to heirs and beneficiaries
- Final counting and reporting
Trusts are separate from a person’s estate and thus do not go through the probate process. But administering a trust can still be complicated and time-consuming. Our lawyers are well-versed in estate planning, including the creation of various types of trusts. That enables us to advise trust administrators (trustees) on the duties of managing and settling a trust after the grantor has died. Some trusts are set up to distribute assets directly to the beneficiaries while others may distribute funds over several years or upon milestones, such as getting married or graduating from college. We assist with managing investments, making distributions and closing down the trust once all funds have been depleted.
We Also Do Probate And Trust Litigation
Darling & Wilson, PC represents heirs and beneficiaries, excluded heirs, and executors and trustees in estate-related disputes. Our experienced litigators have handled will contests, breach of fiduciary duty and lawsuits over the distribution of trusts. Our goal is to resolve messy conflicts among families as efficiently as possible to tamp down feuds and get the administration of the estate back on track.
Call Us For Help With Settling An Estate
Even with a will, probating estates can become very difficult and/or contentious. Having good representation during this process is essential for compliance with California probate law and addressing any obstacles or legal disputes. You can count on our experienced, patient and helpful attorneys to guide you through every step of the process. If you live far from the Central Valley or in another state, we can assist with many of the tasks via phone, mail and email to limit the cost and expense of travel.