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Probate / Trust Settlement

"Probate" is a court-supervised process for transfer of the assets of a person who has passed away to his or her rightful heirs or beneficiaries in a manner that protects the rights of debtors and creditors, as well as the heirs and beneficiaries. There are a range of different procedures which are authorized to carry out the probate process, depending on factors such as the amount of assets, the presence or absence of conflict among the interested parties, and whether any claims are being asserted against the assets which are disputed.

Completing the probate process properly is important, not only from the perspective of carrying out the wishes of the person who has died, but also in order to avoid challenges from creditors, claimants, disaffected would-be beneficiaries or others. The probate process must also be accomplished properly in order to avoid federal or state income and/or estate tax problems.

"Trust settlement" refers to a comparable process of distributing assets according to the terms of a trust in light of the death of the person or persons who established the trust or some other primary beneficiary. As people have learned of the benefits of planning with trusts, they have increasingly become the primary method for transferring assets to beneficiaries. While this approach is generally much easier and more streamlined versus probate, it still needs to be completed properly, and we are happy to provide this kind of help as well.

When we represent clients in probate proceedings or in matters involving settlement of a trust, our goal is to make the process as quick, easy and efficient as reasonably possible. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard enough. While we cannot change that, we can help to make the process of getting the related legal issues resolved as painless as possible.

To discuss how we can help with a probate proceeding, please feel free to schedule an initial consultation.

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