Estate administration (also known as probate) and trust administration is what happens when the creator of the estate plan dies. It can be a fairly quick and easy process or it can be a protracted one, often depending on the complexity of the assets involved, the debts of the deceased person, and the degree to which the surviving family members cooperate with one another.
This can be an emotionally stressful time for the executor or trustee; they are often simultaneously grieving the loss of a loved one while trying to manage assets and navigate a process which can seem confusing at times. Beneficiaries and other family members may have many questions about the process, which need to be appropriately addressed in order to keep the parties informed and confident that their interests are being protected. The attorney’s role is to guide the executor or trustee through the process as economically and expeditiously as possible in order to facilitate the garnering of assets, payment of debts, filing of tax returns, and transfer of property to beneficiaries.