Estate & Trust Administration is a significant legal responsibility. When you accept responsibility for distributing the assets of an estate, you also assume risk, as mistakes can have legal and financial implications for you.
If a decedent established a living trust, no probate is necessary to transfer their assets to the intended heirs. The designated Trustee’s responsibilities for administration include paying the decedent’s debts and distributing his or her assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s Will. A Trustee may find it very beneficial to hire a qualified attorney to assist them in this administration to insure that they are complying with state and federal laws, and following the directives in the Will.
When a person dies with only a Will and no estate plan documents, in most cases, their estate will be subject to probate. This is undesirable, due to the costs and delays of the probate system, which generally lasts between nine months and two years after the decedent’s death.
Probate fees paid to the Executor and the estate attorney are set by statute, and are based on the market value of the estate. Additional fees may also be incurred if tax returns are filed, real estate is sold, or if other work must be performed on behalf of the estate.
Even if the decedent is survived by a spouse, it may be useful to hire an estate attorney. For instance, if some or all of the couple’s assets were titled in the name of the deceased, financial institutions require a court order to re-title assets in the name of the surviving spouse.
Vasiliadis Pappas are experts in Trust & Estate Administration. They are fluent in Pennsylvania probate laws and are familiar with the issues that often arise during estate and trust administration. They can assist you in the following areas:
- Collection and distribution of estate assets passing under wills or without wills
- Ensure that all necessary estate and income taxes are filed
- Provide accounting to estate and trust beneficiaries
- Submit mandatory reports to the court
Contact Vasiliadis & Pappas now to begin your Trust & Estate Planning.