Probate and Trust Administration
Before a will can be honored, it must go through a court procedure known as probate. While many people feel this is a process to be avoided, it normally proceeds very smoothly if the deceased drafted an appropriate will. However, without a will, this can be a more challenging endeavor.
Clinch Law Firm, LLC handles many probate matters, including those involving intestate succession (passing without a will). We ensure the proper documents are filed, assist the personal representative through the necessary steps, and help transfer property to the designated heirs.
What is probate?
- Simply put, probate is the court-monitored distribution of property after death. When a loved one dies, it is prudent to contact an attorney to see if probate is required. It is possible that if your relative did not own real estate and has only low-value assets after debts are paid, you can distribute the remainder through an affidavit.
If needed, probate normally follows this course:
- Appointment of a personal representative – If there is a will, this individual is already named.
- Notice to heirs, potential heirs, and creditors – Heirs are normally named in a will, but if the individual died without one, all relatives may be notified. Creditors receive a notice as well.
- Payment of debts – Creditors who file a claim with the estate will be paid from estate assets.
- Inventory of the assets – A list of personal and real property is filed with the court. Insurance claims are normally processed during this time too.
- Distribution – Heirs receive assets after prior notice is given.
- Inheritance tax processing – If the estate is subject to federal or Nebraska tax, these are also assessed and paid.
While these steps may appear overwhelming to a layperson who is grieving, that is where Clinch Law Firm, LLC comes in. We will proceed with skill and kindness as you face this difficult time and help honor the wishes of your loved one.
What is trust administration?
If a person has a Revocable Living Trust as part of their Estate Planning, then the above process can be avoided, assuming that the Revocable Living Trust was properly managed during the deceased's life. In many cases, depending on the facts and circumstances, a trust-based estate plan can often be the best plan for an individual or family as it can avoid having to go through the potentially time-consuming probate process, and trust administration is generally going to cost a person's estate substantially less than proceeding through probate, not to mention that the majority, if not all, of trust administration may be accomplished by your designated trustee without the assistance of an attorney, saving your loved ones even more of your heard-earned money and property. While Trust Administration may be accomplished by a non-attorney, it may still seem a somewhat daunting process for some, and Clinch Law Firm, LLC is here to provide your trustee/heirs with expert advice and guidance to do all things related to trust administration, based on your wishes.
If you have lost someone you love and need to manage what they left behind, contact Clinch Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation, or feel free to schedule a complimentary 30-minute telephone consultation or a 60-minute in-person consultation for a time that works for you here: Appointment Scheduler. Virtual appointments are also available, upon request.
Our office is located in York but we serve we serve much of Nebraska, including the following counties: Polk, Butler, Seward, Merrick, Hamilton, Lancaster, Hall, Clay, Fillmore, Saline, Nance. Telephone and virtual appointments are also available, and much of the probate and/or trust administration process may be accomplished without having to step foot in our physical office. Please contact our office today!