The Nuts and Bolts of Estate Administration
After signing wills, many of our clients ask us “What should I tell my children or spouse to do when I die?” After the death of a person, it is often necessary to hire an attorney and probate a will or administer a trust. Below are some important terms to know:
Executor – person appointed in will of decedent to carry out the terms of the will and to administer the estate of the decedent.
Trustee – person or institution appointed by the person creating the trust to collect trust assets, manage trust assets, and make distributions to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the trust.
Probate – the process through which title to assets are transferred from the decedent to a beneficiary when the transfer is governed by a will or intestacy statutes.
Letters Testamentary – document issued by the court giving executor or administrator authority to act on behalf of the estate.
The executor and trustee have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust or estate and must exercise loyalty and care in managing and distributing the assets of the estate or trust. Frequently, probate of a will is required if the decedent owned real or personal property in his or her name. If the probate of a will is necessary the following steps would be taken with an attorney