Estate, probate, and trust administration can be complicated, time-consuming, and more than a little overwhelming, but you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. Instead, let GuideOn Legal Services be your guide. As expert estate planning attorneys with military and business backgrounds, you can rest assured that we will handle your estate, probate, and trust administration matter with the integrity and commitment it deserves.
While our law firm doors are open to everyone, we proudly serve military service members and retirees, FBI and Intelligence Community (IC) personnel, firefighters, police officers, government contractors, and other public servants throughout the Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Washington DC communities from two office locations.
Whether you could use help navigating the process or need a trusted legal team to handle everything from start to finish, GuideOn stands ready to help.
Trustees and Personal Representatives Have Wide-Ranging Duties and Responsibilities
Before agreeing to serve as a personal representative, executor, or trustee, it’s vital to understand what exactly the role entails and the magnitude of the responsibility that comes with it. When you’re named as a personal representative, executor, or trustee—or appointed by the court to perform that function—these are just a few of the many complicated and time-consuming tasks you may be required to complete:
- Attend a personal representative/executor appointment hearing
- File the will in probate court
- Determine which, if any, assets must go through probate
- Notify all banks and financial institutions of your loved one’s death
- Notify Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health Services of the death, if applicable
- Fully understand the terms of the will and/or trust
- Obtain an IRS Tax ID Number for the estate and/or trust
- Obtain valuations on all property and assets, including real estate and business interests
- Marshal all trust or estate assets and income, which may include locating, collecting, and safeguarding them
- Identify and notify estate and/or trust beneficiaries
- Identify the beneficiaries for each of your family members’ retirement accounts
- Create tax forms for beneficiaries and file annual income tax returns for the estate and/or trust
- Pay ongoing trust or estate administration expenses
- Liquidate assets, when necessary, to settle debts and pay creditors
- Settle disputes
- Invest trust assets in a safe and prudent manner
- Determine the amount and timing of distributions of assets to beneficiaries
- Provide accurate and thorough accountings to beneficiaries
- Oversee preparation of final income and estate tax returns
- Close the estate
While the above list highlights many of the key tasks, it is far from exhaustive. Let GuideOn Legal Services help you navigate this rather complex and administratively burdensome responsibility.
When You Need an Attorney to Handle Estate, Probate, or Trust Administration
Virginia estates that fall below the statutory threshold under current law may qualify for a simplified asset collection and distribution procedure that bypasses probate. While you may be able to close such an estate without assistance, you may want the peace of mind in knowing you handled it correctly by consulting a GuideOn attorney. Or, if the trust or estate you’ve been named or appointed to administer is large or complex, you will undoubtedly benefit from GuideOn’s expert estate, probate, or trust attorneys. Other times you may need a GuideOn attorney to handle estate, probate, or trust administration include when:
- Many of your loved one’s assets can’t be transferred outside of probate
- There is a large number of beneficiaries
- There are difficult family members or beneficiaries who don’t get along
- There are multiple personal representatives, executors, or trustees who aren’t cooperating
- The estate owns a business or other complicated assets
- There are outstanding bills and taxes
- The estate lacks sufficient funds to satisfy debts
- The estate owes state or federal estate taxes
- It’s time to collect your fee for serving as personal representative, executor, or trustee (while avoiding the appearance of impropriety)
- When the estate or trust you’re administering is out of state
- You lack knowledge about the legal process, feel overwhelmed, and want or need assistance
Adept Legal Counsel and Professional Estate, Probate, and Trust Administration Services
Estate, probate, and trust administration is a demanding process with numerous steps and potential pitfalls, which could give rise to personal liability. When the demands of your own life or career don’t allow you to give the task your all, we’re here to help. We can guide you through the process, advising you what to do, when to do it, and how—providing as much or as little counsel and oversight as you want. We can also connect you with a network of accountants, appraisers, real estate agents, and other professionals who can assist you.
Request a Consultation
When it comes to estate, probate, and trust administration matters, there’s far too much at stake to go it alone. Let GuideOn be your guide. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.