The Estate and Trust Administration Process
The estate and trust administration process is the arranging of someone’s assets, paying the appropriate expenses and creditors, preparing, and filing all applicable tax filings, and making proper distributions to the beneficiaries. It is a complex process with strict deadlines and much legal paperwork. The Surrogate Court must appoint a fiduciary to act on behalf of the estate to administer an estate. These fiduciaries are people who manage the assets or property of another person such as an executor who is named in a will. If a person does not have a will, the Surrogate Court must appoint an Administrator of the estate.
Areas of Estate and Trust Administration:
Probate is the Administration of Assets Passing Under Wills. Each state has its own estate laws and the process of closing an estate is carried out by the state’s probate court system.
Trust administration is a process that can be activated after a death if the deceased created a trust. During the estate planning process, a trust is often created to protect property, save on estate taxes, and help avoid probate. There are specific steps that must be taken during trust administration to officially transfer assets to the new property owners.
Intestacy is the administration of estates without wills. When a person dies without leaving a will, their property is distributed to living relatives in accordance with New York law. Establishing who gets what depends on who the living relatives are and their relationship to the deceased.
Wills are designed to meet the interests of the estate of your loved one, and estate planning can help minimize taxes due and maximize distributions to trust beneficiaries and heirs. When a person dies, there can be numerous tax issues to deal with including the filing of a final income tax return and other tax documents.
Estate and Trust Administration Attorneys
Navigating the areas of New York law in estate and trust administration can be complicated and time-consuming. An experienced estate and trust administration attorney can provide you with strong representation on a variety of matters including:
• Preparation of Petition for Probate
• Appointment of Executor
• Preparation of Petition for Letters of Administration
• Appointment of Administrator
• Preparation of Petition to Settle the Account of an Executor or Trustee
• Preparation of Petitions by An Executor to Settle Personal Injury and/or Wrongful Death Actions on Behalf of An Estate.
• Estate Tax Return Preparation
• Legal Advice about Estate and Gift Tax Audits