Probate

probate

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and debts and distributing the remaining assets according to a valid will or applicable law.  An executor/personal representative may be responsible for any or all of the following:

  • locating and interpreting wills and trusts
  • notification of heirs and creditors
  • inventory of personal property, real property, bank accounts, investments, and other assets
  • proper representation of the interests of minor, disabled, or absent heirs
  • settlement and payment of decedent’s debts and expenses of last illness
  • resolution of a decedent’s interest in a business
  • sale or disbursement of property held outside the decedent’s state of residence
  • separation of probate assets from nonprobate or beneficiary-designated assets
  • administration of separate versus community property
  • disbursement of assets to heirs
  • transfer of assets into a testamentary trust (a trust created within a will) for disabled heirs or minors
  • administration of a testamentary trust
  • establishment of a life estate for an heir on real property belonging to the decedent
  • preparation of a final personal and estate tax return
  • accounting to heirs and the court for activities of the estate

Robin H. Balsam P.S. assists executors/personal representatives with completion of their responsibilities under the law.  We also represent heirs, beneficiaries, or others with an interest in an estate to ensure they receive their proper distribution.

The complex blended family structure resulting from rising rates of divorce and remarriage can make estate administration difficult and fraught with unwanted conflict.  Our firm has a solid reputation for being able to resolve complicated estates, including those with disputes among the heirs, misconduct or breach of fiduciary duty by a personal representative, funding and administration of testamentary trusts, and contested wills.