Each estate is unique. The process used will be determined by the size and complexity of the estate, whether the deceased person had any planning place, and if so, whether they have a Will or a Trust. Depending on these factors, a trust administration, a small estate administration, or a full probate may be required.
The Personal Representative is the chosen by the deceased person to administer their Will (Executor) or Trust (Trustee), or is chosen by the probate court if the deceased person did not have a valid Will or estate plan in place. The Heirs or Beneficiaries are those who would inherit from the deceased person either under their Will or Trust, or under the laws of the state in which they resided at the time of death.
The Personal Representative in charge of administering an estate has a legal responsibility to the heirs (and to the court if the estate needs to go through probate). Once properly established, they have the authority to manage estate assets, care for the estate properly, pay estate debts, and make distribution to the heirs. They also have the authority to engage attorneys, CPAs, and other professional advisors to assist them in fufilling their duties and protecting them from future liability.
Depending on the factors mentioned above and logistics and family dynamics, the estate process can take anywhere from 6 months (less if probate is not needed) to several years. The cost can vary but may include court filing fees and attorney or other advisor fees. Those fees are paid out of the estate, not personally out of pocket.
It’s an honor to be an executor, but it can also be complicated. We’ll help you understand all of the responsibilities and duties associated with your role. Then we’ll guide you through our proven process to ensure everything is taken care of.
No obligation. No fee. Just a chance to ask questions and get some answers.