Estate Administration Lawyer
People who are named as Estate Trustees (executors) often feel overwhelmed by their duties. In addition to coping with the loss of a loved one, they must deal with the unfamiliar and sometimes intricate financial and administrative tasks of administering complex assets.
I will help protect you from liability and estate disputes, advise you should problems arise interpreting the will, make sure all necessary paperwork is completed, and ensure that assets are accounted for and properly distributed.
Helping Trustees Carry Out Their Duties
Being named Estate Trustee in a will is a heavy responsibility. It involves many tasks that I provide advice and help with:
- Making sure the will is valid
- Keeping accurate financial records
- Filing for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (the “probate” process)
- Locating all of the assets referred to in the will, which may include personal items, bank accounts, investments and real estate
- Locating any assets not named in the will such as insurance policies, investments and pensions
- Determining the market value of property such as real estate, business assets and investments
- Selling assets when necessary
- Paying debts of the deceased
- Locating all beneficiaries
- Distributing the assets as required by the will, while helping protect you from unhappy heirs
- Carrying out administrative tasks such as notifying credit card and utility companies of your loved one’s death
- Filling out life insurance and pension claims
- Making sure all necessary income tax returns are filed
- Helping to assure that governments do not pursue you personally for unpaid income and other taxes owed by the deceased
The duties of an Estate Trustee can become confusing, onerous and even risky if you are on your own. I can provide the invaluable guidance and support needed to settle your loved one’s estate as smoothly as possible.
Often, an important aspect of an estate involves selling the home, cottage or other real estate of the deceased. My experience as a real estate lawyer can be particularly helpful at this time.