Probate And Trust Administration

Probate In Michigan

The attorneys in the firm's estate planning and probate practice group represent personal representatives, conservators and guardians (called fiduciaries) in connection with the administration of the estates of deceased and protected individuals. Such services include the following:

  • Gathering information about the estate or guardianship you are serving
  • Counseling you as to the required tasks of administration, including your responsibilities as a fiduciary (appointed personal representative, conservator and/or guardian) and those of your legal professionals
  • Assisting you as a personal representative in organizing the performance of the tasks of estate administration, including determining what will be done by you and what by your legal professionals
  • Working with you and the financial institutions and investment companies relating to opening estate bank accounts and upon closing of the estate, distribution of estate assets
  • Representing you as a personal representative before the probate court with respect to the administration of the estate, from initial probate filing through final distribution of assets and closing of the estate
  • Advising you with respect to available probate elections and allowances
  • Providing tax advice relating to the estate, including preparing or working with accountants to prepare required federal and state estate tax returns
  • Preparing or assisting in the preparation of annual and final accounts for personal representatives
  • Representing you as conservator or guardian in any required probate court proceedings
  • Preparing or assisting in the preparation of annual and final accounts and/or reports for conservators and guardians

Our probate attorneys utilize trained and experienced legal assistants to perform the routine legal tasks of probate administration (always under the supervision of an experienced probate attorney) to reduce your legal fees and costs of administration. Clients recognize that our experience and relationship with the local probate courts expedite the probate administration process. By approaching the process in an organized, cost-effective manner using highly qualified professional legal assistants where appropriate, O'Reilly Rancilio can provide assistance and direction which reduces your workload in performing required fiduciary services.

Trust Administration

The use of trusts in wealth transfer (both revocable and irrevocable trusts) has become much more commonplace for individuals and families of various means in the past 20 years, as trusts often allow the transfer of assets at death from one generation to another more quickly and expeditiously than probating an estate through the probate court. Our trust attorneys represent trustees in connection with the administration of trust estates and assets upon death or disability of the trust's grantor. Such services include the following:

  • Gathering information about the trust assets, trust beneficiaries and trust provisions that may affect the holding or distribution of trust assets
  • Counseling you as trustee as to the required tasks of trust administration, including your responsibilities as trustee as well as the responsibilities of your legal professionals
  • Assisting you as trustee in organizing and performing the necessary tasks of trust administration, including determining what will be done by you as trustee and what by your legal professionals
  • Working with you and the financial institutions and investment companies relating to proper investment and distribution of trust assets
  • Advising you with respect to trust accounting and tax matters, including proper allocation of principal and income, and tax elections and disclaimers in order to minimize the trust's tax liability
  • Preparing or working with accountants in the preparation of required federal and state estate tax returns
  • Preparing or assisting in the preparation of annual and final trust accounts
  • Upon request, serving as counsel for a corporate co-trustee or trustee or as a co-trustee

In order to administer your trust as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, the firm uses trained and experienced legal assistants (under the supervision of an experienced probate attorney) to perform more routine trust administration tasks. Our lawyers have worked successfully with banks, financial institutions and accountants in coordinating the cost-effective administration of trusts to enable distributions to trust beneficiaries as quickly as appropriately possible.

The attorneys who handle probate and trust administration at our firm include: