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Probate and Trust Administration


Estate Administration and Probate

We represent personal representatives, conservators and guardians 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 your responsibilities as appointed personal representative, conservator and/or guardian (fiduciary)
  • Determining which fiduciary responsibilities will be performed by you and which ones should be performed by competent legal professionals
  • Representing you as a personal representative with respect to the administration of a deceased person's estate before the probate court, from initial pleading preparation and filing through concluding administration of the estate, including distribution of assets and preparation of final accounts
  • Advising you with respect to spousal elections, family allowances, and tax matters which may arise during the administration of an estate
  • Providing tax advice relating to the estate, including preparing required federal and state estate tax returns
  • Representing you as conservator or guardian, and assisting in the preparation of required accounting and annual reports
  • Utilizing trained and experience legal assistants to furnish required legal services in the most efficient, cost-effective manner

Clients recognize that our experience and relationship with probate courts simplify their job and bring credibility to the process. By using standard organizational techniques and highly qualified professional staff, we can provide assistance and direction which reduces your workload in performing required services in your capacity as personal representative, conservator, and/or guardian.

Trust Administration

The use of trusts in the administration of estates and for tax avoidance purposes has taken on a major role in wealth transfer. A trust avoids the necessity of involving the probate court and can result in a speedier administration of the affairs of a deceased person while meeting the ongoing needs of the surviving beneficiaries of the trust. We have represented trustees and assisted them in carrying out their fiduciary duties, including the following:

  • Gathering information from you with respect to the assets which are subject to the trust, the beneficiaries of the trust, and any conditions relating to the holding or distribution of assets of the trust
  • Providing guidance to you as to your responsibilities as trustee
  • Determining which fiduciary responsibilities will be performed by you and which ones should be performed by competent legal professionals
  • Organizing the tasks to be performed by the trustee
  • Counseling you with respect to allocation of principal and income among trust beneficiaries
  • Advising you regarding various tax matters, including tax elections and disclaimers in order to minimize the trust's tax liability
  • Preparing required federal and state estate tax returns
  • Preparing or assisting in the preparation of annual and final trust accountings
  • Utilizing experienced and trained legal assistants to perform more routine trust administration tasks in order to reduce trust administration expense
  • Upon request, serving as counsel for a corporate co-trustee or trustee

Our experienced staff provides helpful information and guidance to trustees organizing and carrying out the administration of a trust. Assistance in establishing the procedures and practices for trust administration can be most helpful, including assisting with the appropriate income distribution to beneficiaries.

Our Probate and Trust Administration Attorneys:

Clark A. Andrews

John A. Nitz

Charles E. Turnbull