Probate is the process of your assets passing to your beneficiaries under your Will. Generally, your executor offers your Will for probate in the probate court in the county where you lived. Your Will becomes a public record, and your executor is subject to the probate court’s directions and requirements, although in Texas, your executor can do many things on his or her own if they are named by you in your Will as an Independent Executor.
At Jordan ESQ., we represent Executors and walk them through all phases of court proceedings. We also assist Executors with what steps need to be taken to administer your estate outside of court, notifying creditors of an estate and ensuring any creditors are paid, ensuring that estate and income tax returns are timely filed, paying expenses and any potential estate taxes, making sure specific gift or distributions are made to beneficiaries, testamentary trusts are established and funded, step-up in basis for certain assets are made, community property is accounted for, and the like.
Trust administration is the process of your assets passing to your beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions of your revocable living trust. The first step in trust administration is for your Trustee to determine whether your assets have been structured to pass to directly to your revocable living trust at your death to avoid the probate process or whether you Will needs to be probated to “pour over” any probate assets to your revocable living trust. Once your Trustee has worked through the process of shepherding your assets to your revocable living trust, your Trustee can begin carrying out the instructions set forth under your revocable living trust.
At Jordan ESQ., we represent Trustees and assist them with the entire process of administering your revocable living trust. In addition to the asset analysis described above, this administration includes making sure specific gift or distributions are made to beneficiaries, sub-trusts are established and funded, step-up in basis for certain assets are made, paying expenses, debts, and any potential estate taxes, and in the case of a joint revocable living trust, making specific tax elections upon the first spouse to die’s death.
Our primary goal in administering your estate or trust is to endeavor to make sure this process is as understandable and efficient as possible for your Executor and/or Trustee.
Probating wills and administering estates of people who have died, including preparation of federal estate tax returns where needed
Representing executors and trustees in matters such as accountings, prudent management practices, and distribution determinations
Representing fiduciaries who want someone to help them understand their obligations and the probate or trust administration process
Representing beneficiaries who want someone to help them understand the probate or trust administration process
Representing beneficiaries who want to make sure the executor or trustee is fulfilling their fiduciary duties
Formulating administration plans that help individual executors and trustees efficiently manage an estate or trust