Administering an estate can be a complex process. It requires an in-depth understanding of probate and tax laws. The estate must be inventoried, assets appraised, beneficiaries need to be notified, and debts need to be paid. Income taxes must be filed and paid, and assets must be distributed in a timely manner. Assets that were properly included in an Estate Plan and protected by a Living Trust can be distributed more quickly and at a lower cost than through probate court. Assets not included in a Living Trust are generally subject to probate court administration.
If you have been named executor or trustee of any estate, it is essential to have an experienced Estate Planning Attorney assisting you. These appointments come with an extensive list of duties and responsibilities, and there is some exposure to personal liability if the law is not followed.
When the terms of a Will or Trust involve a transfer of real estate from parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren, special property tax exemptions are available and should be claimed within a timely manner. Failure to do so will result in a higher tax burden on the beneficiaries, and you could be held liable.
Bezaire, Ledwitz & Borncamp has an exceptional level of experience in Estate Administration. We ensure that the trustee or executor of an estate fulfills the deceased’s wishes while remaining in compliance with California law. Our attorneys have supervised the Estate Administration of hundreds of complex, high net worth estates.