Administering an estate can be a complex process. It requires an in-depth understanding of probate and tax laws. The estate must be inventoried, the 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 addressed and protected in an estate plan can be distributed more quickly and cost-effectively than through probate court. Other assets 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 lawyer assisting you. If you do not follow the law or the terms of the will or trust you can be subject to a lawsuit and be personally liable.
There are additional concerns when the terms of a will or trust involve a transfer of real estate from parents to children, or grandparents to grandchildren. There are special property tax exemptions that should be filed for 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 exceptional experience in estate administration. We help to ensure that the trustee or executor of an estate fulfills the deceased’s wishes in context of the probate code and in compliance with California law. Our lawyers have supervised the estate administration process in hundreds of complex, high net worth estates.