The process of transferring assets after a death is more complicated than many people are aware of. The property of the deceased does not just go on to its new owners. A formal process called probate typically must occur first. If the deceased had created a trust, the trust administration process may also be necessary. These process can be complicated, and hard for you to understand as you are also trying to cope with the grief over a death of someone in your life.
Pyke & Associates, P.C. wants to help. Our Georgia firm provides representation to executors, who are given the responsibility to oversee the probate process. We also represent trustees vested with responsibility for trust administration, as well as family and potential heirs of a deceased person. Give us a call today at 770-507-2500 to find out what an Atlanta probate and trust administration lawyer can do for you in your situation and to get answers to important questions including:
- What are probate and trust administration?
- Do I need a lawyer to help me during probate or trust administration?
- How can an Atlanta trust administration and probate lawyer help?
What are Probate and Trust Administration?
Probate is the most common process by which a person’s assets are transferred after the person has passed away. It occurs when an executor files paperwork with the probate court in the county where property is owed. The executor is named in the will by the deceased. If there is no executor selected, or if the executor cannot take on the responsibility, the probate court can appoint a personal representative.
The executor or the personal representative has many different responsibilities during probate. First and foremost, the property of the deceased has to be cared for and managed carefully to protect its value. The executor or personal representative also files all court paperwork, provides notice to potential heirs and people named in the will, notifies creditors of the death, pays bills from the estate, files tax returns as required, obtains an assessment of the estate’s value, and finally facilitates the formal transfer of assets. The larger the estate, the more complicated the process can be.
Trust administration is also a process by which a person’s assets are transferred. However, the process works differently. Trust administration happens only if the deceased created a trust, and the process is overseen by the trustee named in the trust creation document. It does not go through the courts, but it instead is handled in a timely and effective manner by the trust administrator. The trust administrator has substantial responsibilities to protect assets and facilitate their transfer to new owners, and trust beneficiaries can take legal action if the trustee does not comply with requirements.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help During Probate or Trust Administration?
Both the probate and trust administration process can have many complexities. From confusion over what court documents must be filed to issues related to changing title or paying taxes, issues can arise which require professional legal advice.
Executors and heirs are obliged by law to act in the best interests of beneficiaries or heirs and to protect the value of the assets under their control. Those who have been put into these positions of power should strongly consider getting legal help so they can successfully meet their obligations to the deceased and heirs. If you are an executor or administrator, Pyke & Associates, P.C. can provide guidance throughout every phase of the probate or trust administration process.
Pyke & Associates, P.C. also provides representation to others with an interest in the probate or trust administration process as well. If you are an heir, a beneficiary, or a family member of the person who has passed away, we can provide you with guidance and represent your interests as your loved one’s assets are distributed. We will make sure you can oversee the probate or trust administration process and protect your inheritance. If you are concerned about the potential that a will or trust is not valid or worried a trustee or executor is mismanaging trust assets, we’ll also assist you in taking action.
How can an Atlanta Trust Administration and Probate Lawyer Help?
Pyke & Associates, P.C. has a long history of helping clients with probate and trust administration in Atlanta, Peachtree City, Stockbridge, and surrounding areas in Georgia. Give us a call today at 770-507-2500 or contact us online to find out more about how our legal team can help you to protect the legacy of the people who you care about.