Estate & Trust Administration
When a loved one is incapacitated or dies, it is often overwhelming. Existing estates and trusts are often incomplete, confusing or remotely administered. When this happens, know that the attorneys at Legacy Law Group will meet your concerns and needs competently and compassionately.
Our firm will guide the fiduciary (whether an Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney, a Personal Representative under a Will, or a Successor Trustee under a Trust) at each step, so that you fully understand the role and duties required of you. This way we can help ensure that the administration of the estate or trust will be handled in an efficient and organized fashion.
Our process begins when you meet with us to help gather specific information about the estate or trust at issue.
For your convenience, we’ve developed a questionnaire to help record all the estate information in one place. While we ask that you attempt to complete the questionnaire as thoroughly as possible before your initial meeting with us, we certainly understand this can be an overwhelming task and you may not have ready access to all of the information. We are happy to assist you in completing the form during and after our initial meeting if you are unable to fully complete it before we meet.
We also provide a help guide and checklist as an educational tool for our clients to acquaint them with some of the basic tasks and legal concepts involved in estate and trust administration prior to our meeting.
Finally, to assist you with gathering the information, a document checklist is provided. Having as many of the items on this list as is possible from the beginning will greatly facilitate the process and reduce the fees and costs that may otherwise be involved.
The goal of our first meeting is to gather as much information as possible, which will save you time and expenses. While we charge a consultation fee for our initial meeting with you, we generally charge on an hourly basis for our subsequent services.
Philosophy of Practice
Minimizing or Avoiding Probate Requirements
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, we believe that a goal of a modern probate and estate administration practice is to seek ways to minimize the legal complexity of the process by:
avoiding probate to the extent possible by appropriate post-death planning
having the appropriate parties qualify as personal representatives of the estate (including those who may not have been named in the Will)
filing the appropriate waivers and consents to avoid, to the extent possible, the requirements of inventories and accountings
We know of many estates which undergo unnecessary and rigorous probate filings that could have been easily avoided had the family’s attorney been fully knowledgeable of the proper procedures to simplify or avoid the probate process altogether. Our attorneys are recognized as leading legal probate practitioners well versed in the intricacies of the process.
Cost-Effective Estate Administration Assistance
We are glad to show you how to keep our firm’s fees to a minimum in estate administration matters provided that personal representatives and family members are willing and able to do as much of the work as possible. We are pleased to provide instruction, supervision and review of such “do-it-yourself” efforts.
Messy Assets and Estates
We are not afraid of, and are often engaged in, assisting with messy assets and family situations. We are comfortable dealing with complicated issues and assets, such as interests in closely held businesses and real estate interests.
As attorneys experienced in estate administration, we have seen and been involved in many family disputes surrounding the transfer of assets. We are accustomed to conciliating family grievances. We’ve seen enough to know that each family and its functionality is unique. As an objective and knowledgeable third party, our ability to create order from chaos is unparalleled.
- What Are The Most Common Types of Trusts Used In Virginia?
- What Is A Special Needs Trust? When Is It Necessary?
- What Does An Executor Do After Death?
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