Balson & Faix, LLP has extensive experience representing personal representative, trustees, and beneficiaries in handling estate and trust administration matters. Let us guide you through the complexities of the legal and tax requirements, and avoid the pitfalls that may be costly to an estate or trust.
Estate Administration. Estate administration, often referred to as probate (although there may not be an actual probate proceeding) is the task of wrapping up a deceased person=s legal and financial life. We assist clients with the process of gathering a decedent=s assets and ensuring that after claims, taxes, debts and expenses are paid, those assets pass to the heirs or beneficiaries of an estate. If the decedent left assets in his or her name alone and the asset had no beneficiary designation, e.g., in a life insurance policy or retirement plan, or “POD” (pay on death), or “TOD” (transfer on death) account, a personal representative (referred to as executor in other states) must usually be appointed by the Court and given the authority to manage the decedent=s assets. Probate refers to the process in which the Court admits a valid Will, or determines that a decedent left no Will (died Aintestate@) and appoints the personal representative. We help personal representatives handle all aspects of the estate administration from beginning to end, including preparing and filing federal estate tax returns (Form 706s) for both taxable estates and to preserve exemption for the surviving spouse (portability returns).
Trust Administration. Some clients use trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, in their estate plan. Being a trustee is no easy task. We assist trustees with the many duties a trustee is charged with, advise trustees regarding their responsibilities, and help beneficiaries understand and navigate the trust administration and termination process.