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Probate and Trust Administration

Probate Administration

Probate administration is the process to settle a decedent’s estate. It is a court monitored process which involves gathering the decedent’s assets, paying the decedent’s debts and distributing the remaining assets once the administration is ready to be closed.

A person, usually the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, sibling or someone who is appointed on decedent’s last will and testament, files a petition to commence a probate proceeding which leads to appointment of an executor/personal representative. An executor/ personal representative will take the following common steps to administer the probate estate:

  • In Missouri, a personal representative has to hire an attorney pursuant to RSMo § Section 473.153.7 to represent himself/herself.
  • Apply for Letters Testamentary it there is a will admitted (or apply for Letters of Administration without a will).
  • Publish notice to creditors.
  • Locate all decedent’s assets
  • An inventory of decedent’s assets must be prepared and filed with the probate court.
  • Pay debts, claims, taxes and expenses.
  • File a formal accounting of all decedent’s assets and income with the probate court
  • Obtain court approval for distribution and close estate.

Probate administration can be overwhelming especially for families who are still mourning the loss of a loved one. Furthermore, due to the complexities of the law involving probate administration, our attorneys can assure the appointed executor/personal representative fulfill his or her fiduciary duties administering the probate estate, all deadlines are met and avoid mistakes and delays.

Trust Administration

A trust administration is not a court-supervised process.

A trustee named in a trust shall carry out the wishes of the settlor (the person who created the trust) as written in the trust. A trustee must act in their fiduciary capacity in the administration of a trust, which means the trustee is obligated to manage trust property in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

A trust administration typically includes the following activities:

  • Notify all trust beneficiaries and settlors’ heirs
  • Obtain an IRS Tax ID Number(s) for the trust and/or sub-trusts
  • Obtain legal documents and records for the purpose of trust administration
  • Collect and inventory trust properties
  • Transfer all trust assets in to the name of the trust
  • Pay debts and expenses of the trust and satisfy settlor’s legal liabilities
  • Manage and invest trust assets in a prudent manner
  • File tax returns
  • Provide documents or accounting information to trust beneficiaries if required by the trust
  • Distribute trust assets to beneficiaries

Every trust is unique and different. The trust administration can be complicated and confusing. Our attorneys can assist you navigating through the trust administration process and shield you from liability claims from the beneficiaries.

 

Trust Administration

A trust administration is not a court-supervised process.

A trustee named in a trust shall carry out the wishes of the settlor (the person who created the trust) as written in the trust. A trustee must act in their fiduciary capacity in the administration of a trust, which means the trustee is obligated to manage trust property in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

A trust administration typically includes the following activities:

  • Notify all trust beneficiaries and settlors’ heirs
  • Obtain an IRS Tax ID Number(s) for the trust and/or sub-trusts
  • Obtain legal documents and records for the purpose of trust administration
  • Collect and inventory trust properties
  • Transfer all trust assets in to the name of the trust
  • Pay debts and expenses of the trust and satisfy settlor’s legal liabilities
  • Manage and invest trust assets in a prudent manner
  • File tax returns
  • Provide documents or accounting information to trust beneficiaries if required by the trust
  • Distribute trust assets to beneficiaries

Every trust is unique and different. The trust administration can be complicated and confusing. Our attorneys can assist you navigating through the trust administration process and shield you from liability claims from the beneficiaries.