When an individual dies owning assets in his or her own name alone, the legal transfer of those assets to the persons entitled to them usually requires the commencement of an estate proceeding in probate court, whether or not the individual left behind a will. A primary function of estate proceedings is to appoint the “personal representative” of the estate who must then perform the many complex tasks involved in administering and distributing the decedent’s assets.

The duties of a personal representative include inventorying, preserving, and valuing estate assets; sorting through and paying debts, taxes, and administration expenses; and distributing the estate to the persons entitled to it. We can help you navigate these duties. We can also advise you regarding financial arrangements to put in place while the estate is still open, to address immediate needs of the family, personal representative fees, tax estimates, and other anticipated expenses or complications.

If you would like to learn more, please contact one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.

Michael J. TerBeek
Barbara J. Kennedy
Shane A. Henry