Probate & Estate – When someone dies – do you need professional assistance?
Some families are confused as to whether they should seek professional assistance upon the passing of a loved one. It may be a prudent move to have a consultation with an attorney and accountant to evaluate what you may need assistance with.
These are the legal and tax procedures that the lawyer will assist with in probating and administering the decedent’s estate.
- Review and analyze the provisions of the Trust and/or Will.
- Submit the Will to the Probate Court, if necessary.
- Arrange for termination of joint tenancy assets so that surviving joint tenants get the assets
- File petition for Probate and Appointment of Personal Representative of will, if appropriate
- Assist in the collection of insurance policies, wage claims and retirement benefits
- Guide and counsel the Personal Representative in administering the decedent’s estate:
- Opening Personal Representative bank account
- Locating assets
- Valuing the assets
- Preparation of death tax returns
- Payment of death taxes
- Payment of debts
- Financial and investment decisions
- Income tax and death tax decisions
- Sale or exchange of property
- After death tax planning
- Elections under tax laws
- Timing of distributions and closing estate
- Disclaimers by survivors and beneficiaries.
- Lawsuits on behalf of decedent
- Management of property
- Continuation or liquidation of business
- Prepare and file decedent’s final income tax returns
- Review with family members the impact of decedent’s death on their estate planning. Redraft wills, trusts, make gifts and review documents.
- Review duration of administration and probate, and explain all procedures to family members and personal representatives.