A will or a ‘last will and testament’ ‘ is a legal document that tells the probate court how you want your property distributed after you die, and who has the power and responsibility to wrap up your affairs. Through the probate process the court will give the ‘executor’ of your will the authority to gather all of your property, pay any remaining creditors’ bills, and distribute your remaining property as you specify in your will.
Because the will takes effect only after a court determined that it is a valid document, a judge must act before your executor can step in and manage your estate.
A living trust is a legal document that, just like a will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. But, unlike a will, a living trust can avoid probate at death, control all of your assets and prevent the court from controlling your assets if you become incapacitated.
Upon the death of a trust maker our law firm offers legal services to your successor trustee. The trustee is responsible for seeing that the assets of the trust are distributed properly and in a timely manner. An overview of the valuable guidance we provide includes:
- Review of the trust document
- Gathering of all trust assets
- Explanation of trustee responsibilities
- Estate Tax Analysis
- Collection of death benefits
- Creation of sub-trusts
- Dissolution of trust