The San Jose probate lawyers at Ferguson Law Group provide comprehensive representation in all aspects of decedent estates. Probate is the process by which the superior court oversees the administration of a deceased person’s assets. During a probate, the appointed personal representative collects the decedent’s assets, pays the decedent’s expenses and then distributes the assets to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will or to the decedent’s heirs at law (the people who inherit if the decedent did not have a will.).
The attorneys at Ferguson Law Group assist Administrators and Executors with all stages of the probate process, including court hearings and the following:
- Preparation of court pleadings
- Addressing creditor claims
- Assisting personal representatives in the preparation of an inventory
- Marshaling estate assets
- Sale of estate assets
- Payments of the decedent’s debts
- Final distribution to those entitled to the decedent’s estate
- Resolution of claims brought by creditors or estate beneficiaries
The law imposes a number of duties and requirements upon personal representatives. The San Jose probate attorneys at Ferguson Law Group work closely with personal representatives to help them understand their fiduciary duties and to protect them from liability to the beneficiaries or the estate or creditors. The San Jose probate attorneys at Ferguson Law Group draw on their litigation experience to ensure their clients do not become the subject of lawsuits.
The steps of a trust administration are similar to those of the probate, discussed above, however court involvement is usually unnecessary. The San Jose trust attorneys at Ferguson Law Group work with trustees and advise trust beneficiaries as to their rights.
The law imposes a number of duties and requirements upon trustees. The San Jose trust attorneys at Ferguson Law Group advise trustees to ensure they comply with their fiduciary duties in order to protect them from liability to the beneficiaries of the trust.
Trustees must pay final debts and taxes, determine who the beneficiaries are, notify the appropriate public agencies, and eventually distribute the trust assets per the terms of the trust document. There are many possibilities for missteps along the way, which can have drastic results for the trust and its beneficiaries. It is important that a trustee work with an experienced San Jose trust attorney such as those at Ferguson Law Group, in order to ensure the proper administration of a trust.
Depending on a family or individual’s assets, income and overall planning strategy, an estate plan may involve a number of different planning tools. For instance, depending on your assets, family dynamics and goals, you may need a will, a trust or both. Additionally, regardless of the size of your estate, a power of attorney will be vital in managing your affairs if you become injured or incapacitated.