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Probate & Trust Administration


Probate is the process of administering a person’s estate upon their death. The purpose is to protect any creditors, including taxing authorities, and to distribute assets to those entitled to inherit. Probate does involve the courts and there are ways to avoid probate through an estate plan that is set up properly. Many people wish to avoid probate if at all possible.

In some cases, Summary Administration can be used to avoid a formal probate. This involves filing a simple petition signed by all interested parties of an estate with the court entering an order on that petition distributing the assets in accordance with the petition. This is a much shorter and less expensive alternative to formal probate and may be available in some cases. In other cases, estate planning can be done to avoid probate and summary administration altogether.

If estate planning is done with the use of certain trusts, probate can also be avoided. In those cases, Trust Administration must be done. This process is similar to probate, but does not necessarily involve the courts in all cases. Like probate, there are costs associated with administering a trust. Trust Administration also ensures that taxes and a decedent’s creditors are paid prior to assets being distributed to the named trust beneficiaries.


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