Probate & Estate Administration

Create a better estate plan - Planning for what happens to your family when you are no longer here can be overwhelming and difficult to think about.  Download our estate planning questionnaire for guidance on what items to consider.

“Probate” is the legal process after a person passes away, in which their solely-owned assets are accumulated, debts are paid, and remaining money is distributed to his/her heirs. An individual named in a will to act as your Executor/Executrix (or next of kin when no will can be found) is usually the individual responsible for handling this process (others may handle this under certain circumstances).

Estate administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased’s assets (helping specifically named beneficiaries collect on insurance policies or other financial accounts). Almost every Estate must go through the probate process (unless a living/revocable trust was fully funded, all assets were jointly owned, or beneficiaries are listed on all assets), regardless of whether the deceased left a Will or not. Probate includes publishing a notice in the local newspaper (so creditors are on notice to file claims against the Estate), completing an inventory of all assets within three months of opening the Estate, filing an accounting of all debts and expenses, insuring that any creditors have been paid, and making the final distribution of assets to the beneficiaries.

The loss of a family member, especially when unexpected, can be overwhelming. The legal process can seem daunting. We can prepare the necessary documentation, ensure debts are paid, and distribute assets according to the decedent’s wishes. Our office can handle as little or as much as you need. Some clients prefer to be the personal representative of record and only contact our office with specific issues/questions or for review of documents before they are filed with the Register of Wills office to make sure they have been fully completed. Other clients prefer our office take a more involved role, handling the day-to-day business of the Estate, including contacting heirs, paying bills, etc. Since we charge on an hourly basis for this work, the client is in charge of how involved we become and how much they wish to spend on attorney fees. Please keep in mind that attorney’s fees are legitimate expenses of an estate and typically not payable out of the Executor’s personal funds.

If you are interested in our office helping to open an estate, please gather the following items:

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Carr Law, LLC is your home for competent and caring legal advice. Our focus is on estate planning (including Wills and Trusts), probate work, and real estate transactions. Our goal is to provide you with all the advice and counsel necessary for your matter, at a fair cost.