Probate

Dazed and confused?

If you’ve found this page, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for your loss. And I’m sorry for what you’re going through now. Dealing with a court proceeding is hard no matter what’s going on in the rest of your life. It can be overwhelming when you’ve just lost someone and/or are completely unprepared to handle the related financial and legal details. I know that from personal experience, as well as from helping some five hundred some clients navigate this challenging and complicated time.

Yes, the whole process of validating a will and figuring out everything from the initial paperwork to the distribution of assets can be downright messy. But we can clean it up.

The services we normally perform in connection with the probate of an estate include:

  • Advising you about whether a probate is required and/or recommended.
  • Determining which type of probate is appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
  • Preparing the documents necessary to initiate the probate. These include the Petition for appointment of the personal representative (the person who administers the estate of a deceased person), Limited Judgement Appointing Personal Representative, filing a bond where necessary, publication of Notice to Interested Persons, and  Providing the required information to Heirs and Devisees.
  • Assisting the personal representative in opening the estate’s bank account and determining which creditors to pay and when. examining and assisting the personal representative in denying contested claims, assisting the personal representative in gathering the information to prepare the state and federal income tax returns for the period up to the date of the decedent’s death, assisting the personal representative in gathering the information necessary to prepare and file of state and federal death tax returns, filing of the required probate documentation such as an inventory of the estate’s assets, and simple non-complex services in connection with the sale and disposition of assets of the estate. We do NOT prepare income tax returns or death tax returns. If requested, we work with the personal representative’s accountant to prepare those documents. The personal representative will need an accountant, preferably a Certified Public Accountant, to prepare the estate’s tax returns.
  • Working with the personal representative to prepare and file the documents necessary to close the estate, including the preparation and filing of the Final Account, preparation of the General Judgment approving the Final Account and authorizing distribution of assets, preparation and filing of the documents necessary to acquire the Supplemental Judgment closing the estate and discharging the personal representative.