Probate and Trust Administration
Probate is the process of transferring assets from the name of someone who has died to that person's beneficiaries or distributees with the assistance of the probate court. Probate is necessary to protect the rights to the probate estate of the deceased person's heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors.
Probate is required when someone's estate plan consists of only a Will or no plan at all, and they die with assets titled solely in their name, with no non-probate transfer designations.
In Missouri, the person or entity named in a deceased person's Will to handle his or her affairs after death is called a Personal Representative. Personal Representatives have many duties, which can often be overwhelming. Our firm has years of experience walking with Personal Representatives through the probate process. We would be glad to speak with you if you find yourself serving as a Personal Representative and need assistance.
Trust administration is the process of transferring assets from a trust created and funded by a person (the Grantor) while living, with the assistance of one or more trustees named to serve in the trust document by the Grantor. Trust administration can be completed without probate court assistance.
The trust administration process begins with an event that triggers a provision in an individual's estate plan, such as incapacity or death.
Often a person who has had a revocable trust prepared will name a loved one to serve as successor trustee of the trust after the person's death. While it is normally easier and faster to administer a trust rather than a probate estate, there are still many factors to consider and duties to accomplish. If you find yourself suddenly serving as successor trustee of a trust, we can help.
Navigating probate administration and/or trust administration can be confusing and tedious. Call Schmidt, Kirby & Sullivan, P.C. to speak to one of our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys about probate or trust administration.