Probate and estate administration are the legal processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. They are the steps that turn an estate plan into action.
Whenever a family must settle the estate of a loved one and there are no disputes between the family members, it is considered an uncontested estate. In contrast, a contested estate exists when the family members do not agree on some or all aspects of the handling of the estate. The process of settling the estate is often referred to as estate administration. If the deceased had a will, then an executor will manage the estate as it is being administered. If the deceased did not have a will, the person who will manage the estate is referred to as an administrator. There are some differences in the legal process necessary to settle the estate depending on whether there is a will.
Family members often feel lost or confused during the estate administration process. Our probate attorneys find that our clients come to us with a number of different concerns about settling their loved one’s estate. A few of the most common concerns we see are:
- Ensuring that the deceased’s wishes are honored
- Ensuring the estate is settled properly
- Keeping harmony among the family
- Maximizing the value of the estate
- Understanding the process
These feelings and concerns are very common and understandable. Our compassionate probate attorneys aim to help you and your family settle your loved one’s estate and honor their wishes, assist you with managing complex family relationships, and maximize the value of the estate for your family. Cook & Tolley, LLP will be by your side through every step of the process.