Our Phoenix probate and trust administration attorneys stand ready to help personal representatives and successor trustees carry out their legal duties. We will help you properly administer the trust or estate, or supervise the conduct of others who are charged with that responsibility.

A death in the family is difficult enough to handle by itself, and legal matters in such circumstances can be overwhelming. In addition, we recognize that the death of a loved one can prompt some very difficult family dynamics. Our probate and trust administration attorneys understand these dynamics, and they strive to counsel you with regard to probate and trust matters with exceptional skill and sensitivity.

We stand ready to assist you to navigate the legalities of estate and trust administration. We will help you properly administer the trust or estate, or supervise the conduct of others charged with such responsibility.

Probate and Trust Administration Responsibilities

Administration of an estate can take several different forms, depending on whether there is a will and/or a trust and on the size of the estate. The process can be informal and simple, or formal and complex. In the latter situation, that means court supervision and the filing of a significant number of court documents. Invariably, though, estate administration involves the:

  • Location, marshalling, and valuation of estate assets
  • Discovery and analysis of significant documents
  • Preparation of inventories
  • Analysis of options
  • Transfer of assets
  • Preparation of tax returns and associated documents.

It is also important to assess the exposure to estate taxes, and, if necessary, analyze the opportunity to minimize such taxes.

Clients with California interests and tax exposure benefit from our experience with California probate, real estate and taxation matters.

The Difference Between Probate and Trust Administration

Trust administration is different from probate, in that a trust is usually set up to avoid some of the requirements and expense of Probate Court administration.

While probate may be avoided by the use of a trust, there are still certain things that must be done in order to properly administer a trust following the trustor’s death or incapacity. In addition to those requirements, trust administration can involve legal challenges relating to a number of issues, including the:

  • Creation of the trust documents
  • Transfer of assets to such trust
  • Selection and suitability of trustee
  • Reasonableness of the trustee’s actions
  • Compensation of trustees and hired professionals
  • Sufficiency of prior accountings