Probate, Estate and Trusts Administration
When a person passes away, all of his or her assets need to be distributed to someone else. The method of distributing those assets depends on a number of factors, including whether the individual had a will, trust, or some other kind of estate plan, or whether the individual died without an estate plan (or intestate).
The method of distributing assets to successor beneficiaries is called administering an estate, and it can be much easier if you have the help of a skilled lawyer. The Law Offices of Mary L. Symons can help with this process in many different ways. Ms. Symons has experience with all kinds of post-death administration, including probate, trust administration, and simplified administration procedures.
What Can An Estate Plan Do?
One of the most important things to understand about estate administration is the fact that if a person dies without a valid will, trust, or other estate planning document, the court decides on its own how to distribute the assets, using predetermined guidelines. These guidelines don’t take into account the person’s wishes, and they can sometimes lead to situations where distant relatives inherit everything while close companions are left with nothing.
A valid estate plan can avoid this problem, preserving your wishes and providing for the people you wish it to. It can also save your loved ones a lot of trouble when it comes to distributing items of sentimental value, because it allows you to make these decisions in advance.
Can You Avoid Probate?
Probate can be time-consuming and frustrating, and court costs can eat away at the value of an estate. Probate court can also make personal information public. For these reasons, many people find ways to avoid probate or minimize its impact.
The Law Offices of Mary L. Symons has helped many families avoid probate by establishing living trusts.
To create a trust, an individual transfers assets to himself or herself as trustee and names a successor trustee. Upon the individual’s death, the assets held in trust are not subject to probate and are instead distributed to (or held for the benefit of) the individual’s beneficiaries by the successor trustee.
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The Law Offices of Mary L. Symons represents individuals and their families in San Rafael, California, Marin County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.