Trust Administration and Probate

The attorneys at Jones & Lester, LLP have the requisite knowledge and experience necessary to handle the administration of estates of any size, including large and complex estates. We work closely with our clients’ other advisors, including their accountants, financial planners, insurance agents, and other planning professionals, to ensure the efficient and cost-effective administration of the estate.

Trust Administration

We advise our clients regarding any issue arising during the administration of a trust, including:

  • The duties, powers and standards of a trustee
  • Trustee accounting and recordkeeping
  • Investing and managing trust assets
  • Resignation or removal of a trustee
  • Creditor’s rights against the trust or beneficiaries
  • Modification, revocation or termination of a trust
  • Arranging appraisals and business valuations
  • Use of disclaimers and other post-death estate and income savings techniques
  • Funding of subtrusts
  • Trustee compensation and attorneys’ fees
  • Income taxation of trusts
  • Coordination of gift, generation-skipping transfer tax and estate tax returns

In addition to providing representation and assistance with post-mortem trust administration after the death of a trustor, we also provide assistance with trust administration during the lifetime of the trustor, including advising our clients regarding the use of notices to beneficiaries when a gift has been made to an irrevocable trust (which are referred to as Crummey notices after the definitive case in this area), and assistance with the preparation and filing of gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.

Probate Administration

Probate is the process where a court oversees the administration of a deceased person’s estate. The purpose of the probate process is to ensure that any final bills and expenses are paid, including any taxes owed, and any remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in a will, or if the decedent died “intestate”, meaning without a will, in accordance with California’s laws governing intestate succession.

Our attorneys have a wealth of probate administration experience, and capably guide clients through the probate process. In the event that a dispute arises, we have extensive experience in trust and estate litigation and will vigorously advocate for our clients’ rights and interests.

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