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Probate & Estate Administration

Probate, Trust & Estate Administration After the Death of a Loved One

If you aren't familiar with the probate process in Texas, please take a look at our Probate page.

When a loved one dies it can be a confusing time in which you are in immense grief while also needing to make sure you handle all the technical details of locating assets, paying bills and making sure your loved one's assets get to the right people, without conflict. We are here to help.

Whether your loved one created a trust to hold their assets, or did not, he or she did have assets (called the estate of the deceased) that must be handled with careful attention and it's critical that you work with a Personal Family Lawyer® or Family Business Lawyer® who can help you to do the right thing, minimize conflict and ensure the smoothest possible transition of assets.

When someone creates a trust as part of their estate plan, they must name a trustee to ensure the trust's terms are handled properly. These individuals must carry out all of the trust's instructions, and they're legally responsible for doing so within the scope of federal and state law. Such duties are known as trust administration.

Serving in this capacity entails a huge level of responsibility and liability. What's more, most people named as trustee will have limited, if any, background or experience in the legal and financial duties that come with administering a trust. In this case, the trust administration lawyers at Hixson & Stringham, PLLC can work with the trustee to ensure the trust is administered properly and all legal requirements are satisfied.

If there is not a trust or if all assets have not been properly titled in the name of a trust that was created, we can help your family through the process of estate administration, usually requiring a court process, called probate. If you are a beneficiary of an estate, or an executor or trustee, contact us for support in handling the transition of your loved one's assets as easily as possible.

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Trust and Estate Administration

As your Personal Family Lawyer, we work closely with the family, beneficiaries, and other advisors to ensure the decedent's trust assets are collected, debts are paid, and the remaining assets are distributed to the named trust beneficiaries, or to the heirs of the estate. Depending on the type of trust involved, assets may be distributed outright to the named beneficiaries, or they might be held in trust for the future benefit of the named beneficiaries. If there is no trust, assets will either be distributed outright to heirs named in a will, or by statute, or held by a guardian named by the court until an heir reaches the age of majority.

During this time, we may also need to have appraisals of major assets completed in order to get a clear picture of what the decedent's net worth was for estate tax purposes. Additionally, the title of other estate assets may need to be changed to indicate new ownership by the named beneficiary outright or under a continuing trust.

All of this can be hugely complicated and time consuming, but our trust and estate administration lawyers will transfer assets as quickly and smoothly as possible, resolve outstanding issues, and ensure that everything occurs within the applicable legal deadlines.

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Trust and Estate Administration Services

Below, we've outlined some of our most common trust and estate administration services. We can accomplish the following duties without unnecessary delay and with utmost respect for your personal privacy and your family relationships.

  • Identification, collection, and determination of values of assets
  • Payment of all debts, expenses, and taxes from estate and trust assets with submission of regular accountings
  • Advice as to disposition of jointly held assets, life insurance, and retirement benefits that pass outside a will or trust
  • Preparation of state and federal, gift, generation-skipping transfer, and gift tax returns
  • Notification of all heirs and beneficiaries of the trust or estate
  • Communication with beneficiaries

Our primary objective is to make this process as easy as possible for you, and minimize the impact of going to court, while also keeping your family out of conflict.

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Trust & Estate Administration Lawyers in Arlington, Texas

No matter how complex the trust or estate administration process may be, the trust and estate administration lawyers at Hixson & Stringham, PLLC, will guide you every step of the way. We'll work closely with personal representatives, executors, beneficiaries, and other fiduciaries to ensure the terms of the trust are carried out properly. At the same time, we'll make the process as understandable and stress-free as possible for the trustee.

We are just a phone call away at (817) 261-5000 or click the following link to set up a FREE 15 minute consultation. We're ready to answer whatever questions you have.

Contact Us Today!

The attorneys at Hixson & Stringham would love to help you find answers to your questions about Estate Planning, Probate, Business Succession Planning and Small Business General Counsel Services questions in Arlington and the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

Our office is conveniently located in Arlington, Texas. Call us anytime to schedule a consultation with our attorneys and let us take the worry out of your transactions and transitions.

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