Many surviving family members find it challenging to effectively administer the estate of a deceased loved while grieving the loss. Estate and trust administration is a complex area of the law. Laws affecting estates on the federal level and in North Carolina change fairly frequently. For these reasons, it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney during this process.
The Chapel Hill estate planning attorneys and staff at TrustCounsel have been assisting clients with estate administration for almost 20 years. We understand and strive to be sensitive to the delicate challenge our clients face in managing their grief and legal obligations. Following an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, much of the detailed work and communication with clients is performed by our experienced legal assistants under the supervision of an attorney, which helps to minimize legal fees.
Below is a sampling of post-mortem administration services we typically provide:
- Consultation with an attorney to review decedent’s assets and determine what form of estate or trust administration, if any, is legally required
- Advice regarding tax considerations and options for minimizing taxation
- Identification and valuation of assets requiring probate
- Preparation of all court forms and documents and filing of same with the Clerk of Superior Court, throughout the administration process
- Services to obtain surety bond (when required)
- Publication of creditor notice in proper newspaper and communication with creditors
- Services to acquire taxpayer identification number (TIN) for the estate and/or trust
- Notification to tax authorities of the death of and authorized agent for decedent, estate/trust
- Assistance with preparation of life insurance claims, upon request
- Consultation regarding proper handling of real property
- Advisement on payment of bills and creditors’ claims, as well as when and how to make distributions to beneficiaries
Preparation and filing of tax returns including, but not limited to, decedent’s final individual income tax return, fiduciary income tax returns, and estate tax return
- NOTE: Clients often wish to use their personal tax advisor for this purpose, and we are happy to work with such advisors if you prefer. Our years of experience have shown, however, that many tax preparers are unfamiliar with the various tax considerations specific to estate/trust administration. The tax attorneys at TrustCounsel are experienced in both probate and tax law and, because of their involvement in the overall estate administration, are often in a better position to assist with these tasks.
If you are considering the counsel of an attorney for estate administration purposes, contact our attorneys in Chapel Hill to review your needs and options.