Whether a loved one has died, whether you have been appointed as a trustee, or whether a dispute has arisen in connection with an estate or trust, Wallace & Wallace can help you.
With a team of knowledgeable attorneys, paralegals, and staff members who practice in the trusts and estates arena and who are familiar with Surrogate’s Court practice, Wallace & Wallace is prepared to represent you in connection with all of your trust and estate needs.
PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to think about is commencing a proceeding in Surrogate’s Court to probate his or her will and administering the estate. Let Wallace & Wallace take this burden off of you. The Wallace & Wallace estate administration team is prepared to assist you as much or as little as you wish. Wallace & Wallace is fully prepared to assist you through each and every step of the process, from preparing and filing the initial petition with the Surrogate’s Court to probate the will and to have a representative appointed, through final accounting and distribution of estate assets.
If You Are the Estate’s Executor or Administrator
If you appointed as the executor or administrator of the estate, the Wallace & Wallace estate administration team will be your right hand. We will explain to you, your duties and responsibilities as the estate’s representative so as to ensure that the estate is administered properly and efficiently. Wallace & Wallace will assist you in the following ways:
- Initial consultation to explain probate and estate administration process and to discuss the details of your particular case.
- Prepare and file appropriate court documents.
- Communicate with other attorneys, family members, or interested parties
- Attend Court appearances and related hearings
- Assist with tax filings
- Assist with collection of assets including but not limited to, bank accounts, bonds, stocks, and payment of any estate debts
- Arrange for estate auctions and/or sales
- Arrange for appraisals of estate assets
- Prepare final accounting and assist with distribution and finalization of estate.
If you are a Family Member and/or Beneficiary Under a Will
Wallace & Wallace can also assist you in the event that you are not the executor or the administrator of the estate, but rather, a family member or person named in the decedent’s will. Wallace & Wallace will:
- Review the decedent’s estate planning documents, if any, and provide initial and ongoing consultation regarding your rights
- Communicate with the attorney for the executor or administrator regarding estate issues and any pending proceeding(s)
- Attend court appearances
- Prepare and file court documents to, among other things, contest the will, where appropriate, and/or contest appointment of proposed fiduciary
- Commence a proceeding to compel the fiduciary to account, compel distribution, or compel turnover of any property in the hands of the fiduciary that is yours, where appropriate
- Review any accounting’s received from the fiduciary and prepare and file any documents objecting to the accounting, where appropriate
In addition, if a dispute arises at any point during the administration of the estate, there is no need for you to find another lawyer. Wallace & Wallace is prepared to assist you throughout the entire litigation process, including trial.
If You are a Trustee
If you have been appointed as a trustee of a trust, some one has likely entrusted you with his or her money and/or other valuables. As trustee, you have a duty to protect these assets, to make them income-producing, and to ensure that the trust assets are invested and distributed in accordance with the trust creator’s wishes. This is a big responsibility.
The Wallace & Wallace trust administration team is prepared to assist you throughout each and every stage of the process to ensure that the trust is administered properly. Wallace & Wallace will:
- Perform a thorough examination of the trust instrument as well as any other related estate planning documents
- Provide initial and ongoing consultation regarding your duties, as trustee, and the administration of the trust
- Arrange for preparation of any tax returns
- Communicate with trust beneficiaries, other trustees, or their attorneys
- Assist with distributions of trust income and principal
- Prepare and file court documents, where appropriate
- Attend Court appearances and hearings
In addition, if a dispute arises at any stage of the trust administration, there is no need to find another lawyer. Wallace & Wallace is prepared to represent you throughout the entire litigation process, including trial.
Click here to learn more about Wallace & Wallace’s trust and estate litigation services.
Amending/Terminating a Trust
If you wish to terminate a trust, a Wallace & Wallace attorney will review the trust instrument to determine whether termination is an option and if so, help you achieve your goals as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
When a dispute arises involving an estate or a trust, your first thought may either be to contact the attorney who prepared your will or to contact a trial attorney. However, not all trust and estate practitioners are trial attorneys and not all trial attorneys are familiar with the unique practice and procedure of the Surrogate’s Court, the court in which estate and trust litigation typically takes place. Wallace & Wallace’s estate litigation attorneys are not only familiar with the Surrogate’s Court procedures, but they appear in Surrogate’s Court regularly.
Whether a dispute arises with another family member, with the executor or administrator of an estate, with the trustee of a trust, or between trustees or estate representatives, Wallace & Wallace will assist you throughout the entire litigation process, including trial, should one become necessary. Wallace & Wallace will:
- Provide ongoing consultation regarding your case
- Prepare Court filings including, but not limited to, petition, objections, motions, trial briefs and/or appeal briefs
- Communicate with other attorneys and parties in an attempt to resolve the dispute without trial, where appropriate
- If dispute resolution is not possible, provide litigation strategy in attempt to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible
- Attend court appearances, hearings and/or trial