Estate settlement is a complex and technical process, even in a simple estate. It is important to select a Personal Representative whom you trust to ensure that your estate is settled properly and in a timely manner, in accordance with your wishes. Our representatives are seasoned in the estate settlement process, bringing peace of mind to your family in knowing that your estate is being settled by a team of experienced professionals.
We will work with you to help you develop an estate plan that’s right for your family. We will understand the personal and family dynamics that influence estate planning decisions. Together, we’ll review your plan periodically to ensure that your documents reflect the most current tax issues and family concerns.
In addition, we provide estate settlement agency services to individuals named as Personal Representatives of estates. Many named individuals want to remain involved in the estate settlement process, but want to avoid the day-to-day duties of settling a loved one’s estate. Our intimate understanding of you and your family can ease the burden of a difficult responsibility.
Duties of a Personal Representative:
- To probate the decedent’s last will and testament with the probate court.
- To locate the decedent’s heirs and to make them aware of the terms of the will.
- Marshalling, collecting and safekeeping of assets.
- To maintain and secure real estate owned by the estate – including changing of locks, verifying proper insurance coverage, and safeguarding personal property.
- To manage assets – such as collecting dividends and interest, rents, matured assets and any other funds due to the decedent and to properly reinvest those funds.
- Inventory and valuation of assets of the decedent. In the event that the estate is composed of other than marketable securities, we will work with the proper professional(s) to have a valuation completed for those other assets.
- To manage the assets of the estate during the estate period.
- To maintain complete records and to provide regular accounts of all transactions of the estate.
- To pay the decedent’s final bills after verification of their legitimacy.
- To regularly provide accountings to the beneficiaries and to the probate court.
- Estate and Fiduciary Income Tax Reporting – we will oversee the preparation of the appropriate federal and state fiduciary returns. The required filings may include a decedent’s final income tax return, an estate tax return and fiduciary returns.
- To provide objective advice to the heirs.
- At the appropriate time, to properly distribute assets to the heirs of the estate including, but not limited to, having deeds prepared, securities re-registered, titles to automobiles changed and funding of resulting trusts.