Inventory of Assets.

Probate requires a complete listing of your loved one's assets and holdings, including bank and brokerage statements, life insurance policies, business interests, stock and bond certificates, real estate deeds, and car and boat titles. We can create a comprehensive inventory and provide an estimate for the date of death values for all listed assets.

Debt Resolution.

Any remaining debts and financial obligations of your loved one must be paid before the estate can be closed. We can ensure that outstanding credit card bills, medical bills, mortgages, personal loans, and other creditors are settled in a timely manner. We can also help prepare and file your loved one's final federal and state income tax returns and pay any taxes that may be levied at death.

Asset Distribution.

Each of your loved one's assets must be transferred to new owners in accordance with the law. The manner in which property is held can make the process easier, or in some cases, more complicated. Ownership of property held in trust may transfer immediately to the named trustee without the need for probate. Similarly, property that is jointly-owned or owned by tenants-in-common may be passed directly to the surviving owner. We examine how each asset is titled to determine the best way to pass it to the proper beneficiary.

Next-Generation Planning.

Once they receive their inheritances, beneficiaries will need their own estate plans to preserve their assets. We are here to assist the next generation of loved ones with their estate planning needs, including funding trusts for beneficiaries and modifying existing trusts when necessary. Even if you already have an estate plan, we can help you determine if you should revise or update your plan to better carry out your wishes and protect your loved ones.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.