Trusts are inherently complex legal and financial arrangements that involve careful management, good judgment, and investment acumen. Estate administration likewise requires diligence, financial literacy, and thorough attention to detail. When deciding who to appoint as your trustee, personal representative, or power of attorney, you must consider whether your chosen agent has the knowledge and abilities required to effectively protect your interests.
Our attorneys at Zell Law have over 35 years of experience in advising fiduciaries and serving as successor trustees for various types of trusts. Our Reston fiduciary services are designed to provide you with the peace of mind you deserve. We want you to feel confident that your estate plan is in good hands, and our team leverages our comprehensive understanding of business planning and tax planning to augment our guidance and representation. We can also assist families with matters of probate and estate administration.
Explore your trust administration and probate options by contacting us online or calling (571) 410-3500.
When you write your will, you will need to name a personal representative that will be managing probate and the estate administration process. Similarly, when you create a trust, you will need to name a trustee to oversee and manage its contents for the benefit of your heirs and beneficiaries. Certain types of trusts allow you to act as your own trustee, but you will still need to select a successor trustee to take over once you have passed away or are no longer able to communicate.
Many people instinctively think to name a loved one as their personal representative or trustee. While this is a nice sentiment that can create continuity in a family, it can also have unintended consequences.
Serving as a personal representative or trustee is a tall order that carries a tremendous amount of responsibility. Personal representatives and trustees can be subject to heavy scrutiny, and their actions are highly regulated. Trustees can be held liable for their actions – including mistakes that result in mismanagement of trust assets.
In other words, you should generally only appoint a family member, close friend, or another loved one to take on these roles if they have a complete understanding of what will be required of them. Ideally, they will be well-versed in the laws that regulate their behavior when serving as your fiduciary. Appointing someone who is unprepared to fulfill their duties can result in unfortunate legal and financially damaging consequences.
Alternatively, our lawyers can serve as your personal representative or successor trustee. Our Reston fiduciary services include assistance with estate and trust administration. We can also provide guidance and representation to existing personal representative and trustees that need assistance carrying out their fiduciary responsibilities.
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Executor and Personal Representative Services
Estate administration involves understanding what it means to probate a will, navigate the state’s process for probate, resolve disputes, and settle a decedent’s estate. Our Reston trustee and fiduciary services include assistance with all elements of probate.
We can assist estate executors (also known as personal representatives) with:
- Initiating the probate process with the appropriate court
- Notifying heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors
- Fielding disputes over the validity of a will
- Inventorying and appraising all estate assets
- Paying outstanding debts and obligations
- Filing the decedent’s final tax returns
- Distributing estate assets in accordance with the decedent’s will
Request an initial consultation with our team by contacting us online or calling (571) 410-3500.