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Probate & Estate Administration

Following the death of a loved one, the attorneys at Knudsen Burbridge, P.C. work closely with families to ensure that a person’s wishes are carried out and that all legal requirements are met.  Trust administration is the process through which trust assets are transferred or managed after the Trustmaker’s death.

Unfortunately not every client avoids the pitfalls of the Massachusetts probate system.  For those individuals who either relied on Simple Will planning, or had Revocable Trusts that did not own assets, a probate proceeding will be required.  Our skilled attorneys and team members have years of estate administration and settlement experience.  We assist our clients in carrying out the wishes of the Trustmaker and in complying with all legal obligations.

We help Trustees and Personal Representatives (formerly Executors) in the following areas:

  • Determining what assets were owned by the Trust and creating an inventory and tracking mechanism for those assets that passed via the decedent’s Will or via beneficiary designation

  • Working with family members, CPAs, Certified Valuation Specialists, and Appraisers to accurately determine the value of Trust and Estate assets

  • Assembling all debts of the Trust and Estate, determining which debts are perfected and negotiating settlements with creditors and taxing authorities

  • Determining the proper allocations of assets among the various sub-trusts that are created for the surviving spouse

  • Gathering the necessary information and then working with clients and court personnel to complete and file the various forms required by the probate court

  • Preparing estate and gift tax returns for both the Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue

  • Appearing in Court on an emergency basis to obtain Licenses to Sell or other equitable relief

  • Working with beneficiaries to set expectations and then overseeing and tracking the distribution of assets to those beneficiaries

Estate administration also includes assisting Trustees in their ongoing Trust management duties.  Often times Trusts continue on for many years after the Trustmaker has passed.  Our attorneys and staff will assist in the following areas:

  • Ensuring that the Trustees act in strict adherence to the law, and that they perform their fiduciary duties faithfully and prudently

  • Assisting the Trustees in interpreting the Trust and ensuring that they are undertaking their duties in the best interest of the beneficiaries

  • Helping the Trustees in properly administering the trust, managing its investments and making appropriate disbursements according to the trust terms

  • Working with beneficiaries and other family members to maintain harmony throughout the process