Martin Pringle’s estate administration attorneys act as your advocate by delicately and discreetly lifting the burden of legal details off your shoulders. From filing the appropriate paperwork with the court, to helping the executor administer the estate, we will handle your matter from beginning to end, making the process as easy and painless as possible, so you don’t feel snowed under.
When someone dies or becomes mentally incapacitated, friends and family members often struggle to care for another's finances and sometimes their physical welfare. Martin Pringle's Estate Administration attorneys are well versed in these challenges and aid their clients in navigating the sometimes challenging maze of court, tax and trust requirements. We also recognize that these responsibilities can be personally challenging. Our team is highly knowledgeable about the variety of resources available to caretakers. We are eager to assist our clients in making estate administration as painless as possible.
Estate Administration is a term which encompasses a variety of discrete issues, which can include the following:
A successor trustee is given the responsibility of following the guidelines set out by the trust document itself, while also meeting state or federal tax requirements. We help our clients decipher the trust document and its requirements, and help them ensure that they're doing all they can to respect the wishes of the person who executed that trust. Sometimes trust administration is as simple as a tax return and writing some checks. But sometimes it can require the sale of real estate, assets and business interests, the appraisal of collections, asset protection and distribution. Likewise, we have experience representing trustees and beneficiaries in lawsuits. Our attorneys work closely with our clients to represent the interests of trustees and beneficiaries in disputing the proper administration of a Trust, sufficiency of an accounting, title to Trust assets, removal of trustees, and trustee fees.
Tax matters are rarely as simple as we would like them to be. For example, not all tax returns can be signed by a person whose income is being reported. If a person is incapacitated, their 1040 returns will still need to be filed. A fiduciary income tax return (Form 1041) may be required. We will tell you when tax returns are due, and who has the responsibility for signing and filing them. And if you need assistance in finding a tax preparer, our attorneys can complete the tax returns themselves or help you find someone well suited to assist you. We can also guide you through understanding what circumstances necessitate a gift, estate or trust tax return, and those due dates. Our attorneys regularly prepare these returns and are well versed in advising our clients.
If someone passes away with no Last Will and Testament (also known as intestacy), or if someone passes away with a Last Will and Testament (a testate estate) but with assets which have not already been transferred to other individuals or entities, a probate proceeding is in order. The probate court's job is to review the assets of an estate, the debts which should be paid by an estate, and the final distribution of an estate. Sometimes this process is straight forward. But sometimes, it can last several months and require a substantial amount of paperwork and oversight. We help our clients take the most responsible but also the simplest path from probate start to finish.
Not all adults have the mental capacity to make decisions about their own physical welfare. Loved ones can find themselves needing to take action to ensure the care and safety for an impaired adult or child but then discover that they are unable to do so without the requisite legal authority. The title for legally authorized physical care of an incapacitated adult is "Guardianship." We can help our clients apply to the appropriate court for Guardianship of another, make sure that our clients understand their responsibilities in this regard, provide advice as to care options available, and help clients ensure that they file the regular updates which are required by the court.
An adult with an impairment may need ongoing assistance in the care and management of their own assets. A court can appoint a "Conservator" to care for someone's financial interests and will monitor those financial interests when a Conservator makes the annual accounting report to the court. We regularly help our clients through this process so that they feel comfortable with decisions they make, and with the oversight requirements imposed by the court.