Trust administration and probate may occur when someone passes away. You need to know which of these two processes is appropriate after the death of someone you love, or whether both processes will be necessary. You may also need to get legal help guiding you through the trust administration and probate process to ensure an inheritance is protected and the wishes of the deceased are respected.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC provides assistance with both trust administration and probate. We represent executors, heirs, trustees, trust beneficiaries, and other interested parties who may have reason to believe the interests of the deceased are not being appropriately represented. If you need assistance after a death, we are here for you. Give us a call in Vermont at 802-879-7133 for personalized advice or contact us to find answers to questions including:
- What happens during probate and trust administration in Vermont?
- Who should consult with a lawyer about trust administration and probate?
- How can a Vermont probate or trust administration lawyer help you?
What Happens During Trust Administration and Probate in Vermont?
During trust administration, a trustee is responsible for facilitating the transfer of assets which were held inside of a trust to the trust beneficiaries. The trustee is also responsible for addressing all of the legal matters associated with the trust. During probate, an executor is responsible for facilitating the transfer of a deceased person’s assets to heirs as well as for winding up all of the legal matters associated with the estate.
Both probate and trust administration, therefore, involve a person in a position of responsibility taking steps to make sure the deceased person’s assets are managed appropriately and transferred to new owners.
While probate and trust administration differ in important ways – including the fact that probate takes place in court while trust administration usually doesn’t – the goal of both processes is very similar. In both cases, the aim is to provide new owners with the property left to them by the deceased, to do so in a timely manner, and to ensure all laws are complied with and all instructions left by the deceased are followed to the letter.
Who Should Consult with a Lawyer About Probate or Trust Administration?
An executor who is named by the deceased is usually the person who oversees the probate process. Sometimes, no executor was selected by the deceased and instead the court will appoint a personal representative. A personal representative may also be put in charge if an executor named by the deceased declines the role.
In the case of trust administration, a trustee who is named in the trust document will oversee the trust administration process. Usually, the trust creator will also name a backup trustee just in case the first person chosen is unable or unwilling to carry out his duties in taking care of the transfer of trust assets after death.
Executors, trustees, and personal representatives are all expected to act in the best interests of the heirs or beneficiaries and to respect all of the wishes of the deceased. They have a legal duty to do so, and can be held accountable for any wrongdoing. Because of the important role played by executors, personal representatives, and personal representatives, a lawyer should be consulted to provide assistance.
People who are expecting to inherit from a will or who will be receiving assets from a trust can often benefit from being legally represented as well. Although trustees and executors are supposed to manage assets appropriately and move swiftly through the trust administration or probate process, sometimes this is not what occurs. An attorney can be protective of the rights and interests of heirs and trust beneficiaries and can observe and assist during the probate or trust administration process to ensure that the process goes smoothly. If there are problems, an attorney representing heirs or beneficiaries can take action on their behalf.
Finally, anyone who wishes to contest a will or who wishes to make claims that a trust should not be considered legally valid will also need an attorney to help make appropriate legal arguments.
How Can a Vermont Trust Administration or Probate Lawyer Help You?
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC provides assistance with both probate and trust administration to clients throughout Vermont, including in Burlington, Essex Junction, Montpelier, Rutland, White River Junction, St. Johnsbury and Newport.
Whenever you want a knowledgeable legal advocate to advise you on your own role during the process, or to help you protect the rights of the deceased and secure your inheritance, we are here to help. Give us a call in Vermont at 802-879-7133 or contact us online to schedule your consultation and learn more about the legal assistance we can provide to you.