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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Chesapeake Probate & Trust Administration Lawyer

Chesapeake Probate & Trust Administration Lawyer

Probate is a process that is supervised by the court and that distributes a person’s property when they pass away. Probate is a costly and time-consuming process. Anything that happens in probate court also becomes a matter of public record, which is something many people want to avoid. Most people want to avoid the probate process. Our Chesapeake probate & trust administration lawyer knows the tools that can help you avoid it, such as creating a trust. When probate cannot be avoided entirely, it is important for executors, beneficiaries, and administrators to obtain sound legal advice.

What is Probate in Chesapeake?

During probate, the Virginia courts will prove a will if one exists, which essentially validates it. The steps involved in the probate process will depend on the facts of one’s case but generally speaking, they are as follows:

  • Initiating probate: The probate process begins when an existing will, death certificate, and other important documents are filed with the court. When a person passes away without a will or has not named an executor, the court will appoint one.
  • Notice: The beneficiaries named in a will are notified that the probate process has begun. When there is no will, the statutory heirs according to the intestacy laws are notified.
  • Collection of assets: The executor must collect all of the deceased’s assets and file an inventory with the court. When the value of certain assets are unknown, they must be appraised.
  • Debt settlement: If a decedent had outstanding debts when they passed away, they must be paid from the estate. Creditors can make claims against the estate to recover the debt. Certain assets may have to be sold to repay debt.
  • Estate taxes: Taxes owed by the estate are paid, and the estate’s final tax return is filed.
  • Distribution of assets: After all taxes and debts are paid, any remaining assets are distributed according to the estate plan. If a will does not exist, the remaining assets are distributed among the statutory beneficiaries.

What is Trust Administration?

Trusts are generally not subject to the probate process. This is very beneficial because beneficiaries can receive their inheritance right away. Still, there are certain steps involved in administering a trust and they are as follows:

  • Notice: After someone creates a trust and then passes away, the trustee notifies the beneficiaries of the status of the trust.
  • Asset management: The trustee ensures that the assets within a trust are distributed or sold according to the terms of the trust.
  • Taxation: The trustee ensures any taxes related to the trust are paid.
  • Asset distribution: The assets are distributed among beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.

Our Probate and Trust Administration Lawyer in Chesapeake Can Help You Through the Process

Whether you need to go through the probate process or administer a trust, it is important to obtain sound legal advice. At The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, our Chesapeake probate and trust administration lawyer can provide it and guide you through the process so no mistakes are made. Call us now at 757-271-6275 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to get the help you need.

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