Estate Administration Services
The death of a client creates a wide array of issues that are addressed by our attorneys, estate administrators and tax accountants. In the typical estate settlement process, the client’s will governs the disposition of the client’s probate estate and we work with the fiduciary to implement the terms of the will and any trusts incorporated into the client’s estate plan (such as a revocable trust established by the client). We also administer estates for clients who die without a valid will, where the disposition of the client’s probate estate is governed by state intestacy laws.
Our typical estate administration services include:
- Initiating and supervising the probate process to secure the appointment of the named fiduciary and allowance of the will
- Marshalling and inventorying the assets of the estate
- Assisting with the collection of assets passing outside the probate estate (such as jointly owned property, life insurance and retirement benefits)
- Arranging for payment of the decedent’s debts, funeral and estate administration expenses and taxes
- Disposing of real estate
- Preparing and filing state and federal estate tax returns, taking into account post-mortem tax planning
- Working with the client’s tax accountants to coordinate the filing of the client’s final income tax returns and the fiduciary income tax returns for the estate
- Preparing the fiduciary’s accounts and initiating and supervising the probate process to close the estate
- Implementing sophisticated estate plans after death through funding of trusts
- Administering estates for U.S. citizens residing abroad or with foreign assets, including transferring assets internationally
At Hemenway & Barnes, we work closely with the client’s family to guide them through the complicated process of probate of the will and administration of the estate often developing long-standing relationships with families. We are often called upon to assist families with estate and tax planning, to serve as trustees, to provide wealth management services or to help set up a family foundation. It is our goal to provide a comprehensive array of supports to individuals and families during a difficult time.
The estate administration department at Hemenway & Barnes manages a large number of estates ranging in size and sophistication. Because of the number of estates we administer, we have extensive experience navigating the complex rules and procedures and changes in the law governing probate and settling an estate. Our team includes estate administrators, attorneys, trustees, tax professionals, trust administrators and, when needed, litigators.
Joan Garrity Flynn
Joan Garrity Flynn has practiced probate law for over 30 years. She joined Hemenway & Barnes in 2008, focusing her practice in the areas of estate and charitable planning; estate, trust and guardianship administration; and probate court equity matters.
Estate Administration - Frequently Asked Questions
When a loved one dies, we know it can be very overwhelming. Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions such as "When are you required to probate a will?" and "What if there are Transfer on Death documents in place?"