If estate planning is the process of designing a “playbook,” estate administration is putting the "playbook" into action.
The process begins with your death.  The plan becomes "executory," meaning the individuals (your “helpers”) you designated in your estate planning documents must step into action and execute your instructions.  Estate administration can be complex and the people you have designated must have competent and experienced counsel to guide them through the process. Sometimes, they must make important decisions quickly and they may need help in order to make them wisely.  They may also need to act quickly to obtain access to cash in order to pay bills and support the surviving spouse or family, inventory your property, make tax elections to minimize taxes (both income and estate taxes), prepare tax returns, or sign other important documents on your behalf.  Ultimately, they must divide and distribute your property to those individuals or charities you identified in your Will or Trust or as named in beneficiary designations.

The estate administration process often takes anywhere from nine months to two years or more and places a lot of responsibility upon the person you have designated to be in charge.  Often that person’s role is time-consuming.  It can be very stressful and they may often feel it is a “thankless” job.  We can help guide your loved ones through the process with sensitivity, efficiency, and thoroughness.
When you are looking to select an attorney to help you in this area, be sure to ask how many estates the attorney handles in a year, or in the past three to five years.  The answer will shed light on their experience in this area.  
At Goodin & Associates, about fifty percent of our practice is spent assisting clients with the administration of estates of various types and sizes.  We have a process in place that has been proven to guide our clients through estate and trust settlement in a cost effective and efficient manner.

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