Probate & Trust Administration

Intestate and Testate Estates
When an individual dies without creating a will (intestate) or dies with a will (testate), the estate must go through a formal probate process where the decedent’s estate is administered through the courts. The firm walks its clients through all steps of probate estate administration–from the initial appointment to addressing creditors’ claims, to distribution and winding-up a decedent’s estate.  The firm ensures that the client, as the personal representative acting as the fiduciary of the estate, meets all California Probate Code and court requirements and the estate’s financial obligations are handled properly. When disputes arise among creditors, heirs and others, Bloom & Ruttenberg’s experienced attorneys help guide the process through any subsequent mediation, settlement or litigation.

We assist the personal representative of the estate with the task of selling an estate’s real property. We review sales documents to ensure they conform to all legal requirements. We work with accountants on income tax issues and regularly prepare IRS Form 706 (Estate Tax Return) when needed.

Our attorneys also represent creditors in a decedent’s estate–whether the estate is in a trust or must go through probate. We address tax issues, foreclosures, nonpayment of spousal support or child support and other financial matters.

Trust Administration

When an individual passes away but has prepared a trust, typically the trustee does not need to file any documents or pleadings in the court system. However, legal work still needs to be done.

In representing our client as the successor trustee of a trust,  we prepare the necessary documents to handle administration and to distribute the trust estate’s assets. Our firm prepares a “Notification by Trustee Pursuant to Probate Code Section 16061.7” so the successor trustee can notify beneficiaries of the decedent’s death.

The firm also prepares “Certifications of Trust” and “Affidavit of Successor Trustee” that the successor trustee can use to marshal assets from financial institutions and sell real property assets held by the trust. These tasks can often be overwhelming to individuals who must try to maneuver through unfamiliar and confusing requirements and procedures. Our firm helps with the process.

We assist trustees with the task of selling a trust’s real property. We review sales documents to ensure they conform to all legal requirements. We work with accountants on income tax issues and regularly prepare IRS Form 706 (Estate Tax Return) when needed.

Our attorneys also represent creditors in a decedent’s trust. We address tax issues, foreclosures, nonpayment of spousal support or child support and other financial matters.

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