Probate & Trust Administration

Probate and trust administration can be daunting. With decades of experience, the team at Scott Williams will support you through every step, from answering questions and guiding you through fulfilling your personal representative and/or trustee responsibilities to handling required legal documentation and the distribution process. 

Schedule a Strategy Session to learn how Scott Williams can help ensure an organized and efficient estate and trust administration process.

Indianapolis Estate Planning Lawyers Shawn Scott & Daniel Williams

General Obligations of a Personal Representative:

  • Administer the Estate. The Personal Representative’s primary duty is to ensure that the terms of the will, when there is one, or intestate succession, when there is no will, are carried out. This involves identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets, paying off valid debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the estate’s beneficiaries (when there is a will) or heirs at law (when there is no will).
  • While the executor is responsible for following the terms of the will, they must also operate within the boundaries of Indiana law, and are accountable to the probate court for their actions.

As Indiana probate lawyers and estate-administration attorneys, we offer guidance and support to personal representatives, facilitating the probate process being handled efficiently and in compliance with Indiana law.

What are the Primary Duties of Personal Representatives?

As probate lawyers, we understand the complexities involved in being a personal representative. Your responsibilities will encompass:

  • Asset Control and Valuation. Essential to estate settlement, this involves taking charge of all estate assets. Activities may include obtaining keys to real estate and vehicles, recovering loaned items, and accessing financial accounts. A detailed inventory and valuation of all assets are important steps in this process.
  • Estate Management. As estate-administration attorneys, we guide personal representatives in overseeing the estate’s daily affairs. This includes making mortgage and insurance payments for real property, as well as managing routine upkeep. We provide assistance in the meticulous accounting required for distribution of estate funds.
  • Debt Settlement. A probate attorney’s role is pivotal in settling valid debts owed by the estate. This step precedes the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Scott Williams Law offers guidance in assessing the legitimacy of claims and managing debt payments.
  • Tax Return Filing. Our team assists personal representatives and executors in engaging a qualified tax professional to handle the preparation and submission of the estate’s final tax returns and the final income tax return of the decedent.
  • Probate Closure. After asset distribution, we prepare and file all necessary court documents to formally conclude the probate process.
  • Asset Distribution. We assist in determining who the beneficiaries and heirs at law are and the assets to which each is entitled. Our services extend to drafting required legal documents, like deeds, to transfer legal titles.
  • Resolving Disputes. In some instances, especially when there is no will, asset distribution can become contentious. This is especially the case when numerous beneficiaries all want the same asset, such as an heirloom or house, and there is no relevant provision in a will. We are experienced in guiding personal representatives in these matters, helping them to craft unique strategies for distribution in the absence of language about who should inherit a specific asset, and helping to gain the agreement of beneficiaries in some instances.

Can Personal Representatives Be Held Personally Liable for Estate Taxes or Debts in Indiana?

No. If there are not sufficient assets to discharge the debts of the decedent, the personal representative or executor for the estate is not personally responsible for deficiencies so long as they are following their fiduciary duties. Instead, creditors are paid in accordance with the law based upon the available assets. We are available to provide guidance on how to address these debts.

We Invite You to Call Us to Learn How We Can Assist in Helping You Fulfill Your Obligations as a Personal Representative

We offer flat-fee pricing for probate estate-administration cases, promoting the clarity and affordability of our services.

We want to learn about you, your legal needs, and objectives.

Strategy Sessions

Our flat-fee, 75-minute Strategy Sessions are designed to provide comfort and clarity from the outset. Let us map out the legal steps necessary to achieve your objectives through a pragmatic and strategic action plan for your estate planning, administration, business, or intellectual property matter.

Submission of information to us through this contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not submit any confidential information. If we are to serve as your attorneys, all fees and the nature of our representation will be set forth in a written agreement.