- Probate and Estate Administration
The legal process giving an individual the authority over the affairs and assets of an individual who dies. In Shelby County, Tennessee, an attorney must assist in 'validating' the decedent's "Will", if one exists. If the decedent did not leave a Will, it is said to be an "intestate estate", and a court procedure is followed whereby the assets are distributed to the decedent's family members.
- Guardianship Administration (including VA Guardianships)
Guardianships are court-mandated relationships between an institution (such as the Veterans Administration) and an individual (called a ward), as the result of some form of incapacity or circumstance. The Guardian generally takes care of the ward's financial interests and acts in legal capacity on the ward's behalf.
- Inheritance and Estate Tax Matters
Receiving an inheritance often involves complex legal issues. What type of assets exist? A house? Real Estate? A business? stocks and bonds? Retirement plans, IRA's or Life Insurance? When will the assets be available? Immediately or distributed over a period of time? Knowing the steps to be taken, the order in which they must occur, and managing the process are important elements of successfully handling inheritance and estate tax matters.
- Contested Claims
Unfortunately, disputes about wills and deceased estates are not uncommon. People who have been left out of a will, or feel that they should have received a greater share of the deceased's estate may bring a "claim" against the estate if they can establish that they are legitimately entitled to do so. Whether you need assisstance in filing such a claim, or need to defend the existing distribution of the decedent's estate, I would be happy to be of service.
- Insolvency Actions
Having more debt than assets sometimes results in being unable to pay bills and obligations when they are due. This can lead to a legal condition known as "insolvency", as determined through a court proceeding often referred to as "bankruptcy". Courts can then "discharge" (excuse) some or all of those debts, which can have far reaching consequences on both the debtor and the person or institution having given "credit" to the individual. While I am not a "bankruptcy attorney", I do have a comprehensive knowledge of court procedures associated with insolvency.
- Trust Administration
Individuals who are legally designated as a representative of a decedent's estate have the responsibility to gather and protect the assets of the estate, collecting and arranging for payment of outstanding obligations, making sure that all forms are properly completed, and obligated to serve the best interests of the estate. In many cases, a bond is required, with monetary funds held in "escrow" accounts, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. I have considerable experience in Trust Administration and will be happy to discuss specific needs should you require establishment of a Trust as part of your estate planning.