Rebecca A. Gardner, Of Counsel
Trust administration and probate often adds to the stress inherent in the grieving process. By helping successor trustees and executors navigate these arenas, HMS Law Group seeks to relieve some of the burdens of grief with efficiency, accuracy and compassion.
HMS Law Group LLP regularly represents trustees in all aspects of trust administrations. Trustees bear fiduciary duties in administering the trust of another, and HMS takes the responsibility to counsel trustees very seriously to ensure that the decedent’s wishes are best effected. The services offered by HMS include:
- Providing general advice and partnering with trustees who wish to take the lead in the trust administration process
- Assisting clients with the collection of a decedent’s assets, including coordination of unclaimed property with the California Secretary of State and initiating claims on out of state property
- Notifying beneficiaries regarding the administration of a trust and serving as a liaison between a trustee and trust beneficiaries, as appropriate
- Preparing trust accountings and coordinating with the trustee’s accountant regarding tax liabilities of the decedent and the trust
- Completing initial tax documents and reviewing tax returns, including estate tax returns
- Distributing trust assets pursuant to the terms of the trust, including formation and administration of subtrusts
- Releasing the trustee from liability at the end of the administration process
While the use of trusts results in most estate administration taking place outside of a courtroom setting, HMS is experienced and well-prepared to represent clients throughout all aspects of a probate proceeding. From conducting a full probate from start to finish to petitioning the court to fund assets into a trust after a decedent’s death, HMS has successfully represented clients in counties throughout the region.
HMS offers a number of services to assist in contested estate administrations, including:
- Advising and consulting throughout the administration process to ensure that potential disputes are addressed early and respectfully
- Protecting trustees and executors from the personal liability inherent in administering an estate
- Representing the interests of beneficiaries during an administration, including petitioning courts to compel accountings, instruct trustees and administrators, and remove trustees and administrators when warranted
- Resolving disputes through negotiation, arbitration and mediation