After Death Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away, it is important to seek legal guidance and work with an experienced Estate Planning Attorney to ensure the many duties and responsibilities that are legally required are carried out and required deadlines are met.

Probate is required for any assets owned by the deceased person, individually. Probate is a court process of transferring legal ownership of a deceased person’s assets according to the provisions of a will or state laws, in the absence of a will.

When the deceased person has a properly funded Trust, no Probate is required, and the process is called Trust Administration. If the Trust has not been properly funded over the person’s lifetime, both Probate and Trust Administration may be required.

Why Estate Administration Matters

  • Understanding Legalese

Legal terms can be confusing. We help you interpret and understand the terminology outlining the intended wishes.

  • Notifying Required Parties

There are mandatory notices required. We help ensure all the appropriate notices are timely sent.

  • Proper Accounting

A detailed record of expenses, distributions and receipts is required. We work directly with the accountant to make sure the proper income tax reporting is complete. Should an estate tax return be required, we will complete it and file it with the proper government office after we review it with the executor or trustee.

  • Handling Real Property Transfer

Legal expertise is needed to transfer the title of real property. We ensure title transfers are done properly according to the terms of the will, trust or state statute.

  • Transferring Trust Assets

Financial accounts must be handled appropriately. We ensure all the proper paperwork is completed to open and close accounts and transfer funds.

  • Communication

We keep beneficiaries informed of the status of the administration on a regular basis, so their concerns aren’t left to their own imaginations.

Estate Administration Should Be…


Dealing with the death of a loved one is stressful enough. You should not be left to figure things out on your own. We provide you with a turn-key approach where we focus on the legal side and you can focus on the personal.


This approach reduces your tasks while providing opportunities to address the concerns of other family members and help them understand the administration process.


You often have your own affairs to look after, so we can minimize your duties as executor or trustee. Our team follows through and follows up with all the needed tasks to ensure the process keeps moving.

Our Process

  • Notification & Initial Meeting

You notify us of the death of a loved one. We give you quick do’s and don’ts and an approximate time period to set up the Initial Settlement Meeting with us. It is important to identify assets owned by the deceased, as soon as possible. At the Initial Settlement Meeting, we will review what is involved in settlement and have you review and sign a Settlement Agreement.

  • Interim Settlement Meetings & Conferences

Between the Initial Settlement meeting and the final distribution, there are regular updates and communication to ensure the process is efficient and costs are controlled.

  • Distribution & Estate Closure

Once all assets are properly transferred and distributed and any taxes returns are completed, the administration process is complete.

What Our Clients Have To Say

Working with Ed Clay’s office has been a pleasure, and a relief. His office handles everything step by step. I could not get (my husband’s) pension check to which I am entitled, until Donna Clay figured out what the personnel office wanted. I do not know how I would have managed all the paperwork without Ed Clay’s office. 

– Irene