Proper Administration of a Decedent’s Estate
Probate laws are complex. Professional legal advice is critical after a loved one has passed and you are left with the responsibility of distributing their estate. Our Probate Law team of Tom Vander Luitgaren and Eric Prime, offer the skilled legal guidance you need during the entire probate process.
Our attorneys carefully and considerately review your situation, explore your values, and discuss your goals for yourself and the well-being of your family. Van Valer Law Firm will help you navigate all of the complexities of probate, including Estate and Trust Administration, Litigation, Will contests, contested Guardianships, and small Estate Affidavits.
Van Valer Law Firm can help you with the legal requirements for distributing the deceased’s estate. We ensure that all statutory requirements are met by filing appropriate Petitions with the Court, preparing notices to heirs, and publishing legal notices in the newspaper. Our attorneys appear in court as required, as well as assist in the transfer of assets, the resolution of claims, and the implementation of the decedent’s Estate Plan.
As the personal representative of the Estate, you are responsible for proper due diligence with regard to the decedent’s assets, including collecting these assets, paying the decedent’s taxes and debts, resolving any disputes, and fundamentally distributing assets according to the terms laid out in the Will.
However, you are not alone with regard to this momentous task. Van Valer Law Firm is here to help. We assist clients with creating an inventory of the decedent’s assets, organizing records of estate transactions, outlining accounting documents, and preparing reports to heirs, legatees, and the Court.
Even when considerable estate planning has taken place, the death of a loved one could lead to legal challenges to a Will, a Trust, or Guardianship. Ensuring that your Will is updated regularly to account for life changes, and maintaining organized records of debts, personal property, and other assets, simplifies the probate process.
You need an attorney who has both the knowledge of the law and the experience to litigate issues in the courtroom. Our Attorneys have litigation experience in Estate, Trust, and Guardianship matters.
Van Valer Law Firm can assist you with a decedent’s Estate litigation, Trust litigation, and Contested Guardianships. We can address insurance concerns, property distribution and estate taxes, and assist with the sale of assets such as real estate. We handle a range of cases related to probate, estate, and trust litigation, including mismanagement of funds, disputed accounting, breach of fiduciary duty, recovery of assets, and lack of mental capacity claims.
A Durable Power of Attorney is someone that you designate to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. There is also a Durable Power of Attorney for health care which allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
We can help you with preparing these two documents, along with a health care directive (Living Will). A Living Will lays out your wishes for medical care and treatment, and ensures that your health and financial matters will stay in the hands of people you trust.
Our attorneys also offer Guardianship legal advice and representation. Van Valer Law Firm represents people who want to become guardians of a parent, minor, or adult disabled child. After the Guardianship has been established through the Court, we also assist you with establishing fiduciary accounts and accountings.
You can ensure that your end-of-life care is handled the way you want it to be handled by putting your preferences in writing using Advance Directives. Our attorneys can work with you to create a Funeral Planning Directive to let your loved ones know about specific funeral wishes – everything from whether you want a funeral or memorial service, the size of the gathering and location, and whether you wish to be cremated or prefer a traditional burial.