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When a loved one dies, their financial affairs must be addressed through the Estate Administration process, and there are numerous ways this process can take place. The Estate Administration team at Knox Law is committed to assisting you with identifying the appropriate process needed, whether that be full probate, a small estate affidavit, a year's allowance for a surviving spouse, or connecting with financial institutions for assets that named direct beneficiaries. We assist the family and the personal representative of the estate every step of the way.  In addition, Caroline Knox can serve as the personal representative for an estate if the family so chooses.      

FAQs for Estate Administration:

I am named Executor in the Will, and I don't know what to do.  Can I make an appointment to meet?  YES, our team of professionals can meet you and help you navigate through the process, but before we can schedule an appointment, we need some information from you:

1. Death Certificate - Your first priority is to obtain copies of the death certificate. The estate administration process cannot begin until the death certificate is available.

2. Original Will - If the decendent's original Will is not already stored in Knox Law vault files, we must receive the will to determine next steps. If the decendent did not have a Will, we will need a list of the contact information for the next of kin.

3. Completed Estate Administration Worksheet - Please complete this fillable worksheet to the best of your ability. This tool is invaluable in determining the type of estate administration proceeding required to settle your loved one's estate.

After the above information is provided to Knox Law, please expect a call from one of our Estate Administration team members to schedule an appointment to begin the process.

Do you accept all estate administration clients?  At this time, we are only accepting estate administration matters for existing clients.

How long does the estate administration process take? The length of the estate administration is related to the type of proceeding required to settle the estate. Ideally, the full probate process is completed one year after the personal representative is qualified by the Clerk of Court. There are other estate proceedings that take shorter periods of time, anywhere from 2 to 6 months. Other factors that affect the timing include tax return deadlines and the timelines of various financial institutions. Our team works diligently to be efficient and complete tasks in a timely manner. We will also provide you with an estimated timeline for your specific estate administration process during our initial meeting.

How much does estate administration cost? As you can imagine, each estate is unique. However, we can give you some information about our costs to help you make an informed decision.  The minimum charge for us to handle a complete estate administration is $4000. Through experience, we have found this is the average cost for a typical estate with no complications. The fees are billed on an hourly basis and billed at intervals throughout the estate administration process. Again, we will provide you with specifics related to your estate administration process during our initial meeting.

Do all estates go through probate?  No, not necessarily. If the decedent named direct beneficiaries on their accounts, then probate may not be required.

Trust Administration

In many instances, your loved one may have created a trust prior to their death. There are many types of trusts, many of which terminate at a loved ones death. Other trusts are created to continue after the decedent's death for benefit of certain named beneficiaries. Our team can assist you with the trust administration process in addition to, or in lieu of, the estate administration process.