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After a resident in Kansas City creates a will or trust, the legal journey doesn’t end.. Once the creator of the will or trust passes away, the directions in those documents need to be carefully followed with all the proper legal formalities through trust and probate administration.

Of course, not everyone who passes away has created a will, and even if a loved one has created a will, that will may have to go through a process known as probate. Through probate, the deceased’s estate will be inventoried and then distributed per the instructions of the deceased’s will or via state intestacy provisions. The court oversees every step, controls creditor claims and provides a legal channel for those who may contest the process. In the end, if people look at the probate process as a series of manageable steps, by working with an attorney, they may find that probate can settle their affairs in an efficient and economical manner.

Of course, some individuals create trusts before they pass away, which do not have to go through probate. However, serving in the role of trustee is important. Trustees must understand their roles in reporting and managing the assets in the trust. When it comes to trust administration, it may help to have an attorney by your side to review the trust so that the directions left in the trust are properly followed, and other legal aspects of trust administration, such as filing tax returns, making an inventory of assets and distributing them are handled appropriately.

As you can see, what happens to a person’s will or trust after he or she dies is important. It can often help to have the assistance of a professional to ensure no crucial step is overlooked, and to ease the burden during what may be an emotional time. The professionals at Stockton & Stern, LLC, have a webpage on trust and probate administration that Kansas City residents may find helpful, whether they are interested in creating a will or trust, or whether they have been named as the administrator of one.