Leading Santa Clara probate & trust administration Attorneys Assisting With Probate Administration in San Jose and Across the Silicon Valley
The lawyers of Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP provide comprehensive assistance in all aspects of probate administration. Probate refers to the process of the court overseeing the administration of a deceased person’s estate. The purpose of probate administration is to ensure that final bills and expenses of the decedent, including any taxes owed, are paid and that the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will. If the decedent died without a will, or “intestate,” the decedent’s estate is distributed to the decedent’s heirs as defined under California’s laws governing intestate succession.
Serving Fremont, Walnut Creek, Danville, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties, our attorneys represents clients in probate and trust administration legal matters.
The Probate Process
The Superior Court of the County of Santa Clara has a diagram on their website that outlines the steps required in the probate process. To view the diagram, click here. It should be noted that the timing of the steps shown on this diagram varies depending on a number of factors, including:
- Nature and complexity of the estate
- Amount of time required for the probate referee to complete appraisals
- Number of creditors filing claims against the estate
- Sale of any real property
- Filing of any estate tax returns
- Court’s schedule
- Any disputes involving the estate
Comprehensive Probate Administration Services From Skilled Attorneys
Our highly skilled Santa Clara Probate & Trust Administration Attorneys and staff at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP are thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the probate process. We provide counsel to probate personal representatives regarding all legal and tax issues resulting from a person’s death. Our probate administration services include:
- Preparation of all necessary court pleadings
- Court appearances
- Assisting personal representatives in the preparation of an inventory of estate assets
- Marshaling estate assets
- Handling liquidity issues
- Sale of estate assets
- Payments of the decedent’s debts
- Addressing creditor claims
- Final distribution to those entitled to the decedent’s estate
In addition, our probate attorneys help resolve a wide range of disputes that arise throughout the probate and administration process. To learn more, please see our page on Probate Litigation.
Expert Trust Attorneys Providing Trust Administration Services
Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP provides a full range of trust administration services. Administering a spouse or parent’s trust after their death is often a confusing process. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for the surviving family members. We remain involved with trustees from the beginning of this process through its resolution and provide step-by-step guidance to assist a trustee, including:
- Inventory of trust assets
- Value of trust assets
- Providing notifications to trust beneficiaries
- Sale of assets when necessary
- Distribution of assets to subtrusts or outright to beneficiaries per terms of trust
- Checklist of action items for trustee to attend to
We also make sure that our trustee clients understand their fiduciary duties and advise them on how to protect themselves from incurring liability to the beneficiaries of the trust. When a client has existing relationships with other professionals, such as financial advisors, accountants, insurance brokers, or financial planners, we work closely as a team with those professionals to ensure the smooth and efficient administration of the trust.
Successful Trust Administration for All Types of Estates
Our trustee clients include family members of the decedent, private professional fiduciaries, and corporate fiduciaries. We administer a wide variety of estates, from small and simple trusts to trusts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With twelve attorneys — two of whom are also CPAs — and several paralegals involved in our trust administration practice, we have the depth of resources necessary to handle even the most complicated trust administrations. Our attorneys also internally prepare accountings for trust beneficiaries, prepare estate and gift tax returns, and defend those tax returns if they are audited. We have repeatedly been successful at obtaining extensions of time to pay estate taxes, often for several years, when an estate has difficulty liquidating sufficient assets to pay estate taxes. Additionally, we have repeatedly been successful in convincing the court to modify and terminate irrevocable trusts that are no longer serving the purpose for which they were created.
Solutions for Complex Assets
Due to the depth of our resources, we are able to handle trust administrations that include a wide variety of assets. For example, we have advised and assisted co-trustees in the administration of trusts that included wholly owned businesses, partially owned businesses (such as wineries, hotels, restaurants and art galleries, closely held family businesses, limited partnerships, LLCs, and corporations), and wholly and partially owned real properties, and have advised and assisted in the sale of some of these properties to raise funds to pay estate taxes. We also counsel trustees on completing due diligence to ensure trust businesses are appropriately managed.
Trust and Estate Litigation
We frequently receive and accept referrals from other attorneys in cases where the trust administration process has broken down, such as when co-trustees have difficulty working together or trust documents include unclear or conflicting terms. In addition, we provide comprehensive services in trust and estate litigation. Contact the San Jose trust attorneys at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP for further information regarding the trust services offered by our firm.
Contact skilled attorneys for probate and trust administration services
We look forward to assisting you with all aspects of the probate or trust administration process. Contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP. Our San Jose and Danville law firm represents clients in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Danville, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties.