One of the most difficult, and sometimes overwhelming, duties of an Executor or Successor Trustee is to communicate information on the administration process with the heirs or beneficiaries. Not only do most of the fiduciaries our firm works have no prior experience as a fiduciary, most beneficiaries of a probate or a Trust have never been in that role before. A fiduciary needs to communicate not only information on the governing Will, Trust, or State law, but also financial and valuation information, relevant time-frames, and procedural rules. When a probate or Trust is involved in actual litigation (regarding a creditor claims, rights to an asset, or claim as to validity) the role of communicator becomes even more critical.
Our firm often acts as the clearinghouse for information, especially when our client-fiduciary is a non-professional like a family member. Many of our clients maintain full-time jobs and other critical responsibilities at the same time as acting as Executor or Trustee, our firms job is to assist them with carrying-out their duties while also maintaining balance in their professional and personal lives.
Our firm assists fiduciaries to determine what information needs to be shared with beneficiaries and when to share it. In addition, our firm helps with the not-insignificant logistical tasks of transmitting testamentary documents, court filings, inventories and accountings, contracts, and distribution documents and receipts between a fiduciary and beneficiaries. Clarity of communication and accurate record keeping are often the difference between an efficient administration and one that ends up in prolonged litigation.