Estate Administration

Caring Guidance when Settling a Loved One’s Estate


We help families through the estate administration process. Whether it is trust administration or probate, we have the experience and knowledge to help you through this process calmly and confidently. We help trustees and executors avoid common mistakes and missed deadlines with straightforward guidance and support. Contact Breunig Law for experienced counseling on how to administer estates and protect yourself from confusion, delays, and personal liability as an executor and/or trustee

My loved one passed; how do I handle their Affairs?

Your loved one has passed, and they have assets that need to be distributed, bills to still be paid, and a household to sort out.  This is often a very difficult time and knowing where to start or what to do next can be difficult. Whether there was a trust, a will, or nothing at all, proper administration of the estate will be required.  You need someone who can guide you through the process and help with the legal aspects whether it is administering a trust or needing to probate the estate first and then administer the asset distribution and closing out the estate.

RESOURCE: What to do when someone dies

What is required with Administering the Estate?

Estate Administration includes the steps needed to take care of closing out an estate after someone has passed, selling off assets as needed, paying the bills, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries or legal heirs in a manner to make sure they are handled according to the law.

If there is a trust in place

If a trust is in place, a trustee or co-trustee will typically be identified in the trust.  This will be the person responsible for administering the trust, and it is recommended they work under the guidance of an attorney. The trustee will need to gather up and document the trust assets, beneficiaries need to be notified, expenses need to be paid, and a proper accounting process will need to be in place. It is strongly recommended the trustee work with an experienced legal team to ensure the appropriate legal processes are followed. If a Trust is in place the courts are typically not involved, therefore the administration of a trust can be much more private and completed much quicker.

If there is no trust

If there is only a will, or no documents in place, then it is likely the estate will have to go through the probate process before any assets can be distributed.  If there are any real estate holdings or the value of the estate is over a certain amount a probate is typically required. The entire probate process is always much longer due to the involvement of the court and much more expensive. The trustee will still have the administration work to do, but it will be over a longer period of time, and more work and cost will be involved.  You can go it alone, but if you want to get it done right you should have an experienced attorney represent you.

Our Estate Administration Services

Breunig Law provides compassionate, skilled, and experienced services you can trust such as counseling, drafting, and execution of the necessary steps. We will help you efficiently and calmly work through the estate administration process for:

  • Trust administration guidance and legal support
  • Support for handling Fiduciary responsibilities
  • Probate representation if needed
  • Long term trustee consulting and representation
  • Assistance with asset distribution to family members

Together we can prepare a plan to complete all the steps required to properly administer an estate and handle all fiduciary requirements according to California law. Contact us today for a consultation at 916-672-2042 or

What is the Typical Process?

  1. Initial Consultation to see if we are a good fit
  2. Evaluate existing estate planning documents, if any, and planning for next steps
  3. Following the estate plan instructions or probate code requirements
  4. Planning and managing the various deliverables by trustee, executor, or personal representative and the legal team
  5. Once everything is in order and legal requirements are satisfied the assets can be distributed

Breunig Law works hard to ensure every client receives the quality and respectful service they deserve