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Handling Probate from Initial Notices Through the Estate Closing

This "a through z" guide to probate is designed to take you from the first days of the estate timeline through all the steps of marshaling and valuing estate assets, locating and paying the creditors, paying the beneficiaries, and laying the estate to rest. You will receive the latest updates on the probate court procedure and tax laws, practical guidance from experienced probate attorneys on using spousal elective share and resolving estate disputes, and sample forms and checklists to speed up the administration process. Build a solid foundation for your probate practice - register today!

  • Learn the procedure, rules and practical steps to effectively administer a probate.
  • Determine what form of administration is appropriate for a specific probate case.
  • Clarify the order of inheritance for an estate when there is no will.
  • Locate assets and obtain ownership documents more easily with a list of local and online resources.
  • Get a complete view of the sequence of events that must happen before the estate can be closed.
  • Identify common actions that trigger malpractice liability and get tips for staying in the clear.
  • Get practical advice for honoring or contesting all claims against the estate.
  • Find new ways to resolve liquidity issues that delay estate closing and final distributions and payments.
  • Learn what common closing mistakes can allow the estate to be re-opened, and how to avoid them.

  1. INITIAL FILING IN PROBATE COURT AND ESTATE TIMELINE
    8:30 - 9:15, Patricia A. Hoke
    1. Small Estate Administration
    2. Probate Court Procedure
    3. Estate Timetable/Checklist
    4. Formal vs. Informal Probate Administration
    5. Opening the Estate
      1. Petition for Probate and Administration and Notice of Hearing
      2. Required Notices (to Creditors, Heirs, DHS, IRS)
      3. Sample Forms
    6. What the Personal Representative Needs to Know and do
    7. When is Ancillary Administration Necessary?
  2. LAW OF INTESTATE SUCCESSION
    9:15 - 10:00, Natalie Shasteen
    1. Who Can Inherit - Degrees of Kinship and Order of Inheritance
    2. Determining the Share Size
    3. Exceptions and Bars to Inheritance
  3. PROBATE PROPERTY VS. NON-PROBATE ASSETS
    10:00 - 10:30, Patricia A. Hoke
  4. INVENTORY AND APPRAISEMENT
    10:45 - 11:30, Angela M. Povolish
    1. Locating Insurance Policies, Deeds and Other Ownership Documents
    2. Obtaining a Tax ID and Marshaling Property
    3. Preparing the Inventory and Appraisal Forms
    4. Dealing with the Probate Referee
    5. Managing Decedent's Assets During Probate
    6. Handling Common Valuation Issues
    7. When to Hire a Valuation Specialist or Appraiser
  5. HANDLING CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE
    11:30 - 12:00, Angela M. Povolish
    1. Required Creditor Notice
    2. Determining Priority of Claims
    3. Allowing and Rejecting Claims, and Paying Them
    4. Handling Lawsuits Against the Estate and the Decedent
    5. Insolvency Issues
  6. ETHICS
    1:00 - 2:00, Angela M. Povolish
    1. Who is Your Client? Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    2. Protecting Client Confidentiality
    3. Attorney Fees
    4. Malpractice Liability Risks
      1. Negligence
      2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
      3. Fraud
  7. TAX REPORTING AND POST-MORTEM TAX MATTERS
    2:00 - 2:40, Bentley J. Bender
    1. Final Tax Returns Timeline, Forms and Filing Procedure
    2. Requesting Deadline Extensions
    3. Income Tax Considerations in Probate
      1. Selecting a Tax Year: Calendar or Fiscal?
      2. Decedent's Final Income Tax Return
      3. Estate Income Tax Return
      4. Tax on Income Earned by Estate After Decedent's Death
      5. Beneficiary Income Tax Considerations
    4. Proper Use of Disclaimers and Valuation Discounts
    5. Claiming Estate Tax Portability
    6. Estate and Gift Tax Considerations - When Do You Need to File Form 706?
    7. Coordinating with Decedent's Accounting or Investment Advisors
    8. GST Tax Implications
    9. Handling Common Property Tax Issues
  8. SALE OF PROPERTY AND DISTRIBUTIONS
    2:55 - 3:30, Bentley J. Bender
    1. Disposition of Real Estate - Title Issues in Probate
    2. Retirement Plans and IRA Distributions
    3. Life Insurance and Other Beneficiary Designations and Accounts
    4. Preliminary and Final Distributions
    5. Calculating Augmented Estate and Spousal Elective Share
    6. Dealing with the Surviving Family Members and Other Beneficiaries
    7. Solving the Problem of Liquidity
    8. Distributions to Trusts
  9. FINAL ACCOUNTING AND CLOSING THE ESTATE
    3:30 - 4:05, Bentley J. Bender
    1. Estate Accounting Procedure
    2. Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries
    3. Closing Decedent's Remaining Accounts
    4. Personal Representative and Attorney Compensation
    5. Extraordinary Services Compensation
    6. When Reopening the Estate is Warranted
  10. PROBATE DISPUTES AND LITIGATION
    4:05 - 4:40, John S. Rendleman III
    1. Beneficiary Liability
    2. Fiduciary Liability
    3. Interpreting Testamentary Intent - Burdens of Proof, Presumptions, Evidence Rules
    4. Revoked, Multiple, Contested Wills
    5. Common Will Construction Problems
    6. Objections to Accounts and Petitions

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