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A Step-by-Step Guide to Handling Probate

This practical guide is designed to provide you with detailed knowledge of probate processes and best practices for handling the various issues that may arise. Let our seasoned probate attorneys teach you how to navigate those crucial first steps; handle the personal executive; gather, value and distribute all assets; and successfully complete the final accounting. You will also learn how to anticipate tax pitfalls and handle special issues that may arise. Arm yourself with the foundational knowledge and best practices you need to ensure a smooth administration from start to finish. Register today!

  • Start the case off on the right foot by confidently navigating critical first steps.
  • Advise personal representatives by examining all powers, duties, responsibilities and compensation guidelines.
  • Gather, value and maintain all assets - and learn when and how to employ a financial expert.
  • Pick up tips for validating, prioritizing and satisfying creditor claims.
  • Get practical guidance for post-mortem planning, trust administration and tax hurdles.
  • Discover how to litigate deed contests, lost or contested wills, fiduciary misconduct and more.
  • Put the decedent's affairs to rest by making distributions, filing the final tax return and completing the final accounting.

All times are shown in Eastern time

  1. First Steps
    10:00 - 10:45, Louis A. Silverman
    1. The First 48 Hours
    2. Locating the Will and Beneficiaries
    3. Choosing the Best Form of Administration
    4. The Estate Timeline - What Must Be Done
    5. Probate Court Filing Procedures and Forms
    6. Initial Notices to Creditors, Beneficiaries and State Agencies
    7. Laws of Intestacy
  2. Educating the Personal Representative
    10:45 - 11:15, Louis A. Silverman
    1. Duties, Powers, and Responsibilities Step-by-Step
    2. Personal Representative Guide/Instructions
    3. Compensation Guidelines
  3. Valuing Decedent's Assets
    11:15 - 11:45, Frank G. Podesta
  4. Handling Creditor Claims Step-by-Step
    12:00 - 12:45, George S. Peek
    1. Validating Claims
    2. Priority of Creditor Rights
    3. Selling Property to Satisfy Claims
    4. Tax Claims and Liens
  5. How to Determine Elective Share, Portability and Homestead Allowance
    12:45 - 1:15, George S. Peek
    1. Portability Rules, Claiming Unused Exemption
    2. Homestead Allowance
    3. How to Determine the Elective Share Estate
    4. Elective Share Rights and Procedure
  6. Planning Post-Mortem, Trust Administration, and Tax Issues
    1:45 - 2:30, Frank G. Podesta
    1. Trust Administration
    2. Post-Mortem Tax Planning
    3. Problems With Elections and Non-Probate Assets (IRA Distributions and Their Tax Consequences)
    4. The Shares of Minors in an Estate
    5. How to Calculate the Omitted Spouse Share or Omitted Child Share
    6. Shares of Disabled Adults and Means-Tested Government Benefits
    7. Finding Real Estate, Bank Accounts, Life Insurance, Intangibles, Etc.
  7. Ethics
    2:30 - 3:30, Louis A. Silverman
    1. Whom do You Represent? Conflicts of Interest
    2. Protecting Client Confidentiality
    3. Attorney Fees
    4. Practicing Law in More Than One State
  8. Wrapping Up - Closing the Estate
    3:45 - 4:30, George S. Peek
    1. Formal Closing
    2. Informal Closing by Statement of Personal Representative
    3. Final Distributions to Beneficiaries and Liability of Distributees
    4. Tax Returns - Estate and Income, State and Federal
    5. Final Accounting and Discharge of Fiduciary
    6. Inconsistencies Between Inventory and Final Accounting
  9. Probate Litigation Process
    4:30 - 5:00, Frank G. Podesta
    1. The Ability of the Estate to Sue or Be Sued
    2. Causes of Action
    3. Procedural Rules and Evidentiary Provisions
    4. Lost and Contested Wills
    5. Deed Contests
    6. Fiduciary Misconduct, Liability, Disputes With Beneficiaries

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