Probate & Trust Administration
“Helping to pass the torch on well.”
Why McKinney & Tillman, P.C.?
At McKinney & Tillman, P.C., we guide you through every step of the administration of a loved one’s estate or trust. Prior to our initial meeting, we provide you with a comprehensive Estate and Trust Administration Questionnaire, to ensure that we are ready—at your very first meeting—to provide you with a solid plan for completing the administration as quickly, easily, and inexpensively as possible.
After our initial meeting, we provide you with personalized instructions for each step of the process. We also coordinate and collaborate with the family’s financial advisors, accountants, and other professionals throughout the course of the administration.
Our firm regularly works with:
- Executors and administrators, guiding them through the entire, and most efficient, process of administration from start to finish.
- Beneficiaries of estates and trusts, to ensure that their inheritances are well-managed and distributed pursuant to Tennessee law.
- Trustees, who are charged with the ongoing management of property for someone else’s benefit.
What is Probate?
Probate is a Court supervised procedure for ensuring that the just debts and expenses of a person are paid after their death, and that their estates are properly distributed, regardless of whether that person died with a valid Will. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that, in many cases, probate is altogether unnecessary. Even when the Court must be involved, there may be other, less expensive options to consider. We discuss all of these options with you during our first meeting.
Some firms handle probate and estate administration differently; many attorneys take a probate retainer, file Court documents as a matter of course, and then you hear nothing from them for months. At McKinney & Tillman, P.C., we regularly follow up with you to ensure that the administration is proceeding as quickly and efficiently as possible. We also go well beyond the bare minimum requirements for probate representation. We encourage periodic status meetings, conference with accountants during tax time, and—especially—family meetings to anticipate and resolve potential conflicts before they become real issues.
What is Trust Administration?
Many families choose to use revocable living trusts as their main estate planning tools—and with careful attention and work during one’s lifetime, it is entirely possible to avoid probate altogether when these plans are in place. Even when probate is avoided, though, clients still benefit from the advice and guidance of an attorney during a trust administration. We strive to make the trust administration experience understandable and efficient for our clients.
Sometimes a Last Will and Testament or a revocable living trust will establish a separate trust for the benefit of a surviving spouse or other family members. We work with out clients to carry out that plan, guiding them through the initial set up of the Trust and leaving them with a clear understanding and appreciation of how to use it into the future.