Trusts should eliminate the need for a conservatorship if the person who set up the trust (the settlor) becomes incapacitated during his or her lifetime. They do not require a court probate process on the settlor’s death (as long as the trust was funded during lifetime). Nevertheless, some legal advice and assistance will be necessary after the incapacity or death of the settlor. This could include assistance with notice and accounting to beneficiaries, inventorying the trust, dealing with creditors, paying bequests, advice regarding tax returns and estate tax, and distribution of the estate. Patsy performs this work on an hourly basis rather than charging a percentage of the value of the estate.
Appropriate planning, in the form of preparation of trusts and powers of attorney, can eliminate the need for the court process of conservatorship. If planning is no longer possible because of loss of capacity, and a the filing of a petition for conservatorship in the probate court is necessary, Patsy’s goal is to steer you through the myriad of laws and regulations in a way that respects the personal situation involved and keeps the legal expense and intervention to a minimum.
Probate is a court-supervised method for transferring title from a deceased person to her or his heirs. If Patsy is unable to help you avoid the probate process through planning prior to death and incapacity, she will focus on efficient and timely administration.