Probate and Estates

There are many things to be done while a family grieves the passing of a loved one.  Bernard Law Office can help sort things out and relieve a great deal of the burden.  I can handle any detail.  Whether your loved one died with or without a Will, I will guide you through probate and administration process while minimizing costs and expense.


Because I concentrate in estate and probate matters, I have the knowledge and experience in these areas to assist you with everything from simple administration to the most troublesome issues.  Whether your loved one’s estate planning was done by us or another firm, or there was no planning for it at all, I will go to work to help you efficiently and effectively protect and distribute the assets.

I also provide a full range of litigation representation.  Effective representation in disputes involving the validity of a will, the legality of terms in a will, the appropriate division of assets, fiduciary liability, creditor claims, trust issues, and gift, death and fiduciary income tax issues, requires a knowledgeable probate litigation attorney.  I regularly represent clients in probate and estate litigation.

I also serve businesses and individuals by securing payment of outstanding debts from the estates of persons who die with valid financial obligations.  Estate claims provide a mechanism by which a business or individual may seek to have a decedent’s debt satisfied by the decedent’s estate.  A business or individual who properly establishes a claim is most likely to be paid without litigation.  On the other hand, a business or individual who does not properly establish a claim may not recover the debt. I can guide you through the process.

Our services include:

  • Qualifying a Personal Representative
  • Probate, administration and related proceedings
  • Estate settlements
  • Collecting and re-titling assets
  • Protecting the Personal Representative, family, and heirs from creditor claims
  • Preparing or defending claims against an estate
  • Paying debts, distributing assets, and preparing family settlement agreements and accounts
  • Resolving issues with qualified retirement plans and IRAs
  • Ancillary probate
  • Business successions or sales
  • Assisting Personal Representatives, Trustees and Guardians with fiduciary accounting matters
  • Coordinating preparation and filing of Estate and Gift Tax returns, and meeting state and federal legal requirements
  • Trust administration
  • Trust and Estate collections
  • Constructive trusts issues
  • Fiduciary litigation involving Personal Representatives, Trustees, Guardians, and Custodians
  • Contesting and defending Wills, Trusts and Estates

Whether simple, complex, or downright messy, I will guide you through every aspect of settling the estate of a loved one in a cost-effective manner.

Finally, you can have personal service where and when you need it.  I know it is not always possible for you to visit the office.  I can drive to your location (whether at home, hospital or elsewhere) even after hours.  And, depending on the particular matter, I provide this service at no extra charge.  I’m here for you!

For more probate and estate information from outside resources, please visit our Links page under the Resources tab.