Estate & Trust Administration

Advocates Trust Services can serve in many capacities in the administration of a decedent’s estate. We can be named as the executor or co-executor (in many states this is referred to as the Personal Representative or co-PR), or we can simply carry out the duties of estate administration as an agent, serving on behalf of the designated executor or PR.  

Some of the duties involved in the administration of an estate typically involve many steps over a period of time.
  • Assets must be found, claimed and appraised
  • Property must be managed and protected
  • Operating businesses may require management
  • Bills must be paid and creditors claims must be evaluated and satisfied
  • Conflicting claims by beneficiaries may need to be resolved
  • Tax returns for the decedent and the estate may need to be filed and taxes may need to be paid
  • The estate must be distributed in accordance with the will, often with a series of distributions.
  • Family members and estate beneficiaries must also receive regular updates about the progress of the estate’s administration to allow them to make appropriate financial planning decisions.

Executor or Co-Executor

Advocates Trust Services encourages individuals to appoint it as a co-executor with either another family member or a trusted family advisor.  By doing so, the individual co-executor is relieved of the administrative burdens of collecting assets, bill paying, making distributions and record-keeping, as well as preparing tax returns and accountings.
Advocates Trust’s resources are deep, easily accessible and will maximize value for your clients. Our primary object is to always act as a true fiduciary in the best interests of clients and their families.

Permanence & Neutrality

Because Advocates Trust Services is a corporate entity, it has permanence; therefore, the estate administration will not be interrupted, as it would if an individual executor acting alone dies or becomes incapacitated before the administration is completed.  Advocates Trust Services is also neutral and can ensure that the estate is always administered with the requisite sensitivity to family dynamics and in accordance with the testator’s intent.

Maximizing Estate Value

Advocates Trust Services will distribute the assets of your estate in accordance with the client's directions, whether that involves outright distributions to the beneficiaries or the funding and management of trusts established by a Will. However, we do not feel obligated to sell all estate assets immediately following the death of the decedent.  Doing so may result in poor outcomes for the surviving family members because potential purchasers view such sales as “distressed-sales”, or because they deprive the surviving family members of an investment vehicle with superior capital appreciation potential.  By contrast, consistent with its objective of always acting as a true fiduciary, Advocates Trust Services seeks to adopt an asset liquidation or distribution strategy that best maximizes an estate’s value for the family.

Special Interests - Businesses, Real Estate, Collections & Fine Art 

Through our affiliates, Advocates Trust Services fiduciary experts have access to sophisticated investment and business insurance and fine arts specialists with deep experience.  We will work to protect your interests, real estate, business and personal property from loss and liability. We have the capacity to evaluate on-going businesses, hire and over-see management and determine how to best maximize value. Estates owning real estate assets have access to world-class professionals in developing, managing, and operating real estate nationally and internationally.
Please feel free to contact any of our representatives to see how Advocates Trust estate services can be tailored to meet you and your clients’ needs.