Estate Administration

Estate Planning and Elder Law
Estate Administration

Our Process

Our individualized approach sets us apart. We learn about you, your goals and your immediate concerns to deliver efficient and effective recommendations based on your specific circumstances.

Estate Administration in Fort Wayne

The loss of a loved one is never easy, and it can feel overwhelming to manage their estate while processing your grief over their passing. The compassionate and knowledgeable estate administration attorney at The Bellinger Law Office is here to help with this challenging experience. We offer a wide range of legal services that make the process as efficient and effective as possible. To learn more about how our team can assist with the administration of a loved one’s estate, call or contact our office today. 

Steps of Estate Administration

 Administering an estate can be a lengthy and complicated process, especially if the estate is large, the will is detailed, or the estate consists of complex assets and liabilities. A lawyer can assist the executor or personal representative of an estate throughout every step of the estate administration process. 

Once a probate estate has been opened with the local court, one of the first steps is identifying which aspects of the estate must pass through the probate process and what can be distributed without the court’s sign-off. Assets that can bypass probate include assets left in trust, real estate with joint tenancy or tenancy in common, and payable on death bank accounts.

The next step is identifying and valuing all assets passing through probate in the estate. Notification must also be sent out to any potential creditors who wish to make claims to collect debts left by the deceased before the assets can be distributed to the heirs. Once all creditors’ claims are dealt with, final taxes must be paid on the estate. The remainder of the estate is then distributed to the heirs according to the final will and testament of the deceased. 

The estate administration process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the number of issues that arise throughout the proceedings, such as creditor claim litigation, challenges to the will, arguments over asset distribution, trust issues, and more.

Probate Litigation

In some cases, a family member, close friend, or other named heir in an estate may disagree with the final will and testament of the deceased and file a lawsuit to reinstate another version of the estate plan or throw it out altogether. When probate litigation arises, you need an experienced estate administration attorney to handle the case. A lawyer can identify the legal issues, craft the best possible legal arguments, and defend the final wishes of your loved one in court. Some of the most common claims in probate litigation include the following:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Undue influence
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Duress
  • Fiduciary duty breach, and more.

Talk to a lawyer today to learn more about what to expect if someone challenges a will in probate court. 

Contact Our Office to Get Started

Hiring a qualified estate administration attorney can greatly ease the burden of managing the estate of a loved one on your own. To learn more about how our office has helped clients throughout Northern Indiana with their estate administration duties, call or contact The Bellinger Law Office today to schedule a consultation.

Guidance for Families


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Robert H. Bellinger

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