Tillem McNichol & Brown provide a full range of legal services related to the administration of Decedents' estates throughout Northern California. If you are a personal representative or Successor Trustee and need a lawyer to guide you contact us at (800) 996-4505.



In California, Probate is the legal process that is used to gain control over a person's legal and financial affairs after they pass away, under court supervision. Probate proceedings are conducted in the Superior Court of the county in which the decedent lived and typically take at least six months and sometimes several years, depending on the complexity of the case.

In general, the personal representative of the decedent's estate will collect the assets, pay debts and taxes, and distribute the balance of the estate according to the Will, or if there is no Will, in accordance with the laws of the intestate succession.

The law expects the personal representative to use care and diligence in carrying out these duties. California law provides an orderly procedure to accomplish all these steps.


Trust Administration

As successor Trustee of a Trust, it is your job to follow the terms of the Trust, including collecting and managing the assets of the Trust, appraising trust property, paying all taxes and expenses relating to the administration of the Trust, and distributing the trust property.

The Degree of difficulty accompanying these tasks depends in large part on the nature and value of the assets and the relationship between the trustee and the beneficiaries. For instance, the Trustee may be required to ensure that business interests are properly managed, that there are sufficient liquid assets to pay income, estate and gift taxes, or that new trusts created by the original trust are properly funded; the Trustee must also deal with disputes or conflicts among beneficiaries.

If the Trust is correctly funded, assets held in the Trust are administered and disposed of without court supervision.


Tillem McNichol & Brown have experienced and friendly trust administration and probate attorneys. We strive to help families quickly and efficiently transfer assets from one generation to the next, whether by means of a trust, or a probate proceeding.