Wills & Trusts, Estate Administration, Mediation, Collaborative Practice

Trusted Guidance for Probate and Trust Administration

Making the Process Manageable

If you have been named the executor or successor trustee of a deceased person's estate, it can seem like an overwhelming task. You may feel you do not fully understand the legal process, or the decedent's will or trust may be particularly difficult to decipher. Executors and trustees take on a significant legal responsibility and will benefit considerably from consulting an attorney as early in the process as possible.

Barbara Stagg offers knowledgeable, reliable representation for probate and trust administration. She guides clients through the administration process, customizing her approach to meet individual needs. After many years of experience, both personal and professional, Barbara understands the grief and confusion that can accompany this time. She will work with you to ensure that all administrative tasks are completed and assets are efficiently distributed to beneficiaries according to the decedent's wishes.

Understanding the Basic Administration Alternatives


PROBATE is a court-ordered process in which someone, usually a close family member or friend of the decedent, who has been designated as the executor in the decedent’s will, gathers the estate assets, pays the debts of the estate, and distributes the remaining assets to the intended recipients. It involves a series of legally required steps in which the designated executor submits the will to the court and requests court-ordered appointment as the executor. 

TRUST ADMINISTRATION is a more direct and confidential process and does not typically require court-involvement unless there is a conflict.  A properly drafted trust provides for a successor trustee, payment of the decedent’s debts, and distribution of trust assets, especially real estate.  The designated successor trustee can begin the administration process directly, carrying out the wishes of the decedent (or incapacitated settlor) promptly. Trust administration avoids probate and offers a private transition for the distribution of assets.

A Strong Advocate for Elder Law Matters


Barbara can help with other legal issues that may arise as our loved ones age.  For example, If a parent or spouse becomes incapacitated and does not have a designated successor trustee or named power of attorney, Barbara can help you obtain a conservatorship in order to assist with his or her financial and medical decisions.

Additionally, vulnerable seniors may be susceptible to elder financial abuse and potential neglect. In these unfortunate situations, Barbara can be a powerful advocate for your family member.

For a free, 30-minute consultation with a lawyer for probate, trust administration and elder law, contact Barbara L. Stagg at 707-774-6640 or fill out and submit the online form. Flexible appointment times and off-site visits are available.

Contact Us

Barbara L. Stagg, Attorney at Law

205 Keller Street, Suite 203, Petaluma, CA 94952, US

Phone: 707-774-6640 • Fax: 707-792-2936 bstagg@sonic.net


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