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Law Offices of Barry Sooalo ------------------------- Attorney at Law

Probate and Estate Administration
Paralegal Duties for Individual Practiced Areas
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Asbestos Litigation
Contract Administration
Domestic Relations/Family Law
Employee Benefits
Intellectual Property
Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice/Product Liability
Probate and Estate Administration
Public Benefits
Real Property
Securities/Municipal Bonds
Workers' Compensation

Probate and Estate Administration


* Coordinate the transfer of assets into trusts, including bank accounts, stock transfers and real estate deeds.

* Make income payments to trust beneficiaries.

* Draft fiduciary tax returns.

* Perform an investment analysis; with the trustee's approval, employ advisors or assistants as required.

* Perform routine trust accounting.

* As appropriate, prepare disclaimers in the beneficiary's interests.

* Advise the trustee of trust responsibilities.

* Distribute trust assets at termination of the trust.

* Draft petitions and proposed orders as necessary.

* Draft inter vivos trust agreements.

* Review wills for creation and direction of testamentary trusts; review court orders for creation and direction of statutory trusts.

* Maintain financial records of trusts.

* Coordinate periodic income and principal distributions from trusts.

* Correspond and communicate with trusts' grantors and beneficiaries.

* Draft inventories, accounts, and petitions for those trusts requiring adjudication.

* Obtain tax identification number for trust.

* Draft fiduciary income tax returns for trusts; inform trusts' beneficiaries of the tax liability of their distributions via IRS Schedules K-1.

* Draft intangible property tax returns for trusts and estates.

* Draft pleadings registering or terminating trusts and appointing or substituting trustees.

* Prepare schedule of allocations to trusts under will.

* Analyze and make investment recommendations to attorney for estate planning.


* Draft petitions to commence proceedings, personal well-being reports, notices of right to appeal annual and final accounts, restorations to capacity, and closing documents.

* Prepare accountings for guardianship and/or conservatorship.

* Conduct preliminary valuation of assets held by the ward/conservatee.

Estate Administration

* Prepare and maintain a calendar system, noting important estate administration deadlines and court appearances.

* Determine whether decedent left a will and, if it exists, location of will.

* Obtain the will and draft necessary documents to file will with probate court.

* If decedent owned safe deposit box, apply to probate court for an order to open the box; accompany fiduciary and court representative to bank for removal of will and other contents from safe deposit box.

* Review will provisions and report to attorney.

* Order certified copies of documents, such as the death certificate.

* Draft documents to commence a probate proceeding; file the same with the probate court and act as liaison with court personnel while identifying interested parties by determining heirs, devisees, contingent beneficiaries and creditors.

* Evaluate assets (as of date of death and alternate valuation date); verify bank balances and prepare inventory.

* Coordinate with out-of-state attorneys to commence ancillary proceedings to, for example, transfer title of vacation real estate property, ascertain necessary creditor and debtor information, and determine status of life and health insurance benefits.

* Arrange for filing death certificate in real estate records.

* Arrange for notice to creditors to be published in a local newspaper.

* Review creditors' claims; present to estate representative for approval; transmit claims to court.

* File life insurance claims and other death benefit claims.

* Determine assets requiring protection by evaluating current insurance coverage. If appropriate, arrange for continued coverage and/or add coverage for assets not previously covered but requiring coverage because the owner has died.

* Arrange for security of a decedent's homestead.

* Obtain and review income tax returns and other financial records.

* Maintain estate bank accounts and investments. Correspond with dividend disbursing agents.

* Determine when formal appraisals are necessary and arrange them accordingly.

* Make a preliminary analysis of assets held by the decedent for investment purposes, potential sale, liquidity needs, and beneficiaries' needs.

* Draft distribution schedule and, as appropriate, coordinate and/or direct the distribution of assets.

* Maintain all estate records.

* Determine the documentation necessary to effect sale or transfer of probate and non-probate assets including real estate, securities, bank accounts, other case earnings, promissory notes, mortgages, automobiles, and recreational vehicles.

* Draft individual, estate, fiduciary income, and gift tax returns.

* Analyze past tax returns and develop financial analyses and tax plans by considering state and federal estate, income, and beneficiary individual income tax results.

* Obtain federal and state tax clearance to release any tax liabilities.

* Collect documentation for audits of tax returns.

* Draft all affidavits or statements filed with tax returns or submitted during audits.

* Review pertinent documents and conduct research relating to tax filings.

* Draft tax returns for non-probate estate.

* Draft final settlement and order for final distribution.

* Prepare miscellaneous petitions, such as application for spousal allowance or authority to erect grave marker.

* Ensure that assets are properly transferred to trust for adoptions (both private and agency).

* Draft petition for approval of wrongful death settlements, settlements to minors, and name changes (adults and minors).

* Coordinate with litigation counsel in connection with any pending lawsuits filed on behalf of deceased.

Note - Some of the information contained in the Domestic Relations/Family Law, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax sections of this publication also includes work performed in the Probate/Estate Planning specialty area.

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Providing legal services in civil and criminal matters in Honolulu and throughout the Pacific.