In most cases estate administration consists solely of what happens through probate. However, it can also include trusts and distribution of other non-probate assets.
This process may fall to the executor of the estate or may be done by a trustee who was appointed by the decedent through a trust document.
This trustee has a very high duty to act in the interests of the beneficiaries. If the trustee behaves in a manner contrary to the interests of the beneficiaries, any beneficiary or legal representative of the beneficiary may file a petition with the Courts to ask for intervention.
Often the trustee has very clear direction for the distribution of the assets of an estate, but where this direction is lacking the trustee can petition a court to hear evidence as to the lack and to order a particular disposition. This allows any interested parties to present evidence as to what should happen with assets and the judge’s ruling will allow the trustee to move forward without concerns about their actions being questioned later. Under some circumstances, the Court may deem it necessary for the trustee to provide regular accountings to assure that the assets are being properly preserved and distributed.