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My understanding is that an Estate is what is set up after a person dies to pay off their ..debts & whatever.

Trusts are something that you have when you're alive, but when you die, the account becomes an Estate without all the legal stuff.

Is this true? (Legal stuff meaning the money can be released to where it needs to go right away)

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OK the big ? is....does granny have an estate or is everything in a trust?

An estate is whatever assets and liabilities are left after the person dies. Estate is a combination of whatever is left and not an "account" per se. Estates are usually dealt with in probate court and done according to the wishes stated in the deceased will. In the will, there is a person names as executor or executrix - they are the person who "administers" the will as per the state's laws and the wishes described in the will via the purview of the probate judge. I've been executrix twice and 1 was easy and the other...well it was a challenging experience. Spent alot of nothing but fun hours in probate court, but found that most estate's are routine stuff
in that you file a public notice, present the letters of testamentary and then do a list of assets and debts and heirs. (the juicy stuff is the guardianship hearings and the heartbreakers are the adoption hearings). Are you named the executor in the will? If so and you should contact the attorney who drew up the will to do a meeting to advise how to proceed. If there isn't any debt and maybe only a house or car for assets (this happens often if the elder was on Medicaid) then you will have to deal with MERP (Medicaid Estate Recovery) but if MERP doesn't do a claim, then you can ask the court to do a "Muniment of Title" so the property can transfer to whomever is supposed to get it as per the will and you kinda are doing "probate light" and it's over with a single hearing if your have the MERP claim or lein release for the court to file with the property transfer.

You don't have to be in a rush to even open probate either (you can take a couple of years to do so if need be) and you can take a while to close it out. This is all totally dependent on each state's laws and you need an attorney to work w/you.

Now if there is NO WILL, then they died intestate and that is a whole other issue. You have to prove lineal heirs and it can be sticky as people can come out of the woodwork. Intestate can be a real PIA because in some states all assets become the property of the state until heirs are proven. And if you don't know your family history or there have been family secrets, this can get to be super sticky. Like your grandpa was married twice before but once he married your grannie, it was never spoken about and who knew there were kids from marriage #1. Again you need an attorney as there could be alot of filings to get things sorted out.

The big ? imho, is whether or not you even need to go the will & probate route. You mention a "trust". Now if this really, really truly is a real trust, then what should have happened is that all of the person's assets has shifted to the trust. A trust is it's own legal entity or it's own legal being and doesn't die when the person dies. A trust is usually administered by someone (like a law firm, estate planner or broker) and there needs to have been real $ to fund the trust and maintain it. There are all sorts of trusts so you need the paperwork on it to figure out what's what.

What I'd suggest that you need to do is find the paperwork and then make an appointment with whomever did the legal for either the will or the trust. Good luck.
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Yeah..that's why I'm asking here. For someone to help me with that.

My grandmother has a trust account. What do I need to know about it?

Also, if she dies, what do I need to know about an Estate account?
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No, that is not how they are defined on Wikipedia.

What are you going to do with this information? Maybe someone can help you with that.
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Soo....Wikipedia is basically saying what I just said? I still don't get it.
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Try Wikipedia for basic definitions of each of these terms.
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