Probate & Estate Administration

Probate can be a confusing and complicated process if you’re unprepared for what is required: all assets must be fully accounted for and all debts determined. Furthermore, depending on the debt of the deceased, creditors and credit card companies may try to over-reach what they can legally collect. At Zell Law, PLLC, our attorneys assist clients with all aspects of probate and trust administration, including the preparation of all financial and legal documentation. If necessary, we can also contest a will, or defend against any will contests.

To schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you, contact Wayne Zell today at 703-967-7070 or email him at Our office is located in Reston, Virginia and we serve clients throughout Northern Virginia (including Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Fauquier County, Fairfax City, Alexandria City, and Arlington County), Maryland (including Montgomery County and Prince Georges County), and Washington, D.C.

Probate Administration

Our probate attorneys and paralegals work through local probate courts to secure our clients’ estate planning objectives and to preserve estate assets for future generations and charities. Inheritances can end up in probate court in a variety of ways. The most common is the failure of the deceased to leave a will or holding assets in a manner that causes them to pass outside a will. Estates also end up in probate court when a family member challenges the will. Some common challenges made in probate court include:

  • The competency of the deceased when the will was signed
  • Improper execution of the will
  • Duress or undue influence by another person in executing a will
  • Inadequate consideration to a surviving spouse (who may be entitled to a 1/3 or 1/2 share of the estate)

Our probate lawyers and paralegals have significant experience representing families with estates in probate. We have an outstanding record of success securing the inheritance rights of our clients.

Along with probate our estate planning attorneys handle estate administration and Medicaid planning issues. We work with our clients to develop estate plans that meet the wishes of the deceased and to fulfill any orders by the probate court. We also advise trust and estate fiduciaries and beneficiaries through the administration and final distribution of the estate, including any trust administration issues, post-mortem tax planning and funding issues, design and preparation of disclaimers, preparation of inventories, accountings, estate tax returns and state inheritance tax returns and preparation of final income tax returns.