My mom passed away the day before Thanksgiving. I am executor of her estate. She has a Trust and a Will and I have no idea how to do these things since I never did it before. Any probate lawyers in the house? Anyway, I was told that I didn't need to go through probate if she has a trust and will. Is that correct? I heard that attorneys will charge a lot for probate so I'm trying to avoid the thing if possible. My mom has a few assets, 2 condos and her family house in addition to her many $$ assets. I have to wait for the death certificate before I can send out notices. It looks like I can handle most of her $$ assets by sending out the death cert and informing them of who will get the $$. Another question, in her trust she speculated giving a lump sum to one of our deadbeat relatives. This guy was a real scammer, he wanted her to cosign for a mortgage when he didn't even have a job. I think he expected her to pay for the mortgage for him. Luckily she got smart enough to realize what he was doing but not before he took her for some $$. For instance she was paying him $1000 a month to do the yardwork, which basically amounted to watering her yard once or twice a week. This went on for 4 years and he did ask her for $75k for help and she willingly gave him the money. I swear she probably gave him over $200k (from the records I found). Even then her trust said to give him $25k. I really don't want to give this guy any money, is there any way of avoiding this? I have a joint account with her but because it was a joint account I don't feel that money should be part of her estate since I should get the money on her passing. Her trust stipulated that we give him money only if we had the cash to do so but what if I cleaned out her account, saying that what she has will only take care of funeral and fixing up her family house (work is being done to fix up the house, new balconies, beams, etc.). I know the guy doesn't have a copy of the trust so what if I "forget" to give him the money? I know, god might get me if I don't but I really hate it that the guy took her for money and continues to take her for money.