Audio CD + Course Book

The Probate Process from Start to Finish

Audio CD + Course Book

Copyright Date:

March, 2018

Product ID#:


Audio + Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • MT CLE - 6.50
From Event: The Probate Process from Start to Finish, held March 2018.

Program Description

This "a through z" guide to probate is designed to take you from the first days of the estate timeline through all the steps of marshaling and valuing estate assets, locating and paying the creditors, paying the beneficiaries, and laying the estate to rest. You will receive the latest updates on the probate court procedure and tax laws, practical guidance from experienced probate attorneys on using spousal elective share and resolving estate disputes, and sample forms and checklists to speed up the administration process. Build a solid foundation for your probate practice - order today!

Course Content

  1. Taking the First Step: Filing an Estate in Probate Court
  2. Law of Intestate Succession
  3. Managing the Inventory and Administering the Estate Effectively
  4. Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters
  5. Ethics
  6. Sale of Property and Distributions
  7. Final Accounting and Closing the Estate
  8. Probate Disputes and Litigation

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.50 MT - Credit Approval Expiration 03/21/2020 *

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

    8:30 - 9:15, Cindy E. Younkin
    1. Small Estate - What it is and How to File
    2. Regular Estate
    3. The Estate Timetable - What You Need to Do
    4. Proving the Will
    5. Challenging the Will
    9:15 - 10:00, Cindy E. Younkin
    1. Who Can Inherit - Degrees of Kinship and Order of Inheritance
    2. Determining the Share Size
    3. Exceptions and Bars to Inheritance
    10:15 - 11:15, Brian F. Close
    1. Collecting, Maintaining and Managing Assets
    2. How to Respond to Creditors' Claims
    3. Insolvency
    4. Managing the Estate Cash Responsibly
    5. Disclaimers
    11:15 - 12:15, William M. Hughes
    1. Final Tax Returns Timeline, Forms and Filing Procedure
    2. Requesting Deadline Extensions
    3. Income Tax Considerations in Probate
      1. Selecting a Tax Year: Calendar or Fiscal?
      2. Decedent's Final Income Tax Return
      3. Estate Income Tax Return
      4. Tax on Income Earned by Estate After Decedent's Death
      5. Beneficiary Income Tax Considerations
    4. Proper Use of Disclaimers and Valuation Discounts
    5. Claiming Estate Tax Portability
    6. Estate and Gift Tax Considerations - When Do You Need to File Form 706?
    7. Coordinating With Decedent's Accounting or Investment Advisors
    8. GST Tax Implications
    9. Handling Common Property Tax Issues
    1:15 - 2:15, Lynne Conkling
    1. Who is Your Client? Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    2. Protecting Client Confidentiality
    3. Attorney Fees
    4. Malpractice Liability Risks
      1. Negligence
      2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
      3. Fraud
    2:15 - 3:00, Cindy E. Younkin
    1. Disposition of Real Estate - Title Issues in Probate
    2. Retirement Plans and IRA Distributions
    3. Life Insurance and Other Beneficiary Designations and Accounts
    4. Preliminary and Final Distributions
    5. Calculating Augmented Estate and Spousal Elective Share
    6. Dealing With the Surviving Family Members and Other Beneficiaries
    7. Solving the Problem of Liquidity
    8. Distributions to Trusts
    3:15 - 4:00, Lynne Conkling
    1. Estate Accounting Procedure
    2. Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries
    3. Closing Decedent's Remaining Accounts
    4. Personal Representative and Attorney Compensation
    5. Extraordinary Services Compensation
    6. When Reopening the Estate is Warranted
    4:00 - 4:40, Lynne Conkling
    1. Beneficiary Liability
    2. Fiduciary Liability
    3. Interpreting Testamentary Intent - Burdens of Proof, Presumptions, Evidence Rules
    4. Revoked, Multiple, Contested Wills
    5. Common Will Construction Problems
    6. Objections to Accounts and Petitions

BRIAN F. CLOSE is a graduate of the University of Chicago (A.B. degree, 1981) and New York University (LL.M. degree - taxation, 1987). Mr. Close has been practicing estate law in Bozeman since 1994. He was an elected member of the city of Bozeman Charter Commission (2004 - 2007); and also has received the Montana Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award (2007).

LYNNE CONKLING is a senior partner at Conkling Law Firm, and has been recognized for her dedication, leadership and excellence in both engineering and law. A practitioner in transactional law and litigation, Ms. Conkling focuses in the areas of trust, probate, wills, business law, real estate, trademarks, and mediation. Earning her BSEE (Bachelor of Science degree in electronic engineering), Ms. Conkling consulted for both large engineering firms and small start-ups before becoming an attorney. She completed graduate studies at Montana State University and Stanford University. Ms. Conkling earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Concord University School of Law. Her practice includes advocating for and advising clients in both Montana and California. She is admitted to practice in California state courts (district and probate), bankruptcy courts, and presented oral arguments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Conkling is a professional mediator and served as president of the Community Mediation Center in Bozeman, Montana, and continues to volunteer with low income family disputes. She served as president of Toastmasters International Bozeman, treasurer of Rotary International Bozeman, and is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

WILLIAM M. HUGHES CPA/PFS, CFP, is a shareholder in the Butte office of Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C. Mr. Hughes provides tax services for individuals, partnerships, corporations, employee benefit plans, fiduciaries and estates and personal financial planning services in the area of estate, retirement, income tax, and insurance. His service concentrations are farm and ranch, financial institutions, professional services and contractors. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the AICPA Personal Financial Planning and Tax sections, the Montana Society of CPAs and the Butte Chapter of CPAs. Mr. Hughes is also a member of the Butte Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the Butte Sunrise Kiwanis Club. He graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. degree in accounting.

CINDY E. YOUNKIN is an attorney with the law firm of McLean, Younkin & Willett, PLLC. Her practice areas include wills, trusts, probate, real estate, water rights, and agriculture/farm and ranch. She has been a guest speaker on water law at Montana State University. Ms. Younkin served three terms in the Montana House of Representatives, 1999 - 2004; majority whip, 2001 and 2003 sessions; and chaired the House of Natural Resources Committee, 2001 and 2003 sessions. She earned her B.S. degree from Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana and her J.D. degree from Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

MT CLE: 6.50 Credit Approval Exp
Includes - Ethics: 1.00
This program may qualify for up to 6.5 hours of self-study CLE credit by the Montana Commission on Continuing Legal Education, including 1.0 hour of ethics. No more than 5.0 hours of self-study CLE credit may be earned during a reporting period.

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Mail: NBI
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