Trusts & Estates
Our Trust and Estates attorneys helps clients plan for the efficient and effective transfer of assets to spouses, to younger generation family members, to other persons clients wish to benefit, and to charities. The practice involves the preparation of trust agreements, wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, and closely held business structures, including partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.
When attorneys begin the planning process, they consider your objectives, your family relationships, charitable inclinations, and the relationship of federal and state estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping transfer tax laws to these objectives. Attorneys then work with you and, in some cases, with other advisers to design the appropriate plan to meet your goals and objectives, prepare the necessary documents to carry out the desired plan, and assist with the implementation of your plan. In connection with family wealth planning, attorneys plan and draft trust agreements and wills, create various business entities, and carry out business reorganizations.
Trust and estate attorneys also handle the administration of estates. Attorneys confer with members of a decedent’s family on the various issues, including:
• Assistance to the executor with the preparation of the required probate documents and assist in valuation of estate assets
• Making insurance claims
• Preparation of final income tax returns and the estate’s income and federal and state estate tax returns
• Monitoring of the investment of the estate’s assets
• Arranging for the distribution of the estate’s net assets
• Throughout the administration of an estate, consideration is given to income tax savings through the timing of distributions and the timing and claiming of appropriate deductions.
In the trust administration area, attorneys advise and consult with corporate and individual trustees concerning the discharge of the trust’s terms and consult with beneficiaries concerning trust administration matters including the preparation of trust accounts.
Trust and Estate attorneys also assist clients in all phases of probate and trust litigation. This may involve construing or reforming the terms of a will or trust, prosecuting or defending a will contest action or surcharge actions against trustees.