Estate & Trust Administration

Once estate plans have been identified and the necessary legal arrangements have been established, we work with executors, trustees and guardians in the full range of estate and trust administration services when the time arrives to put these plans into motion. Our Wealth Transfer & Succession Planning attorneys regularly assist clients with:

ProbateTax Matters
Trust AdministrationContested Estates and Trust Matters

 

Probate

Through the probate process, assets titled in a decedent's name are properly identified and administered, debts, taxes and expenses are paid, and remaining assets are distributed to the lawful beneficiaries. Our attorneys represent personal representatives and beneficiaries throughout the probate process, including opening and closing estates, collecting assets, counseling on transfer tax matters, disclaimers and other post-mortem planning and the preparation of estate tax returns. We also handle income tax planning, accountings, filing and defending against claims, will contests, construction matters and other probate litigation, conflict resolution and other administrative issues.

Trust Administration

While the probate process is generally time-limited, trusts often last many years and over many generations. Whatever the type and reason for their creation—whether to minimize taxes, protect dependents or provide resources to a favorite charity—we assist clients in administering trusts both during the creator's life and after death. Ongoing representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries is often necessary in connection with the administration of trusts regarding distributions, investments, interpretation of documents and taxation. Our attorneys represent trustees and beneficiaries throughout the trust administration, including counseling on income and transfer tax matters, accountings, filing and defending trust contests, construction matters and other trust litigation, conflict resolution and other administration issues.

Tax Matters

We regularly work with our clients, their accountants and other advisors in preparing and reviewing fiduciary income tax, gift tax and estate tax returns for themselves and for the trusts that they have created. Our attorneys help clients formulate and implement effective tax strategies, including advising clients on disclaimers, distributions and other post-mortem planning opportunities. We also advise clients regarding contested tax matters and, when tax disputes arise, represent them in audits and before taxing authorities.

Contested Estate and Trust Matters

Our attorneys represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputes regarding estates and trusts, including will and trust contests, contested claims, will and trust construction matters, and trust reformation matters. We are committed to helping resolve disputes in a manner that minimizes litigation expenses and preserves protected assets, often seeking resolution through negotiation and settlement before drawing on the skills of our experienced litigators.