Estate & Trust Administration
Once estate plans have been created and the necessary legal arrangements have been established, we work closely with executors, trustees and guardians to provide the full range of estate and trust administration services when the time arrives to put these plans into motion.
While the probate process is generally time-limited, trusts often last many years and span 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 during the creator's life and after death. The administration of trusts often involves the ongoing representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in connection with distributions, investments, interpretation of documents and taxation. Our attorneys represent trustees and beneficiaries throughout the trust administration process, including counseling on income and transfer tax matters; accountings; filing and defending trust contests; construction matters; virtual representation and, when necessary, litigation; conflict resolution, non-judicial settlement agreements and decanting of trusts.
Probate is the court process for settling a decedent's estate, ensuring that assets are properly identified and administered, debts, taxes and expenses are paid, and the remaining assets are distributed to the lawful beneficiaries. Our attorneys represent beneficiaries, trustees and fiduciaries throughout the probate process, which includes opening and closing estates, collecting assets, preparing income and estate tax returns, handling construction matters, counseling on transfer tax matters, disclaimers and other post-mortem obligations.
We help our clients formulate and implement effective tax strategies, including advising clients on disclaimers, distributions and other post-mortem planning opportunities. We regularly work with our clients, their accountants and other advisors in preparing and reviewing income tax, gift tax and estate tax returns for themselves and for the trusts that they have created. We also advise clients regarding contested tax matters and, when tax disputes arise, represent them in audits and before taxing authorities.