Trusts & Estates

The administration of Trusts and Estates for deceased or incapacitated persons is a wide-ranging practice area. Whether a person has a complex Revocable Trust, a simple Will, or no estate planning documents, action must be taken to handle his or her affairs.

The administration of Trusts and Estates for deceased or incapacitated persons is a wide-ranging practice area. Whether a person has a complex Revocable Trust, a simple Will, or no estate planning documents, action must be taken to handle his or her affairs.

The assets must be inventoried and liabilities resolved. Decisions have to be made regarding investments – to hold, sell or distribute them to the heirs. Personal property must either be properly stored, given to the heirs, auctioned, or donated to charity. Real estate may have to be sold or a business wound up. Disputes sometimes arise among beneficiaries and an effective solution must be sought to avoid family problems. All of these matters must be handled with careful attention to the details.

The person responsible for handling the administration of a Trust or Estate (known as the fiduciary) has a considerable duty to handle everything properly. The fiduciary has many responsibilities and will need to assume control of the assets, pay the debts and expenses, file tax returns, and account for all his or her activities.

Handling a Trust or Estate for a deceased or incapacitated person is very different than handling your own assets. The fiduciary often has to balance the competing interests of many family members. The responsibilities should not be taken lightly, even if everyone appears to get along and there are few assets or liabilities. If the fiduciary does not handle everything properly, he or she could become personally liable for any problems.

Our probate lawyers attend to the details, seek to avoid conflicts among beneficiaries, and work to uncover tax saving opportunities. Our work in this area ranges from helping clients maximize their estate planning objectives to consulting with fiduciaries if problems arise. No matter how small or large the Trust or Estate, we are committed to thoroughly representing our clients.

Estate & Trust Administration

Handling a Trust or Estate for a deceased or incapacitated person is very different than handling your own assets. The fiduciary often has to balance the competing interests of many family members. The responsibilities should not be taken lightly, even if everyone appears to get along and there are few assets or liabilities. We attend to the details, seek to avoid conflicts among beneficiaries, and work to uncover tax saving opportunities.

Will & Trust Litigation

We recognize the sensitive nature of familial disputes over estates, trusts and inheritences, and we remain committed to protecting our clients’ rights and interests while giving the necessary consideration to the relationships that are affected (directly and indirectly) by such proceedings. Probate litigation is a complex and unique area of law. With our focus on trust and estate law, we are exceptionally well prepared to represent a client involved in any dispute regarding these matters.

When a Loved One Passes

Dealing with the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges we face. The following information is intended to help you prioritize and organize your loved one’s financial and estate planning affairs after he or she has passed.

Funding Your Trust

A Trust is established by signing a written Trust Agreement. But simply signing a Trust Agreement does not result in everything being owned by the Trust. Further action is required to properly and legally re-title assets. The process of transferring your assets to your Trust is called “funding.” Your Trust must be properly funded to avoid probate, minimize taxes and ensure compliance with the terms of your Trust Agreement.

Choosing the Right Fiduciary

All estate plans require that you designate someone to handle financial matters upon your incapacity or death. Whether you are single or married, have a modest estate or millions, the most important estate planning decision you will make is choosing your Fiduciary.

Becoming the Family Banker

It is not uncommon for family members to loan money to each other. These “related party” loans are often given with the best intentions and, most of the time, are repaid timely and without any serious problems. However, there are some things to think about before lending or borrowing money to or from a family member.