Estate and Trust Administration

When a loved one dies, administering the trust or estate is often the last thing on the minds of the family. Having an experienced guide and advocate during the process can make a significant difference between confusion and an orderly transition. There are many details to consider and the knowledge of an attorney who focuses on this area of the law can be invaluable.

We help clients with a wide range of probate, estate and trust administration matters, including:

  • Representation of individual and corporate trustees
  • Representation of personal representatives/executors
  • Representation of Beneficiaries
  • Federal estate tax returns
  • Accountings 
  • Fiduciary income tax returns
  • Efficient transfer of property
  • Gathering, valuing and safe-keeping of assets
  • Management of assets
  • Process through probate filing, inventory and accounting
  • Final distribution of assets
  • Payment of debts and expenses
  • Tax strategy development and preparation of final tax returns
  • Disbursement of funds to beneficiaries
  • Establishment or continuation of trust

Our law firm concentrates on minimizing stress and tax burdens for both simple and complex probate and trust estates.  We work diligently and efficiently with other professionals to maximize the retained value of the estate. We work with your trusted advisors, such as your accountant, insurance advisor, financial advisor, valuation advisor, or we can refer you to other competent professionals. The core group of professionals from key areas come together to meet the goals and needs of both the estate and the beneficiaries. Each professional retains independence advising you in his or her area of competence and the coordinated effort keeps your goals and needs central.

We are personal counselors, and we take very seriously our responsibilities as such. Proper planning does more than just provide for the transfer of assets at death. We work with our clients, who include both individual and corporate fiduciaries to provide seamless solutions in probate and trust estates.

Our  approach creates efficiencies with respect to administering an estate. We have the relevant resources to provide seamless guidance from estate planning, to estate administration, to planning for future generations based on prior generations planning.

We also assist our clients with probate administration, postmortem tax planning (including effective use of disclaimers, alternate valuation elections, special use valuations, and other tax elections), IRS audits and negotiation, and the negotiation and settlement of intricate estate matters.

We also provide guidance regarding the ongoing administration of irrevocable trusts and other estate planning techniques, including trust reformation.

We also handle litigation related to probate and trusts, seeking to resolve disputes quickly and effectively.  Our litigators, working closely with our estate administration lawyers, handle disputed probate and trust issues, including beneficiary disputes, will contests, will and trust construction and modification, and fiduciary (personal representative, guardian, and trustee) liability. We work closely with client’s accountants and other advisors to coordinate the preparation and filing of gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns. We provide guidance regarding income taxation of trusts and estates, and, when necessary, we represent clients before the IRS throughout the audit and settlement of estate, gift, generation-skipping, and fiduciary income tax returns.