Estates & Trusts
Attorneys in our Estates and Trusts department are committed to guiding our clients through the personal and often complex issues involved in this area of the law. In addition to bringing a wide range of experience and depth of understanding to estate planning and administration matters, our firm’s attorneys keep abreast of ongoing changes in the laws and tax regulations governing estates and stand ready to assist our clients in dealing with those changes.
Our team has experience handling estates of all sizes. We advise clients on the issues concerning tax savings as well as the concepts for the protection of assets. We also draft documents appropriate for each client’s unique circumstances. Wills and trusts are drafted in order to maximize tax savings and to ensure that assets will be distributed to beneficiaries according to the client’s wishes. Estate plans can be more complex than many people expect and we carefully draft them to reflect the financial goals of the client. The responsibility of granting power of attorney to trusted individuals or corporate agents is also discussed in detail in conjunction with a comprehensive and complete estate plan. Advance directives or living wills are discussed with the client and then prepared to provide directions to family members for guidance in end of life situations.
Estate administration can be challenging and sometimes lengthy and complex. We offer assistance to executors and administrators to help them meet their legal responsibilities and fiduciary obligations at a very difficult time for individuals who may be appointed under a decedent’s will. This work includes providing legal representation and assistance to the named executors or administrators in gathering assets, paying bills, preparing tax returns, and ultimately distributing the balance of an estate to the named beneficiaries. After-death tax planning can also be provided in appropriate situations. We work closely with the trust departments at banks and other financial institutions, and our attorneys have even been named to various fiduciary positions by financial institutions and the courts.
The issues of estate taxation and the passing of wealth to succeeding generations are in constant flux. Changes in the law and in individuals’ personal circumstances require periodic review of one’s will, power of attorney, trust instruments, and property ownership. Our estate planning and administration attorneys remain committed to assisting clients in dealing with these matters effectively on an ongoing basis.