A great deal of the work we do for clients begins with estate planning. This is our favorite type of legal work. Why? Because there are few areas of the law where a good legal strategy can save a client so much money. We also like estate planning clients because they are serious, mature and responsible people with a long term vision. Tax avoidance investment products work extremely well with estate planning strategies. As part of our services, when appropriate, our Advanced Planning Team can advise on estate related investment strategies.
Having a proper estate plan accomplishes many goals, including avoiding expensive probate, court costs and taxes. There are many techniques that can help grow and preserve assets well into subsequent generations. However, the most important element of estate planning is always FAMILY. Disputes over money are ugly and tear families apart. This can be avoided. Do it right, and your investment will save much time and money and your children and loved ones will benefit.
Being a trustee is serious business. A trustee is a fiduciary and must act in a fiduciary capacity towards the beneficiary of the trust, not to mention comply with the Grantor’s wishes. How many disasters have we witnessed when a trust did not have a qualified and competent trustee? A lot! Theft, waste, tax problems, improper distributions, bad investments, abuse and the list goes on. We provide trustee and fiduciary services to clients.
Administering an estate or trust can be confusing and complicated, especially during a period when you are grieving over the loss of a loved one. It is extremely difficult if you are out of state. If you have been named as the executor of an estate, or if you are a beneficiary with questions about how an estate is being administered, we are ready to help. We can administer the estate for you. We can provide everything from “coaching sessions” for executors, to hands-on assistance with filings and reports, to litigation and dispute resolution services. The executor or trustee is also charged with the task of administering an estate or trust according to the terms of a Will or Trust Agreement.
Often, these tasks include:
Collecting and managing the assets of the decedent
Paying debts, taxes, and expenses of the estate
Probating the will and qualifying as executor before the clerk of a court
Preparing and filing estate asset accountings with the clerk or commissioner of accounts
Preparing and filing federal and state estate/inheritance tax returns
Preparing and filing federal and state gift tax returns
Preparing and filing estate and trust income tax returns
Valuing and/or selling closely-held business ownership interests
Resolving family disputes regarding inherited assets
Distributing the estate or trust assets to the named beneficiaries
Our attorneys are ready to help you work through the process of estate administration.
We HATE litigation and encourage our clients to avoid it, but sometimes, sadly, it is necessary. The death of a loved one is a significant loss. When greed, jealousy, and distrust rear their ugly heads, they only add to the pain, tragedy and complexity of the event. The professionals at our firm are poised to identify legitimate claims and mitigate those that are emotionally-driven. Our even-keel resolve benefits all parties involved when things are complicated and emotionally-charged.