We offer comprehensive representation to individuals, business owners and financial institutions in all aspects of trust and estate law and administration, including:
We prepare estate planning documents such as wills, trusts (including special and supplemental needs trusts), powers of attorney and medical directives. We also handle estate and gift tax planning, counseling potential donors and advising on charitable giving and related tax issues as well as implementing gifting plans and strategies, preparing and filing gift tax returns and related documents, including instruments of transfers and trusts. Additionally, we help clients develop estate plans designed to preserve assets and maximize the transfer of wealth to subsequent generations, including generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax planning and the use of exemptions.
Administration of Decedents’ Estates
We collaborate with clients to assemble information and documents pertinent to assets and expenses, obtaining any necessary appraisals and valuations. We prepare federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns as well as fiduciary income tax returns and handle post-mortem tax planning, including disclaimers, tax elections and fiscal year planning designed to minimize income taxes. For all clients, we maintain computerized estate fiduciary accounting records, which assists in the preparation of estate accountings and distribution schedules. When necessary, we also prepare and file any related court documents.
For executors and administrators of estates, we obtain liability discharges and provide counsel on all phases of estate administration, fiduciary law and fiduciary responsibilities, and, when necessary, represent their interests before courts and taxing authorities. We also coordinate the distribution of estate assets and represent beneficiaries, including monitoring estate administrations.
Administration of Trusts
Our guidance in administering trusts mirrors many of our services for the administration of estates. For trustees, we obtain liability discharges, advise on trust law and fiduciary responsibilities and provide representation before courts and taxing authorities when necessary. We also prepare full accountings of trusts, prepare and file court documents as needed, and, when the situation is warranted, relocate trusts to other jurisdictions (situs change) or effectuate termination of trusts, as well as reform and modify trusts and effectuate transfer of trust assets to new trusts (decanting).
Additionally, we maintain computerized trust fiduciary accounting records, which assists us in preparing fiduciary income statements and income tax returns and coordinating income distributions to beneficiaries. We also represent the interests of trust beneficiaries.
For clients who may benefit from a change in domicile, we provide analysis and advice regarding state inheritance and estate taxes in various jurisdictions. If a client elects to change domicile, we assist throughout the process, preparing all related documents to implement the change.