Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate

Our Estates, Trusts and Probate practice provides legal services to clients in all aspects of estate planning, trust administration and non-contested probate matters.

Estate Planning:
Estate planning is the process of working closely with a client to arrange for the protection of a client’s estate so that the estate can pass to those persons or charities specifically designated by the client. In the estate planning process, we work closely with each client to make sure documents are in place so the client’s assets pass to those persons or entities designated by the client without probate and we prepare documents that our clients can use during their lifetime if the need arises such as health care directives and powers of attorney. We work with our clients to eliminate uncertainty over the administration and disposition of assets and to maximize the value of a client’s estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. We make sure that each client’s documents provide for the care, both financially and personally, of the client’s minor children.
Trust Administration:
A trust is a document pursuant to which assets are held by one party (the Trustee) for the benefit of another (the beneficiaries). A trust is created by a person (the Trustor) who transfers assets to a Trustee, which in the case of a revocable living trust is usually the Trustor. Upon the death of the Trustor, a new Trustee who is appointed by the Trustor administers the trust in the manner established by the Trustor. Upon the death or incapacity of a Trustor, we assist the new Trustee in administering the Trust, including assisting the Trustee in determining the assets of the Trust, accounting for the assets of the Trust, funding sub trusts which may be established under theTrust, filing tax returns, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries of the Trust.
Probate Services:
If a person does not have a revocable living trust or has not transferred all of his or her assets to a revocable living trust, then upon the death of such person, his or her heirs may be faced with probating the assets of such person’s estate. We assist the heirs in filing the probate petition with the Court and all of the filings necessary to complete the probate process as efficiently as possible.