Our Trusts and Estates attorneys’ goal is to help preserve our clients’ accumulated wealth by providing appropriate planning. Our attorneys have a broad range of skills and experience to assist families in the area of asset protection and management, minimization of taxes and disposition of wealth.
Our Trust and Estate attorneys often team up with our Litigators to handle disputes in this area, some of which involve Will/Trust Contests, Contested Powers of Attorney, Spousal Right of Election, Contested Accountings and Actions Involving Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraudulent Transfers, and Will and Trust Construction. There are serious and complex issues associated with estate litigation. Our attorneys will help guide you to protect your inheritance and ensure that you receive what is rightfully yours.
Wills and Trusts
We have clients that come to us before they enter marriage, after having children, or as they age. Our attorneys work closely with each client to develop a plan that will be suitable for the particular needs and desires of that client. Whether they need a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement, Will, living trust or an irrevocable trust, our attorneys will lay out the pros and cons of the different options that may suit our clients' needs, while keeping in mind tax consequences for each option they put forth to ensure minimizing tax liability.
Estate & Trust Administration
Our attorneys along with our experienced and knowledgeable estate paralegals work to provide guidance to our clients who are the executors, administrators and trustees of the estate or trust to ensure proper discharge of their fiduciary duties. In order to do so, we assist in the probate of the estate, establish estate/trust account(s), assist in the liquidation of assets as necessary and prepare fiduciary accountings, estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.
Many individuals never expect to be faced with the reality of needing home care of the possibility of needing skilled nursing. We advise our clients of the various options that exist to be able to protect your hard-earned assets from the approximately $150,000 per year cost of skilled nursing services. We separate this need into two areas: pre-planning and crisis planning. With the former, we always say that the best time to plan is when you don't need to. With the latter, many operate under the misconception that once you enter into a skilled nursing facility, there is no way to preserve your assets. We will navigate you through your best options under either scenario.
Advance Directives, Powers of Attorney & Health Care Proxies
This area encompasses powers of attorney, health care proxies, and if necessary, guardianship proceedings. These tools are vital if a client is incapacitated and cannot make financial or health care decisions for themselves. Our team will provide guidance to you and your family with the hope of avoiding a public, expensive, and often divisive guardianship process.
Transfer Tax, Life Insurance & Retirement Planning
Clients with significant assets being transferred during one's lifetime or prior to death, need careful tax considerations. Our attorneys will weigh each option with you. We often use charitable trusts coupled with life insurance planning to maximize both income and estate tax benefits. There are different uses for life insurance, such as using life insurance as an income replacement tool, wealth replacement tool or more importantly, keeping the life insurance proceeds out of the client’s taxable estate. Our knowledge of this area of planning can be a great asset. Our attorneys work with our clients’ financial planners and investment advisors to maximize their retirement benefits while minimizing their tax liabilities.