Practice Areas

Estate Planning and Living Trusts

We handle Estate Planning matters which is the area of the law dealing with the distribution of an individual's property at his or her death, taking into account wills, taxes, insurance, property, and trusts so as to gain maximum benefit of all laws and, at the same time, carrying out the person's wishes. A major tool in most of the Estate Planning we do is a Living Trust, a legal technique that enables the client's family to avoid the cost and hassle of Probate Court, while retaining full lifetime control of the estate by the client.

Trust Administration

We assist clients in administering a trust following the death of the settlor, whether it is the sole settlor of a one-person trust, or whether it is the first one of a married couple to die. These projects can vary from a simple half-hour consultation in a simple situtation, to a more complex project involving ongoing trusts for younger children or estate tax avoidance techniques requiring dividing the trust up into a "survivor's" and a "bypass" portion.  If required, we are able to prepare federal estate tax returns, or work with the client's accountant preparing such a return.

Probate

We work with clients needing to Probate the estate of a relative or loved one.  Probate is the legal process by which a person's debts are paid and assets are distributed upon her or his death. Lawyers refer to the entity that owns the deceased`s assets until those assets are distributed as an "estate". Estate Administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased`s assets. State laws direct the probate court how to distribute the deceased's estate. Probate cases vary greatly from one situation to another, so, it is important to consult a lawyer with expertise in this area of the law to ensure that the deceased's assets are distributed correctly.