The practice of estate planning extends beyond merely planning for the disposition of property after death. The estate planning group advises and assists individuals, families and business owners in acquisition, preservation and disposition of property and possessions both during life and following death. The resources, personalities, needs, abilities and relationships of the people involved must all be considered, while keeping in mind the primary goal, which is maximizing enjoyment and preservation of the accumulated wealth.
Estate Planning Clientele
Our clients include individuals, families and business owners with large amounts of accumulated wealth, and also many people with much more modest means. We represent executors, trustees, beneficiaries, and other interested persons in the administration of trusts and estates.
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to assist in all aspects of the estate planning process. We realize that every situation is unique, and that there is no one single solution which is applicable in every case. We know that minimizing the tax cost of transferring wealth, reducing the cost of administration and transmission of assets, providing liquidity, and planning for the continuation or orderly liquidation of family businesses are all important factors which must be considered.
The estate planning process cannot be successful if it is based upon inaccurate or incomplete information. We also realize that clients generally have an initial reluctance to disclose to an attorney all of the intimate details of their financial affairs and family relationships. Thus, in dealing with clients, we endeavor to establish a relationship in which the client is comfortable in discussing his or her personal affairs and knows that the information provided will be treated as confidential.
Wills and Trusts. Wills and trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance medical directives, including living wills and powers of attorney for health care, are the basic estate planning documents. They must be carefully drafted to address each clients’ unique circumstances and to accomplish the estate planning goals which the client has identified.
Estate planning does not merely include disposition of assets following death. It may also involve planning related to accumulation, preservation, use and enjoyment and disposition of assets during one’s life. Thus, our estate planning practice also includes such things as structuring of ownership of assets for asset protection purposes, insurance, retirement and investment planning, medicaid planning, and planning for lifetime gifts to family members and charitable organizations.
Probate Trust and Estate Administration. Our trust and estate group provides comprehensive representation of fiduciaries, including personal representatives, trustees, executors, and agents. We help fiduciaries meet all probate court, accounting, and federal and state tax compliance requirements, and also advise and represent fiduciary clients regarding ongoing relations with beneficiaries and their counsel. We also represent trust and estate beneficiaries who require independent counsel on trusts and estates being administered by individuals not represented by our firm. Our experienced staff of legal assistants helps to minimize the expense of our estate administration services.