Trusts and Estates
Our firm evaluates each client’s individual needs to create an estate plan that represents the client’s wishes to:
- Create revocable or irrevocable trusts and wills.
- Guide families through the probate and/or trust administration process after the death of a family member.
- Help families navigate taxes after a death.
- Prepare, interpret, and assist with enforcement of prenuptial agreements as they pertain to estate planning.
- Create powers of attorney.
- Represent people bringing or defending will contests.
- Advise clients on ways to avoid contests of their wills.
- Help clients articulate and document wishes through health care directives regarding medical care.
A revocable living trust is an important part of an estate plan for most clients. You do not relinquish control of your assets ad property. You will usually be the initial trustee. For married couples, the surviving spouse is usually the successor trustee.
Unlike probate, the administration of a trust is a private and confidential matter. It therefore keeps your financial affairs private. Ownership passes to your appointed successor trustee at your death, so assets held in a trust do not have to go through probate.
Like a will, a living trust includes detailed instructions and you can make provisions for spouses, children, charities etc. You can set limits and terms for gifts to children. For young children, the trust can hold their inheritance and the trustee will administer it for the benefit of the children until the children meet the age that you determine appropriate for distribution to them.
Unlike in an irrevocable trust, you can change the trust in any way you like during your lifetime, including revoking the trust.
During your lifetime, no separate fiduciary income tax return will need to be filed. You will report any income from the trust on your individual income tax return.
We help families with administering the terms of a trust:
- Successor trustees
- Property division and distribution
- Record keeping and accounting
- Creditor issues
- Property Transfer Deeds