Trusts and Estates Department
We assist clients with all aspects of estate planning, probate estate and trust administration, special needs planning, business transition planning, and charitable gift planning.
Estate planning services include:
- drafting of wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and beneficiary designations;
- providing tax and other planning services to individuals to preserve assets by charitable and non-charitable gifting;
- drafting antenuptial agreements; advising about transfers between spouses; drafting trusts, including lifetime trusts, marital deduction and credit shelter trusts, insurance trusts, GRATs, QPRTs, special needs trusts, and various kinds of charitable split interest trusts;
- planning to minimize income, estate and gift taxes; and
- advising people about life insurance and annuities and their roles in estate planning.
Special-needs planning services include:
- advice regarding publicly funded benefits;
- drafting of special-needs trusts and providing advice regarding choice of trustee;
- advice to family law attorneys regarding options for alimony, child support, and division of assets involving spouses and children with disabilities; and
- advice to personal injury attorneys as to the best settlement options for plaintiffs with disabilities, including evaluation of, eligibility for, and preservation of public benefits.
Probate services include:
- working through the probate process with family members, including beneficiaries and fiduciaries;
- recommendations regarding disclaimers and renunciations;
- preparation of estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns;
- post-death tax planning;
- preparation of formal probate accounts and informal accounts to beneficiaries;
- advice on retirement plan elections.; and guidance on asset distributions.
Trust administration services include assisting trustees as requested with all aspects of trust administration.
We also offer comprehensive Trustee Support Services on a flat-fee basis to individuals serving as trustees to enable them to fulfill all aspects of their role as trustees, including thorough trust analysis, recordkeeping, distributions, taxation advice, prudent investor guidance, beneficiary communications and notices, and fiduciary accountings.
The Trusts and Estates Department Chair is Elizabeth H. Sillin.