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Trusts, Estates and Elder Law

We provide personal, in-depth counseling to help you preserve your legacy, plan for the future needs of your family, and navigate the difficult decisions following the death of a loved one.  Our experience allows us to provide technical, practical, and compassionate advice related to your estate, wealth planning and protection, long-term care needs, and government benefits such as Medicaid/SSI. We will also represent you in court proceedings related to an estate or trust, including will contests, trust modifications and terminations, and guardianships.  Our team is proud to include a Certified Elder Law Attorney, three Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning and Probate Law, a Certified Public Accountant, and two attorneys with advanced tax degrees.    

Aging individuals and those with special needs face unique legal issues.  Whether planning for retirement and long-term care or assisting a loved one who has special needs, our attorneys can help develop and implement a plan that protects the vision you have for the future.  Our elder law attorneys prioritize a person-centered approach where the needs of the aging or special needs individual are paramount throughout the process. 

  • Medicaid and long-term care planning
  • Incompetency proceedings
  • Guardianship administration
  • Special needs trust creation and administration

Elder, Special Needs and Guardianship

Although planning for death or incapacity can seem overwhelming, it is a valuable measure you can take to protect your loved ones.  Our attorneys work with you to determine who should make decisions on your behalf if you are unable and who will inherit your assets.  These critical decisions will preserve your wishes and provide certainty to your loved ones.  Working closely with accountants, financial advisors, and other professionals to develop comprehensive plans, our attorneys use a team-based approach to help you through life’s transitions.  

  • Draft advance health care directives, powers of attorney, and wills
  • Draft revocable and irrevocable trusts for asset protection, wealth preservation, and trusts for children
  • Retirement benefits planning including beneficiary designation planning
  • Advise clients on probate avoidance strategies

Estate Planning

The death of a loved one can be a difficult and overwhelming time, especially considering financial matters, tax matters, family issues, and legal obligations that may arise.  Our attorneys and paralegals are honored to assist you in navigating these legal complexities.  From probating a will, administering a trust, or preparing necessary tax returns, our experienced team will help guide you through the process and provide you with the confidence that your matter is being handled in accordance with the requirements of the law and applicable documents.

  • Representation of executors, administrators, and trustees
  • Assisting clients with navigating the probate system
  • Communicating with estate and trust beneficiaries
  • Estate tax return preparation and filing

Estate and Trust Administration

Life is unpredictable.  Irrevocable trusts are often drafted with specific life circumstances and legal consequences in mind.  When those factors change, the purpose and administration of the trust may need to change.  Irrevocable trusts may be modified by agreement of those with an interest in the trust, but sometimes a court proceeding is required.  Regardless of the reason a modification or termination may be needed, simple or complex, our experienced attorneys can assist you with the modification or termination of irrevocable trusts.

  • Modification or termination of trust by consent or with judicial involvement
  • Modification of trust terms to accommodate changes in the law or other circumstances
  • Decanting to a new trust
  • Advising trustees on the tax implication of trust modifications and terminations

Trust Modification

Family dynamics and concern for a loved one can result in estate and trust disputes.  In certain circumstances, these disputes may require a court’s involvement.  Whether it is an allegation of undue influence or lack of capacity, a beneficiary dispute, or guardianship proceedings related to the health and financial affairs of a disabled family member, our experienced estate attorneys provide you with practical advice and advocate for the best resolution in court, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution methods.

  • Will challenges and contests
  • Trustee and other fiduciary representation
  • Beneficiary rights
  • Contested guardianship representation

Disputes

Our team of tax attorneys understands the complex laws surrounding the transfer of wealth between generations.  We will help you plan gifts to your loved ones and the distribution of your estate to minimize gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes.  If you have retirement benefits, our team will provide advice on how to integrate those benefits into your estate plan while limiting your tax liabilities.

  • Strategic advice to limit gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax burdens
  • Retirement benefits planning related to qualified and deferred compensation, IRA distributions, and beneficiary designations
  • Drafting trust documents for asset protection and wealth transfers

Tax Planning

Building a business is a significant personal and financial accomplishment, and we are here to help you preserve that success.  When you are ready, our corporate and estate planning attorneys will work closely with you to transfer your business to your children, other family members, key employees, or third-party buyers in a strategic and tax-efficient manner.  We provide technical and practical advice to help you develop and implement a business succession plan at all stages of your business.

  • Organizing corporate entities related to succession planning, including family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Identifying and advising on key tax, financial, and estate issues affecting business succession plans
  • Providing strategies for the retention of key employees, including executive compensation and restrictive covenant agreements

Business Succession

More than half of all Americans donate to charity each year.  Through legal advice and planning, we can help you develop a charitable giving strategy that fulfills your wishes, minimizes tax exposure, and fits within your existing estate plan.  Our team advises clients on developing charitable giving plans; understanding the tax implications of charitable giving; and selecting the best vehicle to effectuate your charitable giving.

  • Developing individualized charitable giving plans
  • Establishing charitable trusts, private foundations, and public charities
  • Drafting estate documents, such as wills, related to charitable giving
  • Advising on tax issues related to charitable giving

Charitable Giving

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