Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Estate planning is often more complicated than a simple will. Estate plans may include trust funds, retirement plans, inheritances, life insurance policies, real property, businesses and business assets, as well as other assets to be named and distributed to beneficiaries. It should also include plans for incapacity, directives on difficult medical decisions, medical power of attorney and other preparatory legal documents. We excel at devising a plan that ensures your preferences are obeyed and your assets are distributed as determined, all with minimal estate taxes (ie: death tax) and delay.

Wills

A Last Will and Testament is the first building block to a solid estate plan. Wills can look very different, depending on your needs. A will is meant to state how your assets will be handled upon death. Without one, the courts will provide a Last Will and Testament for you under state intestacy laws – for each state you have assets. This can cause different people to inherit your property, for example, if you own property in multiple states. We can help you determine the right plan and how your will fits into that plan, further protecting your family and loved ones into the future.

Estate Administration

Referred to as uncontested probate and “settling the estate”, and second only to saying goodbye to a loved one, estate administration is one of the most important and difficult events to take place. We take care of all matters left unresolved — from financial payments and settlements, asset inventory and property sales. It may mean working with financial and medical creditors to reduce any debt and also ensuring family inventory is sold at its best value. Our goal is to offer this service respectfully while preserving as much value of the estate as possible.

Contested Probate

We protect a family’s assets and heirlooms against someone who is trying to take control of an estate or misusing its property. We also challenge false or fraudulent wills, defend executors, administrators and trustees and ensure the wishes of the deceased are honored. Sometimes this can be done through practiced negotiation while other times we take the matter to court to resolve the situation through probate litigation. We’ll work diligently to resolve the matter in the best way possible and always seek to protect what’s right.

Living Trusts

A Living Trust serves many purposes. Every family, especially with children, should consider a living trust. In general a trust is meant to preserve your decisions and preferences if you’re unable to express them and to direct a person who can speak on your behalf, if and when that happens. Trusts provide a smooth transition of assets upon passing, predetermine medical, financial and guardianship decisions, and place someone you’ve named as authority over remaining decisions. Trusts mitigate questions, confusion and potential legal battles before they happen. Let us help you legally document your preferences in a living trust.

Uncontested Probate

Most commonly referred to as estate administration or “settling the estate”, even after disputes are resolved, estates must be settled. It’s the last thing anyone wants to do after losing a loved one – financial payments and settlements, asset inventory, property sales – it can be overwhelming. We take care of it all, keeping your best interest in mind. We work with financial and medical creditors to reduce any debt and ensure inventory is sold at its best value to save and make as much as possible for your family.