Estate Planning & Probate Administration
We will work with you to identify your goals and create an estate plan that is right for you. Our attorneys have experience in preparing and administering all aspects of estate planning. Our practice includes the following specialties:
Trusts. A trust is an important tool in estate planning. A trust can serve many purposes, from avoiding probate and passing assets to the named beneficiaries to protecting assets in the case of a nursing home stay. We have extensive experience with all types of trusts, and we will work with you to prepare the trust documents best suited to your particular circumstances.
Wills. The basic purpose of a Will is to give direction to the Probate Court judge as to how you want your assets distributed upon your death. Whether your estate planning involves the simple use of a will to pass your assets upon your death, or the incorporation of a will as part of a more complex estate plan, we understand how to draft wills effectively to implement your estate planning objectives.
Advanced Directives. An advanced directive is designed to make your wishes known regarding medical care and to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make your own medical decisions. We know that this is an especially difficult time for a family, and we can help you craft a health care directive that best suits your wishes.
Powers of Attorney. A power of attorney is used in situations where you need someone else to handle financial matters for you. Not all powers of attorney are the same. For example, some are used to handle all financial matters while others are drafted for a specific need (for example, to handle a real estate closing). We have extensive experience in this area of the law and we can help you develop a power of attorney that meets your needs.
Trust Administration. The development of an estate plan is the first step in the estate planning process, but it does not end there. We have many years of experience helping our clients manage and administer trusts to effectively advance the intent of the settlor.
The probate process is when an estate is administered through the court system. This can be a lengthy and complicated process, with a number of steps that must be followed and court filings that must be submitted. We have extensive experience in this area and we can represent you in the probate process from beginning to end. We handle routine probate matters as well as complex cases. In addition to handling the probate of a will, we also handle guardianships and probate litigation.
Estates. A petition must be filed with the Probate Court when someone dies and has assets in their name alone in order to ensure those assets go to the beneficiaries named in the decedent=s Last Will and Testament. We will guide you through the process making sure all the deadlines are met and the estate is handled both efficiently and cost effectively.
Guardianships. A guardianship may be necessary when a person is unable to manage his or her personal or financial affairs. When a guardianship petition is filed, the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether a guardianship is necessary, who the guardian should be, and what authority the guardian should have. We have many years of experience advocating effectively for our clients in guardianship proceedings.
Probate Litigation. It may be necessary in some cases to seek court intervention to resolve disputes or protect beneficiaries. Probate litigation entails a variety of matters, from petitions for accounting and breach of fiduciary duty claims to will or trust contests. Our lawyers have the experience and skill necessary to protect your interests in all types of probate litigation.