We provide advice to clients regarding the practical and tax consequences of various plans of disposition of one’s property on death. This includes planning for the manner in which title to property is to be held, for the disposition of one’s property on death, and planning for the disposition of life insurance and retirement benefits. Our firm drafts wills, trust agreements, and all other documents relating to estate planning.
Clients also use our services in connection with guardianship and conservatorship proceedings for minors and incapacitated adults. In the probate of estates, assistance is provided to the heirs of the decedent in the process of administering the estate and distribution of assets; and representation is provided for interested persons in contested proceedings.
Trust and Will Challenges. A trust or will challenge arises when a claim is made that the Donor either the mental capacity to prepare a trust/will or was unduly influenced in making such trust or will. Our firm has represented both parties challenging and defending such trust or will and on multiple occasions through final trial judgment. We have even tried such matters through successful appearance to the Court of Appeals. See Alward v. Alward.
Claims by and against Trust/Estates. A trust or will usually appoints a person who is responsible in handling the affairs of the estate. In some instances, such a person may not act appropriately. For instance, they may fail to properly and timely liquidate assets and/or distribute assets to the beneficiaries. In some instances, they may simply steal the trust assets for their own use. In either instance, it is often critical to engage counsel to assure the trustee is performing correctly and if not, to address the issue, with the courts.