Estates

An estates practice includes estate planning as well as the administration of an estate for someone who is deceased or disabled. The key to an estates practice is to plan properly during lifetime to avoid issues upon death or disability.

Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Although estate tax laws are becoming more complex all of the time, it is even more costly to think that only those with estate tax issues should put together an estate plan. For example, any parent with a young child should think about estate planning to make sure that a guardian is appointed in the event something happens when the child is a minor.

A good estate plan takes into account all aspects of a client's financial planning. This includes wills and trusts, life insurance, family partnerships, charitable gifts, and business succession planning. I listen carefully to a client's goals and then design a plan to accomplish those goals. Individual attention and technical ability are the hallmarks of our practice. Aside from the more obvious documents such as Wills and Trusts, we help clients with Living Wills for health care decisions and Powers of Attorney for financial decisions.

An important part of estate planning is tax planning and I have earned a graduate tax degree to sharpen my estate tax planning skills. In addition, I am able to draw upon my experience as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service to assist with planning and advising on proposed estate planning techniques.

I also have extensive experience in tax controversies, both within the Internal Revenue Service and in court. We have enjoyed excellent success in disputes with the IRS, and can help clients navigate the often difficult course of resolving a wide range of tax problems.

After someone dies, there often are many questions about what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. I have helped countless clients with all aspects of this process, including the appointment of a personal representative of the estate, gathering of estate assets, determination and settlement of estate debts and liabilities, preparation of relevant income tax returns, distribution of assets, preparation of the estate and inheritance tax returns, and all other legal aspects involved in the administration of an estate. It of course is my goal to make this process as easy as possible for the family members. Despite the best intentions, it sometimes is impossible to avoid courtroom disputes involving estate issues. I have handled many court cases relating to the court appointment of guardians, contests of Wills and Trusts, and other estate and trust issues. Whatever the issue, I try to bring the most practical approach to the case to avoid prolonged and costly courtroom battles.