Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts

Our attorneys have extensive experience and education in the areas of estate planning and trust drafting for clients with estates of all sizes, including those with the need for tax planning, both during life and at death.

We take our clients’ needs into consideration to craft the best plan for each situation and fully explaining the provisions in each document so that clients can be confident that their plans are the best fit for them, either to avoid taxes or to simplify the probate process.  Planning during life is the best way to avoid guardianship proceedings and estate administration challenges as well as to assure that wishes will be honored after death.

Estate planning may include the traditional will and powers of attorney, but it can also include:

  • Trusts: revocable or irrevocable, special needs, IRA trusts, real estate trusts
  • Business succession planning: trusts with transfers, buy/sell agreements, gifting of interests or creation of family business entities.
  • Planning for disability and guardianship needs: assessing needs both short and long term, looking at Medicaid and Social Security involvement, drafting POAs, creating special needs trusts, etc.
  • Assisting clients with tax planning, along with beneficiary designations, charitable planning, gift giving, and real estate issues.

Estate Administration and Probate

The process of administering an estate can be confusing and overwhelming, especially during the grieving process.  Our attorneys and staff are well-versed in the administration process for both large and small estates and are available for all levels of assistance—from a single consultation to outline the process, to a full administration with asset discovery and all reporting from start to finish. Whether the decedent had a will or not, we can help.

Our attorneys can assist with all aspects of the process, including publishing the required notices, dealing with grieving family members and other heirs, assisting with creditor settlements and payment, payment of expenses, reimbursements, and commissions, and distribution of assets, including real estate transactions and business interests, and making sure the decedent’s wishes are followed.  If there is a challenge or problem that arises during the administration of the estate, we can also assist with resolving issues with the Clerk (such as filing motions to extend time to file) and with any necessary hearings.  We take the process seriously for each estate so that the personal representative can administer the estate with the least stress possible.

Our Attorneys Who Focus in this Area:

Jeffrey P. Keeter • Nathaniel H. Cook

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