About Us

Trusts and Trust Administration

Our attorneys have experience serving in many different roles relating to trusts. For many clients, we advise and draft trust documents and aid them in the proper administration of their trusts. Other times, we serve as counsel to individual or corporate trustees, or trust beneficiaries.

Creating Trusts

We advise clients in creating various types of trusts to further their estate plan and their lifetime giving plan. In this capacity, we work closely with clients to implement arrangements that, first and foremost, meet the client’s long-term goals for him or herself and for his or her chosen beneficiaries, while maintaining the maximum amount of flexibility in order to accommodate unforeseen changes in the client’s circumstances or goals. We emphasize plans that also provide income tax and transfer tax advantages, to maximize the value of the benefit the client confers on his or her chosen beneficiaries. The types of trusts we regularly assist clients in creating include:

  • Revocable trusts (“living trusts”)
  • Charitable trusts, including private foundations, charitable remainder trusts (“CRT”), and charitable lead trusts (“CLT”)
  • Life insurance trusts (“ILIT”)
  • Grantor-retained interest trusts, including grantor retained annuity trusts (“GRAT”) and qualified personal residence trusts (“QPRT”)
  • Special purpose trusts, including medical and educational trusts and special needs trusts
  • Statutory gifts, such as custodianship accounts and tax-advantaged tuition payment plans
  • Generation-skipping trusts (“dynasty trusts”)
  • Testamentary trusts
  • Grantor trusts that are intentionally defective for income tax purposes

Advising Individual And Corporate Trustees In Trust Administration

We counsel individual and institutional trustees in discharging their fiduciary requirements, including:

  • Advising on the management of trust property and the proper timing and method of disbursements and beneficiary distributions
  • Assisting in the preparation of appropriate documentation and reporting to the beneficiaries
  • Counseling in regards to other requirements, such as compliance and reporting obligations to courts, taxing agencies, and other authorities
  • Guiding fiduciaries to choose courses of action with optimal federal and state income and transfer tax consequences
  • Advising trustees on the personal side of the trust relationship, to help them manage their relationships with the trust beneficiaries and implement the goals of the person who created the trust
  • Helping to ensure the ongoing successful administration of the trust, for example, by confirming that the trustee succession is appropriate and mutually agreeable to the trustees and the beneficiaries
  • Drafting and advising trustees on trust amendments, successor trustee documents, and private settlement agreements
  • Representing trustees in bringing or opposing trust amendment, modification, and interpretation actions in court

Counseling Trust Beneficiaries

We counsel and represent beneficiaries of trusts by:

  • Identifying and enforcing beneficiaries’ rights where there are concerns about the trustee’s ability or willingness to discharge the trust appropriately
  • Counseling beneficiaries on any planning that might be appropriate for them in light of their current or future interests in a trust of estate
  • Assisting beneficiaries in exercising any rights or choices they may have under the law and the terms of the trust, such as exercising powers of appointment and choosing fiduciaries
  • Drafting and advising beneficiaries on trust amendments, successor trustee documents, and private settlement agreements
  • Representing beneficiaries in bringing or opposing trust amendment, modification, and interpretation actions in court

Other Trust-Related Services

We provide other services related to trusts and trust administration. We are available to:

  • Offer advice in the selection of independent trustees and co-trustees of clients’ trusts
  • Provide legal opinions regarding fiduciary requirements and beneficiary rights under applicable state and federal law
  • Prepare tax and other informational returns
  • On occasion, serve as expert witness or as consulting counsel in trust and estate related litigation matters

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Awards & Recognition