Trust Administration & Probate

The death of a family member or dear friend is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.  The added pressure of administering the estate or trust can seem overwhelming.  Our philosophy at HSW is that our job is to take as much of the legal burdens off of our clients so they can grieve and focus on personal issues.  We explain the process and take care of the paperwork and any court proceedings that may be necessary.

Our team of lawyers and paralegals have extensive experience in administering trusts and probate estates of all sizes, ranging from modest estates to the very large and complex.  Estates we have administered have included assets of all types, such as investment portfolios, real estate, closely-held businesses, partnership and LLC interests, off-shore assets, patents, royalties and residuals, rare collectibles and jewelry, name and likeness.  If a dispute arises, our dispute resolution attorneys make every attempt to resolve them as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

We represent individual trustees and executors, institutional trustees, beneficiaries of estates and trusts, heirs and creditors. We advise trustees on their fiduciary duties, and beneficiaries on their rights.  We help clients with the administration of revocable trusts after the death of a creator of the trust, and the administration of irrevocable trusts created during lifetime, including charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, trusts for education or support, generation-skipping (“dynasty”) trusts, grantor trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts and unitrusts, and qualified personal residence trusts.  Our lawyers are well-versed in the tax issues relating to the administration of these types of trusts, and several have Master of Laws degrees in taxation law.

Our lawyers frequently appear in Probate Court, handling cases of all types, and are familiar with the probate procedures.  We pride ourselves on presenting thorough and well-drafted paperwork to the Court, and as a result we enjoy a good rapport with probate Judges and their staff.  The extensive experience of our attorneys in handling a wide variety of issues in Court benefits our clients by making our representation as cost-effective and efficient as possible.