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Estate Planning & Probate

Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning

Estate planning is a people oriented practice.

Our function at Englander Fischer is to give people solutions so that they can feel more confident about their future and the future of their loved ones.   In addition to conventional estate planning situations, we continually field questions dealing with blended families, family members a client may wish to exclude from an estate plan, planning for the family business, philanthropic opportunities, and dealing with the variety of situations that family can pose. Proper estate planning can provide you with peace of mind and help to avoid costly future estate litigation and tax liability. It can involve complicated tax issues or no tax issues at all. Englander Fischer is pleased to provide a wide range of estate planning services for you and your family, regardless of the complexity or simplicity of your situation, including but not limited to, wills, health care directives, powers of attorney, revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts.

During your initial estate planning conference you will learn what the process of probate administration entails and the possibilities for avoiding probate, if that is desired. You will be given the opportunity to designate the person(s) who will administer your estate or trust, who will serve as guardian of minor children or incapacitated persons, who may serve as your agent under a power of attorney, and who will make medical and health related decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so. Your estate plan will be based upon your unique personal and financial situation and will be tailored to your needs.

Probate and Trust Administration

The post-death administration and transfer of assets pursuant to a Will or Trust often has complex legal and interpersonal circumstances to be dealt with. An attorney’s experience in these matters can be invaluable. Englander Fischer’s Probate and Trust Practice Group prides itself on having the breadth of experience and thoughtful problem solving abilities to assist the personal representative or trustee in avoiding the numerous pitfalls that may be, but are sometimes not, apparent to the client. The firm is also available to assist beneficiaries and creditors in probate and trust matters.

In addition to, or as part of assisting with formal and summary probate administrations and trust administrations, the following is a list of some of the issues the firm can assist with:

  • Intestate distribution (when the decedent leaves no will)
  • Will contests, breach of fiduciary duty suits, and other probate and trust litigation
  • Procedures to avoid and limit the possibility of a will contest or other litigation
  • Responsibilities and liabilities of the personal representative or trustee
  • Rights and limitations of beneficiaries
  • Marshalling and preserving assets
  • Business continuity for the decedent’s enterprises
  • Evaluating issues concerning property exempt from creditors
  • Elective Share of surviving spouse
  • Family Allowance
  • Disclaimers
  • Minimizing estate taxes
  • Final Accountings
  • Timing of distributions
  • Obtaining receipts and releases
  • Closing estates and trusts

The head of our Estate Planning and Probate Group is Sidney Werner, a partner of the firm, who has been practicing in the area of wills, trusts and probate for more than 30 years. Contact us today.

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