The Trusts, Estates and Charitable Planning and Administration Practice

L&K assists clients with the preparation of wills and trusts, and on the post death administration of a trust and the administration of a probate estate. Through our expertise in tax law, we also advise clients on mitigating estate, gift and generation skipping transfer taxes. We also represent tax exempt and nonprofit charitable organizations.

L&K creates customized estate plans that include the creation of revocable family trust, wills, and durable powers of attorney for financial management and advance health care directives. L&K coordinates with the clients’ financial, accounting and insurance advisors to implement the most comprehensive and efficient estate plan tailored to meet each client’s needs and expectations.

L&K helps clients effectuate their intentions by developing specific strategies that are both practical and cost­ effective. We address our clients’ estate and business planning needs using an approach that is comprehensive, tailored to each client’s unique situation and implemented through well-drafted legal documentation. L&K regularly advises clients on how to mitigate the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax consequences related to property transfers. To implement some of these plans, L&K attorneys utilize sophisticated wealth transfer and protection vehicles, which include family limited partnerships, insurance trusts, charitable trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and other irrevocable trusts. We also prepare and file the accompanying gift tax returns. Unlike many attorneys who dedicate only a small portion of their practice to estate planning and administration, our Estate Planning attorneys focus their practices almost exclusively on estate planning, trust and estate administration, estate and gift tax and related family business issues.

L&K provides initial and ongoing counsel to clients interested in establishing and operating tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations. We have represented such organizations from inception, where we have drafted and prepared the founding documents, through addressing the issues that arise in connection with the management and operation of such organizations.

As discussed above, L&K’s attorneys assist clients with the post death administration of a trust and the administration of a probate estate. In addition, as a matter of course, L&K often advises survivors of the trust and probate administration matters that invariably follow the death of a loved one. These services include the establishment of subtrusts and the preparation of estate tax returns. L&K counsels clients on all aspects of probate, trust, and conservatorships, including fiduciary appointments and removals, marshaling of assets and sales of assets within trusts and estates, and fiduciary accountings.

L&K advises heirs, trustees, beneficiaries and other interested parties with respect to estate and trust litigation. We also assist and advise our clients on the resolution of will contests and other disputes that may arise between and among heirs, beneficiaries and other interested parties in matters that involve trusts and estates. L&K has resolved and settled numerous and a broad range of disputes ranging from fiduciary appointments and accountings, to asset management and distributions, to the interpretation and validity of estate plans, and to addressing fiduciary compensation issues. L&K has also represented clients in trust and estate litigation when a settlement is unachievable.

L&K assists clients in establishing conservatorships for their loved ones and advising clients throughout the conservatorship proceedings.  The conservatorship administration entails identifying and implementing the appropriate level of care for the conservatee, administering the conservatee’s prescribed medication and deciding on the conservatee’s medical and health care, marshaling and managing the conservatee’s assets and finances, and addressing the conservatee’s estate planning needs.  Clients who are appointed by the courts as the conservator for the conservatee are fiduciaries and periodic reporting to the courts is required such as an accounting of conservatee’s assets.  At times, the conservatee may have been subject to undue influence and a victim of elder abuse, or the conservatee’s assets may have been misappropriated and taken by others and retrieval of assets is needed.  L&K attorneys advise and litigate these issues and claims on behalf of clients.  Our attorneys have taken elder abuse disputes through to trial and a jury verdict and have also served as chief appellate counsel in such disputes.

… we balance the legal and tax risks with the goals of each client …