SederLaw’s Estates & Trusts team provides seasoned legal counsel on a wide range of areas involving estate planning, estate and trust administration, and much more. Our comprehensive practice group applies a multidisciplinary approach to handling these matters for our clients, drawing on the firm’s experience with related areas such as tax, family, and business and corporate law. No matter the complexity of your estate or trust issue, you can depend on our dedicated attorneys to see you and your family through.
Estates And Trusts Matters
Making a plan for what happens with your assets after you die is the beginning, but not the ending, of estate planning. Executing a last will and testament will get you started, but you should also determine how your finances and healthcare will be handled as you age and in the event you become incapacitated. Your attorney will therefore discuss whether you and your family can benefit from a trust, durable power of attorney, living will, and health care proxy.
Estate & Trust Administration
If you’ve been named an executor, trustee, or estate administrator, you’re probably not sure what your responsibilities are. These individuals are considered fiduciaries, which means the law will expect them to act on behalf of others (e.g. trust beneficiaries) by putting their interests first. We help you carry out your duties under the law so the trust or estate you are managing can be properly closed.
Probate is the process of administering estate assets after an individual has died, either according to a last will and testament or, where the person has died without a will, according to the state’s intestacy laws. The objective is to ensure that debts and taxes of the estate are paid so heirs can receive their inheritance. Because probate can be lengthy and expensive, we can also advise you on different ways to avoid this process as you develop your estate plan.
Business Succession Planning
Estate planning doesn’t only involve an individual’s personal estate. His or her business interests must also be taken into account, especially where a family business is concerned. This is where business succession planning is particularly useful. The objective is to lay out a plan for what happens when the primary business owner dies, retires, or suddenly becomes ill or incapacitated, so the business can continue to thrive.
Estate Tax Planning
Taxes affect everything in life and many things in death. Within this area of law are gift and estate taxes, along with various approaches to minimize the tax consequences for your estate. We can help you use a number of tools such as trusts and 529 college savings plans to help ensure that more of what you have worked so hard for will stay within your family.
This area is closely related to estate tax planning but is more broadly concerned with developing strategies for protecting your wealth from taxes, government seizure, and creditors, both before and after death. Although this is often thought to be the exclusive domain of the wealthy, anyone who owns stocks, real estate, or other tangible property should consider asset protection.
Estate Planning and Divorce
Estate planning and family law, particularly divorce, intersect in a major way. If your marriage comes to an end, property you had intended your loved ones to inherit could become subject to equitable distribution. Our family law attorneys can advise you on ways to avoid this by way of a marital settlement agreement (also known as a separation agreement). We can explore other ways to protect your assets such as executing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Estates and Trusts Controversies
This area of law encompasses a number of disputes involving executors, trustees, beneficiaries, and others. We assist with:
- Will contests and trust litigation, especially involving claims of undue influence, testamentary incapacity, and fraud
- Alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, e.g. claims that an executor or trustee has acted in a self-serving manner
- Misappropriation of estate assets
- Claims that a trustee has favored one beneficiary over another
- Defending an estate against false or disputed creditor claims
- Tax controversies involving estates and trusts
These and related matters often trigger litigation. However, many disputes can be settled out of court by way of negotiation or alternative dispute resolution (e.g. mediation). Whether you are an executor, a trustee, a personal representative of an estate, or a beneficiary or heir, we can represent you.
How we help clients
Estates and trusts matters are multifaceted, often drawing upon numerous interrelated areas of law. When you retain our firm to represent you, we immediately get to work understanding your objectives and concerns. You may need a last will and testament, advice for minimizing estate taxes, or representation as a fiduciary who is embroiled in a lawsuit. No matter the simplicity or complexity of your legal issue, or which side of a controversy you find yourself on, you can depend on our dedicated and compassionate practice to serve you and your family.
Contact Our Worcester Estates & Trusts Attorney Today!
At SederLaw, we know you have your choice of estates and trusts attorneys. But we understand that legal representation requires more than an understanding of the law. Our team is focused on building relationships and creating customized plans for you and your family. To get started today, connect with our Estates & Trusts team.
SederLaw helps clients with estates and trusts in Worcester from their primary office as well as clients throughout MetroWest from their Westborough office.