Private Client Services

Trusts & Estates Administration

We represent individual and corporate fiduciaries in connection with the administration of an individual’s trust or probate estate following that individual’s death.

During the course of a post-mortem trust or probate administration, we will provide advice to the trustee and/or executor regarding the legal, tax and accounting requirements for trust or probate administration.  Our attorneys also assist the trustee or executor in the marshalling and valuing of assets, in the preparation, filing and audit of federal estate tax returns, and work with the accountants to ensure that all appropriate final individual and ongoing fiduciary income tax returns are prepared and filed.

In addition, we counsel and support the trustee or executor in identifying and properly addressing any issues arising because of the nature of the assets of the trust or estate.  These may include making the proper election for the deferred payment of estate tax for closely-held business assets, ensuring that the election for any S Corporations held by the trust or estate does not lapse, structuring tax efficient intra-family loans for the payment of estate tax, and ensuring the proper protection of intellectual property rights.

An extensive part of our practice background is our expertise and experience representing fiduciaries in all levels of estate tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service.

Representative Experience

  • Represented the surviving spouse in the probate administration of and post-mortem tax planning for an estate with a value in excess of $200 million
  • Represented the fiduciary in a $20 million intestacy proceeding involving complex estate tax issues and the purchase of a portion of the intestacy estate from the decedent’s children by the surviving spouse.
  • Represented the trustee of a trust valued for estate tax purposes at approximately $80 million, the primary assets of which were interests in closely-held businesses.  This representation involved post-mortem planning for liquidity using tax efficient intra-family loans, the election to defer payment of estate tax, and multiple requests for extensions to pay estate tax. It also involved a lengthy, although ultimately successful, estate tax controversy with the Internal Revenue Service.

For more information, please contact Laura A. Zwicker.