Probate and Trust Administration
At Martin & Squires, we handle a wide range of estate planning, probate, conservatorship, guardianship, powers of attorney, health care directives,
and trust and estate administration matters.
Our services include:
- Trust services, including creation of trusts, administration of trusts, defending and contesting trusts, and other trust matters (see below for additional
- Litigation, including will contests, trust contests, petitions to remove a trustee and actions to recover assets transferred outside of an estate
- Probate and estate administration
- Establishing a conservatorship, power of attorney, or assisting in preparing annual accountings for the same
- Establishing a guardianship or assisting in preparing health care directives
Our attorneys work closely with clients to provide legal services that are tailored to meet their needs and those of their families. It is important to have attorneys that can represent your interests from the start of planning to the administration of your desires after you are gone, including the ability to litigate in order to protect your interests in the event a tax challenge or claim arises with respect to any interest in your estate.
Estate and Trust Administration
A properly drafted will should name a personal representative to carry out your wishes. Martin & Squires can review this important decision with you in your estate planning and work with the personal representative to carry out your wishes.
If a will fails to name an executor or a personal representative to oversee the management and distribution of one’s estate, and you feel you would have priority or be the personal representative or the best person to handle this important role with the court, Martin & Squires can assist you.
The estate planning attorneys at Martin & Squires handle these matters routinely and are proficient in doing so in an efficient, and cost effective, manner. We stand ready to help during these difficult times.
Similarly, a properly drafted trust should name a trustee to carry your wishes. If you wish to discuss the possibility of establishing a trust, or have been named as a trustee of a trust, we can assist you in these matters.
As a trustee, you likely have many questions about how to properly fulfill your legal duties. Our attorneys provide a wide range of legal services on behalf of trustees, including:
- Advice regarding a trustee’s legal duties and obligations
- Assistance with gathering and valuing trust assets
- Interpretation of trust terms and provisions
- Providing required notices to beneficiaries and creditors
- Preparation of a trustee’s report and account
- Trust dispute resolution and litigation services
- Preparation and filing of the Federal Estate and/or Inheritance Tax Returns, as well as other tax matters related to trust administration (We can coordinate with your tax and/or investment advisers.)
Estate and Inheritance Tax
Estate or inheritance tax is the tax imposed upon the property transferred by a will or by intestate (without a valid will) succession. Also known as a “death tax,” this governmental infringement upon what was accumulated over a lifetime or even generations can dramatically alter the dreams of the deceased and his or her family.
Get the facts and take the necessary actions to minimize the amount the government diverts from your family and rightful heirs. The estate planning attorneys at Martin & Squires, PA are very well versed in tax law and can help you navigate a minefield that can devastate the heirs of an estate.
Fiduciary Responsibilities – Power of Attorney / Guardian / Conservator / Personal Representative
Whoever is responsible for the oversight in the management and distribution of another person’s property or monies has certain fiduciary or good faith responsibilities to the estate. In most instances, the fiduciary responsibility rests with the power of attorney, conservator of the estate, or the personal representative of the estate.
Martin & Squires estate planning attorneys are called upon often to assist the attorney in fact, conservator and personal representative in the administration of these duties and to advise the fiduciary in matters associated with their nominated or statutory responsibilities.
Will Disputes and Contests
Will disputes or contests usually arise when there is a dispute or litigation of a will because of allegations that the person who executed the will, the testator, lacked capacity or was subject to undue influence. Oftentimes, these situations are even more traumatic because they are linked to the death of a loved one and involve other family members.
Having an attorney who is familiar with estate planning, wills and trusts will ensure the court hears your arguments. Martin & Squires estate planning attorneys have extensive knowledge and skills necessary to represent you through this very difficult process.
Our attorneys have represented parties on both sides in these situations and are skilled at advocating and negotiating reasonable resolutions; and if this does not resolve the matter, litigating the matter before the court.
Our Probate and Conservatorship attorneys include John Martin, Richard J. Savelkoul and Mike O’Neill, who have been handling estate, probate and trust matters for years. For highly qualified representation and superior client service, you can rest assured with Martin & Squires.