Description Attorneys Publications

Estate Planning & Probate Administration

What happens if one does not have a carefully structured estate plan? Will your assets pass to your spouse or heirs as you wish? Estate planning goes beyond a Will. The Halloran & Sage Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group carefully consider all aspects of the acquisition, ownership and transfer of assets owned by individuals, spouses and family-owned businesses. The retention and transfer of our assets often include issues with real estate, business interests, family issues and, of course, probate and the ever-changing tax issues encompassing the transfer of wealth. Whether you are transferring a family-owned business, concerned with protecting assets from death taxes and probate proceedings, want to preserve your assets or the numerous other issues that affect one’s wealth, our lawyers skillfully guide you through such complex issues. Consider these many factors when contemplating your estate plan, which if not handled properly could have drastic ramifications upon your wealth and the continued harmony of your family:

  • Taxes – income, estate, gift, capital gains and generation skipping transfer taxes
  • Creditors – yours and your children’s if they inherit from you
  • Business partners – retirement, leaving business and death
  • Spouse’s / partner’s death
  • Divorce
  • Re-marriage & prenuptial agreements
  • Guardianship of minor children or adoption by non-biological parent(s)
  • Disinheriting children from previous marriage/relationship upon death
  • Your desire to provide for your loved ones
  • Disability – affecting you personally, and the consistent management of your assets.
  • Long-term care costs and its impact on your spouse
  • Your privacy
  • Avoiding the complications of the Probate process – its time (1-2 years), public nature, contestability of Wills, and costs (about 5-8% of estate)
  • Difficulty/ease in contesting your chosen estate documents
  • Your own management style and objectives
  • Timing of transfer of assets and the step-up in basis of assets upon death
  • Shifting assets that will greatly appreciate to the next generation to avoid estate taxes in your estate
  • Charitable giving – decreases income taxes, limits capital gains and increases cash flow
  • Real property ownership in more than one state
  • Size of your estate
  • How you hold/title your assets
  • Civil union or same-sex marriage recognition
  • USA citizenship
  • Foreign assets

The lawyers in the Halloran & Sage Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group are sensitive to the emotional toll upon loved ones. Besides drafting wills, medical powers, financial powers and guardianship memorandums, we draft many types of trusts, such as revocable trusts, life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, dynasty trusts, etc. We carefully guide you through the myriad of complex issues affecting the ownership, preservation and transfer of your wealth in order to help you choose the most effective and tax-efficient estate plan according to your estate (and business) objectives. We carefully explain your chosen plan so that you thoroughly understand how it protects you and your family.

After one’s death we handle all aspects of the probate administration from admitting Wills and having executors appointed for the administration of the estate to drafting estate tax forms. We represent heirs and fiduciaries in probate court as well. If necessary, our litigation practice handles any such matters that may arise. We then advise your surviving spouse (and heirs) with the tax and estate planning needs that they may need to consider upon receiving their inheritance as well as advise trustees with the continued management of your trusts.