Trusts and Estates

At Schell Bray, our Trusts and Estates practice group is involved in all aspects of estate and trust planning and administration, from preparing basic estate planning documents to planning and implementing the most cutting-edge planning techniques to transfer wealth and preserve assets. We provide a full range of estate and trust planning and administration services. We advise beneficiaries and fiduciaries of estates and trusts on their rights and duties, and we form and advise tax-exempt entities.

In this practice area, we are often working with very personal and sensitive family relationships and the focus is often upon passing along the family’s wealth in the most practical and tax-efficient manner. We develop genuine relationships with our clients. Our lawyers handle each client’s matter with professionalism, confidentiality and respect for the importance of the matter to the client. The client receives practical advice based on our real life experience, thorough knowledge of the law, and sound judgment.

Due to the depth of experience of our lawyers and their expertise, our Trusts and Estates practice group is well-suited to assist with any matter in this practice area, regardless of its size or complexity.

Basic Estate Planning Documents Such as Wills and Revocable Trusts (Living Trusts)

Designing and Implementing Sophisticated Estate Planning Techniques

  • Family limited partnerships (FLPs) and family limited liability companies (FLLCs)
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs)
  • Sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts
  • Generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax planning
  • Special needs trusts

Planning for Transfer of Assets while Minimizing Income Taxes, Estate Taxes, and Gift Taxes

Planning for Incapacity

  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Living trusts
  • Guardianships

Business Succession Planning, Including Buy-Sell Agreements

Life Insurance Planning, Including Life Insurance Trusts

Charitable Gift Planning

  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Charitable lead trusts
  • Private foundations

Planning for Lifetime Gifts

Tax-Exempt Entities and Charitable Organizations

  • Counsel to nonprofit entities in organization, governance and operations
  • Consultation related to planned giving programs and related tax issues
  • Applications for tax-exempt status
  • Counsel to tax-exempt entities in fiduciary and tax matters

Trust Modifications, Including Decanting

Assisting in Estate and Trust Administration

  •  Compliance with probate and fiduciary laws
  •  Preparation of estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns

Counseling Executors and Trustees on Fiduciary Law Issues

Advising Fiduciaries and Beneficiaries Regarding Trust and Estate Disputes

Planning for Distribution of Retirement Plans and IRAs

Elder Law and Special Needs Law

Elder and special needs law encompasses many different fields of law providing for the unique legal and financial demands of senior citizens and individuals of all ages with special needs. We use our knowledge to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Some of these needs include:

  • Special needs planning
  • Guardianships
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans benefits
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Estate administration
  • Probate
  • Powers of attorney
  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Living wills