ESTATE & TRUST ADMINISTRATION
Serving as a Personal Representative or a Trustee is a big responsibility. With our estate & trust administration services, we guide you through the probate and tax processes, providing counseling and services, including probate, trust administration, estate and gift tax returns, and fiduciary income tax preparation, to ensure that you don’t run afoul of your fiduciary responsibilities or the law, and enabling you to administer the trust or estate, as the case may be, in an efficient and effective manner.
Probate is the state process by which a Court and the county Register of Wills oversee a Personal Representative’s administration and distribution of an estate in accordance with the decedent’s will and the law. We guide our clients through this process from start to finish by counseling them as to their obligations and deadlines, and preparing the papers required throughout the administration, including legal notices, pleadings, accountings, and distribution transfer documents. To better understand the duties, procedures and roles of a personal representative, read our article titled Becoming a Personal Representative: Begin With The End In Mind.
We represent Trustees and Trust beneficiaries throughout the administration of trusts, counseling them as to their legal obligations and rights. For our trustee clients, we prepare accountings, required notices, correspondence, and practical advice as needed. Logistics such as setting up trust accounts and other related topics are outlined in Part 3 of our series titled, Securing Your Family’s Future Using Inheritance Trusts.
ESTATE & GIFT TAX RETURNS
For our fiduciary clients who are obligated to file federal or state tax returns, we coordinate and counsel them with regard to required valuations and appraisals and prepare estate tax returns on their behalf. In light of recent changes to federal and Maryland estate tax law, we have summarized our observations on its evolution and effects in the article, The Shifting Role of Taxes in Estate Planning.
FIDUCIARY INCOME TAX PREPARATION
We prepare federal and state fiduciary income tax returns for our clients who are Personal Representatives and Trustees, and advise them as to how to minimize income tax to the Estate, Trust, and beneficiaries. Estate planning strategies, such as moveable trusts, can aid in your state income tax savings efforts. To learn about this topic in more detail, read our article, Saving State Income Taxes with Moveable Trusts.
Once you’re ready to begin your Estate & Trust Administration, take a look at our process that breaks down the steps we take with you in order to thoroughly implement your goals.