Estate Administration

Our Trusts and Estates Department provides a full range of estate planning and estate administration services. We have a number of lawyers who practice exclusively in this area. We keep up-to-date on all of the latest estate planning tools and techniques and regularly present estate planning seminars. We advise our clients on a broad range of estate planning matters, including complex and sophisticated estate planning strategies like generation-skipping transfers, charitable giving, insurance planning, business succession planning and wealth transfer planning.

The department has a very active estate administration practice. We administer a broad range of estates from those that are fairly small and simple to those that are very large and complicated. We believe strongly in the team approach to the administration of estates, which greatly enhances our ability to serve our clients most efficiently and effectively. Our lawyers work closely with and supervise our legal assistants who work closely with both our clients and the responsible lawyer to ensure a smooth continuing estate administration. We also work closely with our clients and their advisors, including trust officers, accountants and financial advisors.

For a variety of reasons, some estate administrations become more involved. If estate or gift tax returns are audited, our lawyers have the experience to deal directly with Internal Revenue Service agents and state taxing authorities, and, if necessary, to help litigate those issues that are not resolved. We also work closely with our trial lawyers in litigating claims that relate to an estate or that need to be brought by an estate.

We also provide substantial support in the administration of our clients' trusts after death. We advise trust fiduciaries regarding their fiduciary duties. We prepare trust income tax returns. We also serve as advisor or co-advisor in situations where it is appropriate and beneficial to our clients and their families.

We have lawyers who are experienced in conducting private placement adoptions and in finalizing agency adoptions. We represent birth parents and adoptive parents and assist in the surrender or termination of parental rights, filing of the adoption petition, and finalization of the adoption. Our practice includes local and interstate placements. We assist clients to qualify for international placement adoptions and to obtain United States recognition of international adoptions completed in foreign jurisdictions.

Our firm's presence in multiple states dramatically increases our ability to service our clients' estate planning and estate administration needs. We have offices in Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, and have lawyers who are licensed to practice in Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and many other states. We frequently assist our clients with two or more residences to analyze the state of domicile that is most appropriate and tax-efficient for them.