Much of what we do is planning for the eventual death of a person, and when that happens we can assist in the myriad of tasks that must be completed, from preparation of estate tax returns, setting up new trusts for a surviving spouse and children, and going to court to settle a dispute or to clarify a decedent’s intent. These matters require the necessary attention to detail throughout the administration process, ranging from identification and valuation of assets, transferring title to those assets, and making distributions to beneficiaries of estates and trusts. Because one of the principal duties of a fiduciary during administration is compliance, we also prepare, or assist in the preparation of, estate tax returns, and we counsel the fiduciary through the estate tax (or gift tax) audit process. We advise both beneficiaries and trustees with respect to administration of the trust after the death of a trustor, the trustee’s duties, powers, and standards, accounting and record keeping requirements, management and investment of trust assets, creditor’s rights against trusts and beneficiaries, trustee compensation and attorney’s fees, subtrust funding, income taxation of trusts, court filings to clarify the terms of the trust and to provide instructions to the trustee, and probate administration. Our attorneys work with you to avoid having to go through a costly probate administration upon the death of a loved one. However, there are times when a probate administration is inevitable, and we work with our clients (beneficiaries and administrators) to make the process as efficient as possible.