Trusts and Estates

Planning & Administration

FRENCH & CASEY, LLP has a significant practice in planning and administering estates.  As with other areas of our practice, we seek to provide individualized independent representation of our clients.  We advise our clients in the preparation of wills, complex trusts including insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts, gift planning and the preservation of family businesses.  Particularly with estate planning and administration, we have found that individual and personal concerns are of paramount importance to our clients.

We have represented clients in drafting wills containing various tax savings and spendthrift provisions, and, when in the best interest of the client, we have prepared inter vivos trusts that help avoid probating a will.  We also represent clients in administering estates of decedents including tax work, locating lost heirs and accounting proceedings. 

In representing a decedent’s estate or a person having an interest in the estate, we are sensitive to the family’s need to avoid conflict, rancor, unseemly delays in settlement and distribution and excessive taxes and other costs.  We consider the smooth and orderly administration of estates to be of paramount concern, and we counsel our clients accordingly.  We seek to avoid litigation, for we know that our clients’ interests are frequently damaged by an intra-family lawsuit.  However, when litigation is necessary to protect our clients and to ensure that they are treated fairly, the full resources of our litigation staff are available to meet our clients’ needs. 

Litigation

FRENCH & CASEY, LLP has a wide range of experience in litigating matters affecting estates and related issues.  As in other areas of litigation, preparation and knowledge of the field of law are the keys to success.  Because of our experience in trying cases and administering estates, we are well suited to handle litigation in the Surrogate’s Courts, and have done so on many occasions.

We are also frequently retained by other attorneys to handle contested matters in various Surrogate’s Court proceedings.

We have represented clients in will contests, contested administration proceedings, contested accounting proceedings, will and trust construction proceedings, proceedings to remove fiduciaries, disputes concerning inter vivos and testamentary trusts, litigation concerning the rights and duties of those operating under powers-of-attorney and other matters typically handled in Surrogate’s Court.