Preparation of Wills, Trusts, and Other Estate Planning Documents

Upton & Hatfield attorneys carefully review our client's goals, family circumstances, health concerns and business interests then prepare estate planning documents that are customized to the client's needs. As our attorneys develop the estate plan, we prepare documents such as wills, revocable trusts, durable financial powers of attorney, durable health care powers of attorney and living wills.

Where appropriate, we will prepare trusts specifically designed to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, such as irrevocable insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts. Our attorneys coordinate development of the estate plan with the client's financial advisor, tax accountant, and chosen charitable organizations.

Business Succession Planning

Our attorneys have significant business experience and work closely with business owners to structure their businesses in preparation for its orderly transfer to the next generation or sale to a third party. In addition to preparing estate planning documents, our attorneys prepare corporate documents, LLC operating agreements and buy-sell agreements that address the client's business objectives and focus on business continuity, the transfer of wealth, discount valuation and minimization of anticipated estate tax.

Marital Planning

As part of a comprehensive estate plan, our attorneys negotiate and prepare prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements and other intra-family agreements that address issues that provide for children from multiple marriages and affect a client's estate.

Special Needs Planning

Our attorneys prepare estate plans and trusts specifically designed to provide for beneficiaries who are disabled or have special needs while preserving their eligibility for government benefits.

Retirement Planning

We work closely with individuals approaching retirement, as well as the elderly, to structure a plan that addresses sources of income, such as IRAs, Social Security, pensions and investments, and issues regarding long term medical care, housing and Medicaid eligibility.

Probate

The Upton & Hatfield estate administration team assists with the probate of wills and provides advice to executors and trustees in fulfilling their fiduciary duties relating to the administration and settlement of an estate. We prepare court documentation, search for, identify and value assets, identify and contact heirs, deal with creditors, transfer estate property to beneficiaries and coordinate the preparation of final tax returns.

Trust Administration

Our trusts and estate attorneys represent trustees and other fiduciaries related to the administration and distribution of trusts. We also serve as trustee or co-trustees of a client's trust and work closely with the client's investment team to achieve the purposes of the trust.

All Will, Trust, and Estate Areas We Cover:

Traditional Estate Planning

  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Directives and Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Guardianships
  • Gift and Tax Planning
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Fiduciary Services

Complex Estate Planning with Business Assets

  • Business Succession
  • Limited Liability Operating Agreements
  • Corporate Shareholder Agreements
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Estate Planning with Split-Dollar Life Insurance Contracts

Representative Matters

  • Estate, Trust, and Probate Administration

    Advised personal representatives, trustees, heirs and beneficiaries on estate, trust, and probate administration. 

  • Company Planning and Compensation Agreements

    Advised business owners on corporate and limited liability company planning and prepared shareholder, operating, buy-sell and non-qualified deferred compensation agreements. 

  • Tax Liability and Succession Planning

    Represented business owners in establishing a gifting program that reduced estate tax liability and provided a plan for the orderly succession and continuity of the business following the parent's death. 

  • Asset Allocation

    Assisted a surviving spouse in identifying and managing the proper asset allocation for the funding of a marital and exempt trust. 

  • Prenuptial Agreements

    Represented a future spouse having substantial separate assets in negotiating a prenuptial agreement which protected her assets while still providing for her spouse in the event of her death. 

  • Advance Directives and Living Wills

    Represented an individual with over $15 million in assets by preparing a complex estate plan that included a will exercising a power of appointment, revocable trust, two irrevocable trusts for her children, an irrevocable life insurance trust, a durable power of attorney for financial matters, advance directives and a living will. 

  • Estate Planning Documentation

    Represented individuals and couples with assets of several thousands to many millions of dollars in the preparation and implementation of appropriate estate planning documents. 

  • Irrevocable Trusts

    Represented grandparents in establishing irrevocable trusts for the education of their grandchildren while retaining greater control over the assets than transfers under the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act would provide. 

  • Protecting Individuals With Disabilities

    Worked with parents with disabled children to implement estate plans involving children with disabilities and special needs. 

  • Gifting Plans

    Implemented gifting plans including qualified personal residence trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, and grantor retained annuity trusts. 

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