Estate and Trust Administration

Estate and Trust AdministrationPartly because our lawyers assist many clients with their estate plans, we also represent many family members after the loss of one of their loved ones. The process of representing a surviving spouse, children, or other heirs is not simply filing a Will for probate and funding the resulting Trusts. In other circumstances, trusts can be created by a person for them and their family during their lifetime, either in Texas or elsewhere for specific tax, protection, privacy or other reasons.

However, in all the trust administration work we do, we realize that trusts are for and about people, not interpreting a clause in a lengthy document. Focusing on people’s needs and issues in addition to the legal matters at hand is what sets our firm apart from many other law firms. We strive to meet the goals of every client with sensitivity and meaningfully accomplish their goals within the family.

“Our lawyers form a strong alliance with our clients and their other professional advisors in administering and solving estate issues.”

Appropriately managed and administered, trusts can provide the extraordinary benefits of income tax management, estate tax reduction, asset protection, and asset management, just to name a few. Without good management none of these benefits can be achieved.

Trusts often contain a myriad of assets – whatever the person who created the trust thought was valuable enough to keep. That can include rental real estate, operating businesses, limited partnership interests in unimproved land, art, jewelry, antique vehicles, firearms, or all of the above. Our decades of experience advising clients as they operate their businesses, acquire land and property, invest in art or jewelry and other assets allow us to be of great benefit to trustees and heirs who now, are in the new position of overseeing those assets themselves.

Depending on the nature of the estate and the trust’s assets, their total value, and whether the trust includes tax planning provisions, the trust administration process can be rather simple or incredibly complex. Trust administration assistance for some well educated trustees can be limited to the occasional advice when a question is posed. Other clients find it comforting to know that we have handled dozens and dozens of estates and trusts and often engage us to sort through the various types of assets and accounts as well as, assisting with the preparation of the documentation needed to transfer each asset.

The guidance we provide ensures that the federal estate tax exclusion amount for each person is utilized to the maximum extent possible. In addition we assist with the strategic planning when funding each trust or in the actual implementation of each asset’s transfer to the appropriate trust. This intricate funding is very important for estate tax and income tax purposes, protection from the creditors and spouses of heirs, and to achieve the management goals of the trust.

“Dismuke & Waters can help you with your estate and trust administration needs. Please contact us today.”

Our expertise ranges from the comprehensive administration of a large, complicated trust (i.e. varying asset classes, charitable donees, annuity trusts, special needs trust, and zero estate tax features) to more simplified trust structures. We balance the family’s goals of tax reduction, ease of administration, solid asset protection and simplicity. We assist families with trust administration in the Dallas Fort Worth-Metroplex as well as representing significant clients in other Texas Counties as well.