Couzens Lansky has a dedicated team of lawyers and paralegals with the expertise to assist our clients with probate and trust administration, disputes that arise during such administration, as well as guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. We strive to accomplish the administration of an estate or trust in a timely and cost-efficient manner, offering our clients helpful advice and support during the administration process.
Guardianships & Conservatorships
Our estate planning lawyers counsel clients appointed or seeking appointment as a guardian or conservator of a minor child’s or incapacitated individual’s affairs. We have the knowledge and experience to successfully represent interested parties in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings in court.
Probate is the court-supervised process of administering a deceased person’s estate and transferring property to beneficiaries. In the event probate is necessary, our probate lawyers and paralegals assist personal representatives with the probate process, including establishing authority of the personal representatives to act on behalf of the estate, providing step-by-step instructions on how to properly administer the deceased’s estate and handling all of the court filings, inventory of assets, accountings, creditor claims, notification of heirs and asset distribution.
Probate, Trust & Fiduciary Litigation
When necessary, our litigation team will diligently handle any estate, probate or trust controversy or litigation on behalf of our clients – whether a trustee, personal representative, family member, beneficiary or another interested person or entity. Such matters include:
- Beneficiary disputes
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Charitable gift disputes
- Claims against an estate or trust
- Creditor claims
- Intestacy and determination of heirs
- Joint property and beneficiary designation challenges
- Misappropriation of assets
- Reformation, modification or termination of a trust
- Spousal rights
- Will and trust construction and contests
The administration of a trust after the death of an individual can be a difficult task for trustees. Our lawyers and paralegals assist trustees with all aspects of trust administration for deceased and incapacitated persons, including reviewing legal documents, establishing authority of the trustees to act on behalf of the trust, assisting with distribution and re-titling of assets, preparing required accountings and notices to beneficiaries and filing federal estate tax returns and tax elections. We work closely with trustees and the family financial advisors to ensure potential issues are handled appropriately during what can be a difficult time.