Most people think estate planning is simply passing wealth to your heirs tax-free. But this makes estate planning sound as if it is for the super-wealthy when in fact it applies to everyone. Although planning for death and taxes are important, it is just one aspect estate planning.
When individuals create an estate plan their primary goals should be (1) protecting their assets; (2) ensuring their affairs (personal and financial) are efficiently managed upon their incapacity and death; (3) conflicts between beneficiaries are minimized; and (4) taxes are minimized.
As an estate planning attorney, I counsel clients on these issues. I advise them on the necessity and the method of creating a plan that will manage their financial and personal affairs in the most legally efficient way possible and I help them create a legacy for their beneficiaries.
Sometimes, however (no matter how thorough the estate plan), legal disputes arise over the disposition and administratoin of an individual's estate. And when that happens, I represent beneficiaries and fiduciaries through all phases of litigation, including discovery through trial. Such disputes include issues as to the validity and interpretation of a trust or will, and breach of fiduciary duty claims against an executor or trustee.