Trust & Estate Administration

Three people conferring over documents

Our Trust & Estate Administration team advises executors, trustees, and beneficiaries of trusts and estates on various aspects of estate and trust administration, including fiduciary duties and powers, tax planning, and required notices and court filings. When appropriate, we utilize special procedures to distribute assets outside of probate and formal court administration to help achieve cost-effective resolution. We also provide litigation services in addition to trust and estate accountings and document interpretation when necessary.

Trust Administration

We have a wide range of experience in areas relating to post-mortem trust administration, including:

  • Trustee notifications
  • Asset identification, inventory, and valuation
  • Asset and liability allocation
  • Transfer document preparation
  • Management and preservation of trust assets
  • Distribution and termination advisement
  • Tax planning

There are many instances when it is advisable for a trustee to seek court approval prior to taking a particular course of action. Our work in this area includes:

  • Appointment of successor trustees when the trust instrument fails to do so
  • Instructions and interpretations of trust instruments
  • Modification of irrevocable trusts
  • Inclusion of omitted assets into a trust post death

In addition, we provide ongoing guidance to identify, evaluate, and determine proper sub-trust and beneficiary allocations and funding of assets. Our team works with the trustee and coordinates with other advisors to help take advantage of tax benefits and confirm distribution and funding pursuant to the terms of the trust.

Estate Administration

Our estate administration services include traditional probate proceedings, as well as sales, characterization, and management of estate assets; retrieval of estate assets; advice regarding ongoing business interests; interpretation of testamentary documents; and dispute resolution. We routinely advise on the following:

  • Will, asset, and beneficiary analysis
  • Petition for probate and appointment of executor or administrator
  • Identification, collection, and appraisal of the assets of the estate
  • Sales of real properties
  • Identification and provision of Notice to Creditors
  • Claims by and against the estate
  • Negotiation, payment, and proration of estate liabilities
  • Ongoing guidance in various aspects of management and preservation of estate assets and specifically devised property
  • Facilitation of informal or court-authorized preliminary and final distributions and reports
  • Petitions for transfer of property
  • Assistance with, or preparation of, required reports and accountings
  • Petitions to interpret language in a testamentary instrument
  • Analysis of tax elections and timing of events in order to mitigate income and estate tax, preserve special tax benefits, and avoid the loss of tax benefits
  • Coordination with corporate counsel and corporate tax advisors to ensure orderly transition of corporate records and related business matters when a c-suite employee dies or becomes incapacitated

For post-mortem transfers that do not require formal probate, we use cost-efficient methodologies, including:

  • Spousal set-aside petitions
  • Small estate affidavits and collections of real and personal property
  • Limited proceedings for distribution of real property

In addition, we have substantial experience with estate and trust taxation matters, including in-house preparation and compilation of federal estate and gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns, as well as reviewing returns and appraisals prepared by outside accountants and specialists. Our experience includes audit and/or tax court proceedings, solicitation of Section 9100 relief and private letter rulings from the IRS, and confirmation of valuation discounts for assets.


Key Contacts
Jeryll Cohen LinkedIn Centered Headshot
Jeffrey S. Glaser
Geraldine Wyle
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