Effective estate and trust administration ensure the optimization of all lifetime planning efforts and the minimization of income, estate and generation-skipping taxes which may apply upon death. The estate planning process does not end at death; numerous choices and elections must be considered as part of the estate and trust settlement effort. These decisions can have an enormous impact on the immediate and future tax obligations facing the estate and its beneficiaries. A great depth of knowledge and experience is needed to optimize these choices and minimize the federal and state income, estate and generation-skipping taxes that may otherwise be owed.
Strict compliance with the law’s requirements within the context of estate and trust administration is critical. The duties and liabilities of the acting fiduciaries, i.e., the personal representatives or the trustees, are significant. These rules exist to protect the interests of the beneficiaries and even the potential creditors of an estate or trust. Failure to adhere to the law’s requirements can create legal liability for the fiduciary, and, in some cases, cause irreparable family strife.