The lawyers in the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Firm offer strategic, comprehensive and insightful counsel for legal matters involving trusts, estates, wills, estate tax, gift tax, asset protection planning and matters related to charitable organizations and charitable giving.
Our estate planning work involves planning for transfers of personal wealth during life and at death. In addition to the preparation of wills and trusts, our team provides legal advice about income, estate, gift, inheritance and generation-skipping taxes. We also provide legal advice regarding estate planning through intervivos gifts, insurance planning, various “estate freezing” techniques and charitable gift planning.
We also initiate estate planning techniques to transfer the wealth of an older generation to a younger generation through the use of business planning. These techniques involve creation of corporations and partnerships with special features and complex income, estate and gift tax considerations. This work includes organizing and aiding in the administration of closely-held business organizations, including family limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations.
Our attorneys assist in estate administration by representing executors in probating decedents’ wills, preparing estate tax returns and representing estates before the Internal Revenue Service in contested matters raised in audited estate tax returns. Estate administration may also involve representation in disputes arising among beneficiaries during the administration of the estate, including will contests and fiduciary litigation.
The section assists in trust administration by advising trustees on proper courses of action, and interpreting provisions in trust agreements as questions arise during trust administration. We also provide income tax planning for trusts and their beneficiaries. Our attorneys counsel corporate fiduciaries concerning fiduciary responsibility, including representation in complex trust modifications, reformations and related litigation.
Our team counsels many individuals and families on the proper use of asset protection planning tools, which range from the making of outright gifts to reduce one’s assets subject to exposure, to creating family limited partnerships, to the use of domestic and offshore trusts.
The Estate Planning group also provides counsel in various related areas, including marital property agreements, powers of attorney, designations of guardians and techniques for providing healthcare and property management for incapacitated or elderly clients.
The clients represented by our Business and Estate Planning attorneys include many of the leading citizens of South Texas. In addition, we represent the trust departments of major banks and are counsel to a number of tax-exempt and charitable organizations.
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