planning for what matters

Lerch Early’s estate and trust attorneys advise personal representatives and trustees on all aspects of estate and trust administration, including the court-supervised administration of a decedent’s estate known as “probate.”

In addition to being experienced with the probate and trust rules of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, we regularly counsel personal representatives and trustees – sometimes called fiduciaries – so they can fulfill all their legal responsibilities in the administration of the estate or trust.

At our first meeting with an estate or trust administration client, we begin developing a blueprint for administering the estate or trust. This serves as the foundation for gathering and managing the estate or trust assets, all tax reporting, dealing with potential creditors, and ultimately the distribution of the estate or trust assets to the intended beneficiaries. Our initial analysis and blueprint ensures that we address every detail and every foreseeable contingency.

We advise fiduciaries about the proper identification of lawful heirs and beneficiaries, as well as assisting in dispute resolution between rival claimants of property. We assist in the sale or disposition of property administered as part of an estate or trust and, in conjunction with our firm’s real estate attorneys and paralegals, can prepare all documents necessary for the transfer of good title.

Essential to the efficient administration of any estate or trust is avoiding unnecessary federal and state taxes, including income, inheritance, estate, and gift taxes, as well as less-familiar excise and transfer taxes, such as the generation-skipping transfer tax. Over the past three decades, we’ve learned the small details that can have big tax impacts.