Trusts and Estate Planning

At Youngman Ericsson Scott, LLP we give our clients peace of mind in knowing that their affairs are in order. We help our clients achieve their goals and ensure that their assets are left in the proper hands. For over 20 years, we have designed a wide-range of estate plans for estates of all sizes.


From basic estate planning for a client with a modest estate to the client with an estate of over half a billion dollars that requires a very complex and sophisticated plan designed to minimize and defer the payment of taxes, each estate plan is individually tailored to the client’s unique situation and desires. We concentrate on implementing the client’s vision for their family and community.


The typical estate plan for modest estates consists of a revocable trust, pour-over will, and powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters.


To help our clients achieve their goals in larger estates, we frequently use the following wide range of gift strategies and tools:


— Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs);
— Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs);
— Intentionally-Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs);
— Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs);
— Self-Cancelling Installment Notes (SCINs);
— Fractional Interest Planning;
— Qualified Terminal Interest Trusts (QTIPs);
— Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOTs);
— Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Family Limited Liability Companies (FLLCs);
— Generation-Skipping Trusts (GSTs);
— Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs); and
— Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs)

Probate law is the process of transferring legal title to property from the decedent to the decedent’s beneficiaries (if there is a will) or heirs (if there is not a will), under court supervision.


Even though there is no dispute between parties or creditors, a probate action may need to be filed. For example, where assets were left out of the trust, a probate action is necessary in order to properly transfer title. This can be done by a simplified probate procedure, depending on the value of the asset(s), type of property involved, and how title was held. Some estates will require a full probate proceeding.


In situations where there is a trust involved, instructions may be needed from the court on how to proceed with an issue that has arisen in the trust estate or where trust terms are ambiguous.

We understand that dealing with a death is an emotional time in a client’s life and the steps necessary in administering a decedent’s trust may be difficult when the trustee is still grieving. We work closely with the trustee or beneficiaries and provide them with step-by-step guidance in the trust administration process to ensure that the terms of the trust are carried out and the trustee fulfills his or her fiduciary duties.


In addition to ensuring that the mandatory procedures are being followed and that fiduciary duties are being honored, we have skilled attorneys who prepare and file the necessary tax returns for the decedent and his or her estate.


In the event there is a dispute regarding the estate, we also provide representation for probate litigation.

We draw upon our estate planning and tax expertise in representing fiduciaries (trustees, executors, and personal representatives), beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors in the prosecution or defense of will and trust contests; litigation between the estate and third parties (e.g. creditor’s claims, ownership disputes, etc.); and litigation between fiduciaries and beneficiaries (e.g. fiduciary accounts, estate tax proration, removal and replacement of fiduciaries).