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Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning and Probate

We see Estate Planning as an art, requiring the creative use of wills, various forms of trusts and related tools to help you accomplish all of your goals.  With over 50 years of representing businesses and individuals, Dworken & Bernstein can help you plan for the next generation.  From business owners planning for future ownership and management to individuals planning for the needs of their family when they are gone, our free consultations allow you to understand your situation, explore your alternatives and determine an estate plan that works for you.

Wills and Trusts

Protect the people you love.

Everyone should have a will. Regardless of wealth, physical assets, age, or situation a will is the simplest and easiest way to convey ones wishes to your family, friends, and organizations that a person cares about. We recognize the importance of establishing or updating your estate planning documents and our attorneys are both knowledgeable and adapt in the variety of possible estate planning vehicles. Not everyone needs a trust, but many people will find them to be a perfect tool to avoid probate, avoid taxes, provide for children and the disabled, and solve a host of other issues.

Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys will provide you with the information necessary for you to make an informed decision for your estate planning, we will provide counsel for you in making the inevitably difficult decisions that come with thinking about estate planning, and we will draft the necessary documents to carry out your estate planning wishes from setting up simple wills, powers of attorney, living wills, and health care directives to complex legacy or charitable trusts to maximize wealth transition for generations to come.

Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys are experienced at helping you determine what estate planning options are right for you. We will work for you to minimize the probate process and to preserve and distribute your financial resources as you direct. We aid parents of minor children with the difficult decisions of child guardianship in the event of simultaneous death of both parents.


Wills & Trusts Attorneys

Howard S. Rabb
Keith R. Kraus
Erik L. Walter
Joshua J. Strickland

Trust Administration

Assuring your intentions even after you’re gone.

Dworken & Bernstein attorneys assist with estate administration, including probate and non-probate transfers, estate tax preparation, administering trusts, as well as legal advice and representation for guardianship and conservatorship matters, powers of attorney, health care directives, and related agency matters.

Your loved one may have planned for his or her death and have all of his or her assets in a trust or the will directs that all of the assets go into a trust. There may be non-probate assets such as insurance policies, transfer on death deeds, and/or payable on death accounts. Our experienced attorneys and staff can help with all of these issues. Our attorneys and staff can help you understand and manage the matters. We are also experienced trust advisors.


Trust Administration Attorneys

Howard S. Rabb
Joshua J. Strickland

Probate

Fair and impartial dispute resolution.

Dworken & Bernstein attorneys are available to assist with estate administration, including probate and non-probate transfers, estate tax preparation, administering trusts, as well as legal advice and representation for guardianship and conservatorship matters, powers of attorney, health care directives, and related agency matters.

The only thing that is certain in this life is Death and Taxes. For that reason it is important to address what happens when someone dies.

When a loved one dies most people are not sure how to proceed. Questions usually run through your mind such as: Where do I begin? Did he or she have a will? Am I responsible for the funeral bill? How am I supposed to pay his or her bills? Can I ignore my loved ones debts? What about the house?

These are some of the questions that our experienced probate attorneys and staff hear on a regular basis. When someone dies, it is important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and first and foremost deal with the burial of your loved one and the beginning of your grieving process. Other than making funeral arrangements for the decedent, there is nothing that can be immediately accomplished until a through inventory of what the decedent owned is made. Determining how something is titled will set the stage for whether or not a probate estate is required.

As with the listing of what is owned, it is also just as important to have a listing of what is owed by the decedent. You may be thinking that you will take care of paying the small bills of the decedent but you can’t pay the larger bills. You should consult with one of our attorneys before you pay any bills of the decedent. It may be that your loved one was on the verge of bankruptcy and his or her estate may be considered an insolvent (bankrupt) estate.

Your loved one may have planned for his or her death and have all of his or her assets in a trust or the will directs that all of the assets go into a trust. There may be assets that pass by contract such as insurance policies, transfer on death deeds, and/or payable on death accounts. Our experienced attorneys and staff can help with all of these issues. Our attorneys and staff are also experienced trust advisors.

We are here to help you through the process. It is important to know that from start to finish, you have the guiding hand of a trusted and competent law firm you can turn to for help.


Probate Attorneys

Howard S. Rabb
Joshua J. Strickland
Kenneth J. Cahill

Wealth Transfer, Asset Protection, & Succession Planning

Protect the people you love.

Our wealth transfer and asset preservation practice is focused on representing families and their closely held businesses. This practice includes the structure of those family and business assets and related debt, sophisticated estate and philanthropic planning, asset protection, multigenerational structure and wealth-preservation planning.

Our experience with debtor/creditor issues bolsters our ability to help protect against creditors of both families and their businesses. Good wealth management and estate plans help individuals and families with some of their most important concerns:

• Multigenerational transfer of wealth.
• Tax minimization strategies.
• Protection from creditors.
• Business continuity and succession.
• Wealth transfer and tax aspects of concentrated asset positions.


Wealth Transfer, Asset Protection, & Succession Planning Attorneys

Howard S. Rabb
Keith R. Kraus
Erik L. Walter
Joshua J. Strickland


All Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys

Howard S. Rabb
Keith R. Kraus
Erik L. Walter
Joshua J. Strickland
Kenneth J. Cahill

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