Trusts and Estates

Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A. works closely with individuals to develop estate plans that provide for protection of assets, access to those assets during life, distribution of assets according to the client’s wishes upon death, and reduction of probate costs and estate and inheritance taxes. Our trust and estate attorneys represent high net worth individuals and elderly and disabled clients in matters of preservation and transfer of wealth, probate avoidance, business succession planning, gift and estate tax planning, special needs trust planning, estate and trust administration, and planning for public benefits such as Medicaid and SSI.

Our estate planning services include:

  • Planning to avoid probate
  • Planning to mitigate federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Planning to address special concerns such as disability and creditor protection (including protection from a child’s divorcing spouse)
  • Business succession planning
  • Estate planning in contemplation of divorce
  • Same-sex planning
  • Special planning considerations for women
  • Preparation of wills
  • Preparation of trusts
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs)
  • Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs)
  • Special needs trusts
  • Family land trusts and dynasty trusts
  • Minors present interest trusts
  • Preparation of powers of attorney
  • Durable general powers of attorney
  • Durable health care powers of attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Nominations of guardians
  • Preparation of ancillary estate planning documents
  • Family limited partnerships and family LLCs
  • Assistance with trust funding
  • Assistance with public benefits applications and appeals

Our estate and trust administration services include:

  • Administration of estates
  • Administration of trusts
  • Service as executor and trustee
  • Preparation of gift and estate tax returns
  • Guardianships
  • Will contests and other trust and estate related litigation

Our trust and estate attorneys provide the depth of experience, thorough understanding of the law, and personalized attention of a boutique trusts and estates firm, but also have the ability to draw upon the skills of experienced tax, corporate, real estate and litigation attorneys, allowing us to ensure the highest quality of service in all aspects of the estate planning and administration process.

Recent representative matters include:

  • Establishing a comprehensive estate plan for a high net worth couple that is designed to maximize federal and state estate tax exemptions (including the minimization of state-level estate taxes in multiple states), while also permitting a family lake property to remain in the family for multiple generations through the use of a dynasty trust.
  • Establishing a grantor retained annuity trust designed to permit a parent business owner to transfer the real estate within which the parent’s manufacturing business operates to his child during life in a form that will significantly reduce the gift and estate tax costs that would be imposed if the transfer took place at death.
  • Preparing a special needs trust for an accident victim who obtained a personal injury recovery that would interfere with public benefits if the recovery were received outright.
  • Assisting parents of a child with likely divorce concerns by drafting trust provisions to govern that child’s inheritance in a manner intended to prevent distribution to the child’s spouse.
  • Representing the beneficiary of an estate in an action to recover estate assets misappropriated by the executor.

Members of our Trusts and Estates practice regularly serve in leadership positions in organizations such as:

  • The State Laws Committee and Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Council
  • New Hampshire Estate Planning Council
  • New Hampshire Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Trusts and Estates section of the New Hampshire Bar Association

In addition, our attorneys regularly serve as faculty in professional educational programs, and frequently publish articles.