Wills, Trusts and Estates

Capehart Scatchard’s Wills, Trusts & Estate Administration Practice has decades of experience protecting the interests of those involved in the transfer of assets from one generation to another. This Practice has a long tradition of providing personal service to individuals and their families and corporate fiduciaries in preservation of assets, and the creation, administration, and distribution of estates and trusts.

Legal Services

Complex and changing laws, often fraught with highly technical tax rules, have made estate planning and administration a challenging area through which to maneuver, even for the most experienced practitioner. Our Practice attorneys are seasoned in estate, gift, inheritance, generation-skipping and fiduciary income tax matters and administration. We also have managed the many tax issues relating to estate and trust administration, including business and property appraisals, discounts, credits for prior transfers, disclaimers, elections, section 6166 payments, basis, IRD, and tax allocations.

We have decades of experience with family business succession issues, which are frequently aggravated by the clash between business interests (merit) and family interests (children are equal; parents are supreme). When succession was not an objective, we have guided the sale of all manner of business and property interests.

Unfortunately, litigation sometimes becomes necessary. We have handled administrative appeals and litigated estate and trust tax and non-tax issues in the United States District Court, Tax Court (United States and New Jersey), and New Jersey Superior Court relating to the interpretation of wills and trusts, NJ Estate and inheritance tax calculation, spousal elective share, tax allocations, business value, buy-sell agreements, domicile and jurisdiction, cy pres, reasonable fiduciary compensation, prudent investment, removal of fiduciaries, undue influence, recovery of “gifts” made under undue influence, tax planning for mental incompetents, wrongful death, debts and claims.

Of all the services our estates attorneys provide to our clients, the most valuable is solving or avoiding problems. An estate plan which leaves the children fighting, or the widow sleepless, or the business closed, may indicate a poor plan. It is quite difficult to foresee every problem which the future may hold, but the experience of Capehart Scatchard’s Wills, Trusts & Estate Administration Practice increases the likelihood of success.

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Estate and Tax Planning

Representative Matters

Some of our representative matters include:

  • Prepare detailed business succession plans for a closely-held business currently owned by one stockholder, including plans for passage of ownership both to trusts for family members and to numerous key employees, combining income tax, estate tax, and corporate law advice.
  • Advise clients in the planning for testamentary and lifetime transfers, insuring financial security and management, minimizing estate and gift taxes, avoiding family friction, and planning for business succession.
  • Advise clients in business succession (merit v family equality), buy-sell agreements, asset value issues and discounts.
  • Handle estate administration, post-mortem tax planning, fair market value disputes with IRS or other persons, discounts, disputes between fiduciaries and beneficiaries, and avoiding such disputes.

Representative Client List

Representative corporate fiduciaries include, among others, PNC Bank, N.A., TD Bank, N.A. (formerly Commerce Bank), Fulton Bank N.A., and Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia Bank, N.A.).