Probate, Estate and Trust Administration

Probate, Estate and Trust…

The most stressful attorney meeting for an estate, probate or trust administration client is often the one right after a loved one has died. No matter how prepared the client is, whether an estate plan is in place or not, most clients are entering into a territory of unknown rules and procedures and new emotions.

Our goal is to assist our clients in administering estates and trusts immediately. Whether the client is an longtime client, a family member of a client, or a new client family, we begin assisting family members, beneficiaries and fiduciaries right away. We ensure that they are properly advised regarding the probate or trust administration process, the goals of the administration, and their rights and obligations. We work hard to make sure that the estate is properly, efficiently and promptly administered. Where appropriate, we advise clients regarding potential and actual litigation regarding estate, trusts and related matters.

In the course of representing estates, we probate the Last Will and Testament (or open an intestate estate proceeding if there is no Will), and we help to marshal, preserve and value all of the decedent's assets. We help the family determine the best course in probate, including, in the jurisdictions that support it, the use of Modified Administration (in Maryland), Unsupervised Administration (DC) or the use of the Statement In Lieu of Accounting (in Virginia).

When representing clients with a revocable trust-based plan, we will help them determine what, if any probate is necessary, and how to navigate the administration process outlined in the trust document.

We prepare all necessary estate tax returns and we advise our clients on numerous related tax matters. Where necessary for the Court or beneficiaries, we prepare an accounting of the fiduciaries' actions and work with the fiduciaries to settle the account and have the fiduciaries released from liability, either with or without court action, depending upon the circumstances.

Our estate and trust administration services include the following:

  • Administration of Estates in Maryland, Virginia and DC
  • Administration of Trusts at Death
  • Preparation of Estate Tax Returns
  • Postmortem Tax and Other Planning

In addition to representing families and fiduciaries at the death of a loved one, we represent both individual and corporate trustees of trusts in all aspects of the trust administration, from inception through final distribution. Through our experience in planning and administering trusts and estates, we are able to advise fiduciaries on all phases of administration, including tax and non‑tax matters and litigated and non‑litigated matters. We are also able to help fiduciaries navigate the instructions of ongoing testamentary trusts, whether related to minor or adult beneficiaries.

We have served the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area from our Bethesda, Maryland office for over two decades. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your trust and estate administration needs.

Our Attorneys

Norman B. Handler's Profile Image
Norman Handler started his legal career with the IRS, auditing estate tax returns and, in its National Office, developing estate tax policy. He moved into private practice, first as an associate and later as a partner in a large Montgomery County law… Read More

Marc S. Levine's Profile Image
Marc S. Levine has been practicing law since 1992, all with Handler & Levine, LLC, and its predecessor firms.  Marc regularly assists individuals and families in preparing their estate plans, including drafting their wills, revocable trusts, tru… Read More

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