Estate Planning & Administration

Estate planning and administration is a dynamic process with phases that must harmonize with the client's life cycle events, including births, marriages, divorces, financial changes and death. Henderson Franklin offers a full range of estate planning services that provide professional guidance at each point in the life cycle. We are committed to being available to our clients and their families when they need us most.

  • Estate Planning
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Designations of Health Care Surrogate
  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Charitable Gifting
  • Generation Skipping
  • Life Insurance Planning
  • Administration
  • Fiduciary and Beneficiary Representation
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate
  • Wills and Trust Litigation
  • Estate and Gift Tax Returns
  • Guardianships

Estate Planning

Estate planning can be as simple as a will that directs the distribution of your assets upon your death, or as complex as trusts that preserve wealth over several generations while minimizing taxes. Our attorneys work with our clients to achieve their goals while making recommendations for minimizing income, gift and estate taxes. We have experience with all estate planning tools, such as wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, charitable instruments, living wills, health care directives and durable powers of attorney.  We also are able to include new planning devices that become available and advisable under the tax law.

The formulation, implementation and administration of today's estate plan may require a variety of disciplines. Henderson Franklin's estate planning and administration attorneys are often asked to lead estate planning teams, which can include accountants, other attorneys, trust officers and financial planners.

Trust Administration

Personal representatives, trustees and guardians often need professional guidance to adequately fulfill their legal duties and obligations. We can counsel fiduciaries and beneficiaries regarding the personal questions and concerns they have, address the sometimes complex and difficult issues they may face and, when necessary, assist them in resolving disputes.

Probate Administration

Probate administration is the process of transferring property at a person's death. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of probate estate administration, including full probate proceedings, summary administration and ancillary estate administration for out-of-state residents who own property in Florida.

While probate administration can be complicated, we have the legal resources necessary to ensure that the administration of the estate is handled efficiently, and the compassion to understand the effect of the process on the heirs.

Estate and Gift Tax Returns

Our services include the preparation, filing and processing of federal estate and gift returns. These complex returns require knowledgeable attorneys who can work with the taxing authorities to minimize delays and controversies.

Guardianships

At times, a court-appointed guardian for a minor, a disabled person or an elder is required. A guardianship can be either full or limited, and can direct the assets, medical care and disposition of the ward. There are complex requirements for the appointment of a guardian and the subsequent reporting and court supervision. Our Estate Planning attorneys are knowledgeable in the law and the proceedings necessary to assist a guardian in meeting all fiduciary commitments.

All of the firm's Trust & Estate Planning attorneys are available to meet in any of our offices throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Sanibel and Naples. For further assistance and coordination of a new matter, please contact Eric Gurgold by phone, 239.344.1162 or by email at eric.gurgold@henlaw.com.