Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts

Carpenter, McGuire & DeWulf provide legal services in developing wealth transfer plans that reflect our clients’ needs, goals, and desires, and protect the personal and business assets that our clients have accumulated. Our estate planning lawyers are involved in the probate of estates, the preparation of simple and complex wills and trusts, charitable giving, business succession planning and sophisticated tax planning. In addition, our lawyers have been involved in defending clients in IRS audits and both the prosecution and defense of will contests.

The following is a representative listing of the services that our lawyers offer:


Wealth Transfer

  • Wills.

  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts.

  • Lifetime and testamentary gifting plans.

  • Charitable giving plans.

  • Optimizing ownership structure.

  • Life insurance planning, including irrevocable life insurance trusts.

  • Planning for qualified retirement plans.

  • Generation-skipping transfers.

  • Qualified personal residence trusts.

  • Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

  • Optimizing and leveraging annual exclusion gifts.

  • Lifetime and testamentary QTIP trusts.

  • Disclaimer planning.

  • Trusts for children and disabled adults.

  • Valuation planning.


Family Business Planning and Asset Management

  • Succession planning for closely held business interests.

  • Management and preservation of assets.

  • Fiduciary duties.

  • Shareholder agreements and buy-sell covenants.

  • Structuring redemption agreements, option contracts, shareholder agreements, buy-sell covenants, and rights of refusal.

  • Separating ownership and control.

  • Entity status, subchapter S elections, real estate LLCs.

  • Board structure and governance issues, before, during and after intergenerational transfers.

  • When and how to sell your business.

  • How to achieve equality between children involved in the business and children not involved in the business.


Trusts and Estates Administration

  • Probate of estates.

  • Administration of trusts.

  • Fiduciary duties.

  • Family settlement agreements and judicial settlements.

  • Modification and termination of trusts.

  • Trustee succession issues.


Personal Relationships

  • Durable powers of attorney.

  • Healthcare powers of attorney.

  • Living wills.

  • Guardianships.

  • Premarital agreements.

  • Cohabitation agreements for unmarried partners.

  • Adoptions.


Tax Planning

  • Income, estate and gift tax planning.

  • Marital deduction planning.

  • Charitable deduction planning.

  • Valuation discounts.