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Private Client & Fiduciary Services

Christine Piersall Williams Mullen Headshot

Williams Mullen offers an array of sophisticated estate planning services for the disposition of family wealth and the sheltering of assets from income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Our experienced team of attorneys and paralegals also help individual and institutional fiduciaries handle the legal and tax complexities of estate and trust administration.

Because estate planning calls for approaches and techniques that vary with the particular client’s needs, the firm offers an array of estate planning services. These include not only the preparation of wills and trust agreements but also a variety of more sophisticated planning devices for the disposition of family wealth and the sheltering of assets from income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.

Private Client Services:

  • Comprehensive estate plans.
  • Business succession planning.
  • Buy-sell agreements.
  • Charitable lead and charitable remainder trusts.
  • Digital assets planning.
  • Discount valuation planning.
  • Funded "living trusts."
  • Generation-skipping trusts.
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts.
  • Lifetime gift planning.
  • Limited liability companies and family limited partnerships.
  • Planning for retirement plan benefits.
  • Planning to minimize estate taxes.
  • Pre-marital agreements.
  • Qualified personal residence trusts.
  • Supplemental needs trusts.
  • Wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives.

For many years, the firm has been general counsel to major bank trust departments, and this relationship has provided a special opportunity for experience and insight into practical considerations in planning and administration. While the firm has a particular appreciation of the benefits of institutional fiduciaries, we recognize that not everyone wishes to use such a fiduciary and that many prefer to have an individual administer estates and trusts. We stand ready to assist any type of fiduciary in any capacity.

Fiduciary Services:

  • Augmented estate elections and computations.
  • Fiduciary appointments (executor and trustee).
  • Legal advice for estates and trusts.
  • Post-mortem tax planning.
  • Preparation of estate tax returns.
  • Preparation of fiduciary income tax returns.
  • Probate procedures and documents (e.g., notices, inventory, accountings).
  • Will contests and beneficiary controversies.

Our attorneys also frequently advise clients regarding will disputes. We represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in resolving such disputes, and, when required, we represent their interests in any related litigation.

The benefits of the firm’s depth of experience in this field include the ability of its attorneys to complement one another when special knowledge is required. Within the group, there is the technical skill and experience to meet any need. The abilities of this group are evidenced by their activities and leadership in professional organizations. Nearly half of our estate planning practitioners are fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. One currently serves as ACTEC’s Virginia state chair, and several are past chairmen of the Virginia Bar Association’s Wills, Trusts, and Estates Section, which is responsible for promulgating new legislation in the trusts and estates area. 

Our attorneys and experienced paralegals use sophisticated software and other products to handle estates and trusts of all sizes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Just as important as technical prowess and lean mindset is a sensitivity to the client’s feelings. Those who practice in this field take special pleasure in helping others, and this is the precept by which we are guided.

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