Trusts / Estate / Probate

Trusts / Estate / Probate

Doerner estate planning and wealth management lawyers assist hardworking people who have built assets over a lifetime. Our approach to estate planning is personal, personable and involved. We enjoy our clients and take the time to build a close relationship that gives us the insight on family needs, then craft and clearly communicate a customized plan. Our commitment is that every client understands and is comfortable with each will, trust or business succession strategy we prepare.  

In developing an estate plan, we give every client all that is needed and only what is needed, customized to their circumstances.  Whether the estate is valued at $100,000 or in the millions of dollars, we never use standard forms or boilerplate language. Instead, we sit down and talk with our clients about their family dynamics and financial realities, and create an estate plan designed for them – not someone like them. And if there are problems with a poorly drafted estate plan prepared by another lawyer or law firm, we excel at setting matters right.

Because we appear in court only on trust, probate or guardianship matters, we are known and respected by the judges who handle these matters.  Probate and trust litigation is extremely complex, and guardianship disputes involve many unwritten rules; with our experience in courts throughout Oklahoma, we thoroughly understand both. Often our clients come to us by recommendation of their own family lawyers who are not familiar with the details of these sophisticated practices, but want their clients to be in good hands. And we are well versed in family or corporate trustee requirements.

Business succession planning is central to our estate and wealth management counseling. Whether the family business involves retailing, manufacturing, professional services or any part of the energy sector, we have the experience to make sound recommendations on future management and ownership, or sale of the company. Many family businesses lack the liquidity to pay estate taxes, so tax and estate planning are integral to our succession guidance. This comprehensive approach typifies all our wealth management counseling.
 

Recent Doerner Experience

  • Represented local trust company, as successor trustee, in a breach of fiduciary duty action against JPMorgan Chase, resulting in an $18 million+ judgment against JPMorgan Chase.
  • Handled a $220 million+ asset sale on behalf of an oil and gas producer.
  • Represented national construction firm in the sale of business to another national construction firm involving prior transfers of assets and subsidiaries.
  • Advised national pipeline contractor in its $100 million stock acquisition, including preparation of Hart Scott Rodino filing with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Represented local business owner in preparation of estate plan for estate with net worth in excess of $5 million.
  • Regularly represents multi-state family farm operation in sale, acquisition and lease of agricultural real estate.

Top Areas of Focus

  • Structure estate and business succession plans that meet our client’s needs and wishes in transferring assets to their family members and other beneficiaries.
  • Resolve probate and estate administration disputes through trustee counseling and any necessary court proceedings.
  • Create asset protection plans that use trusts and other appropriate vehicles to preserve wealth while avoiding any fraudulent transfer concerns.
  • Structure nonprofit foundations to maximize the impact of charitable giving while creating tax planning efficiencies.
  • Pursue guardianships and other arrangements to prevent or halt financial exploitation or abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.

Case Study:  Preserving a Family Farming Business

  • Opportunity:  Our client is a family farming business with operations conducted in four states. Should the patriarch who is the principal owner pass away, the business would face major management and tax challenges.
  • Solution:  We stepped in to provide needed guidance. To ensure that the family would not have to sell the business, our lawyers developed a business succession plan that will both ensure ongoing management and minimize estate taxes. 
  • Result:  By our proactive planning, the continuity of the business is assured while the family is confident that their financial assets do not have to be liquidated to pay estate taxes.


Case Study:  Planning the Continuity of a Family Livestock Operation

  • Opportunity:  We represent a family involved in livestock operations in four states.  The complexity of the business – which includes feedlot, ranching and auction operations – makes proper business succession planning essential.
  • Solution:  We met with the family to determine that their desire was to continue family ownership rather than execute a sale or liquidation in the event of the owner’s death. We created a comprehensive strategy that combined tax management, succession planning and estate planning goals. 
  • Result:  Our plan for the business ensures continuity of operations, appropriate succession strategies and estate tax minimization.

Take Action

A good estate plan helps individuals and families with some of their most complex challenges:  planning the preservation of hard-earned assets, assuring the future care of a loved one or resolving the future direction of a family business.  Doerner estate, trust and wealth management lawyers have earned the confidence of generations of clients, meeting these challenges with skill and sensitivity. 
 

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P: 918.591.5325
F: 918.925.5325

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Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca represents clients primarily in labor and employment
litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. 

Oklahoma Employer's Law Blog

 


RECENT NEWS

03.01.17 Doerner Welcomes Phil Feist and Rebecca Wood Hunter