Probate & Trust Administration

Berliner Cohen – Estate Planning 101: The Importance of Developing an Estate Plan - click here
"Estate Planning 101" summarizes several estate planning concepts and provides background information to help prepare you in your estate planning discussion with your attorney.

Berliner Cohen – Estate Planning Fact Finder – click here.
Berliner Cohen – Post-Mortem Information Sheet – click here.
The "Estate Planning Fact Finder" and "Post-Mortem Information Sheet" above are made available solely to facilitate the gathering of information. No attorney-client relationship is established by your merely downloading either of the generic blank forms off Berliner Cohen’s website. Berliner Cohen requires a written and signed engagement letter from our clients. Please schedule an appointment if you are interested in asking Berliner Cohen to consider providing you with such an engagement agreement.

The probate and trust administration practice at Berliner Cohen offers the broad expertise of the Firm’s attorneys in all areas of the law to provide the best representation possible for fiduciaries and beneficiaries in administering and effectuating estate plans. Our attorneys listen closely to our clients and always strive to be sensitive to their needs and concerns.

Our attorneys represent trustees and executors in the administration of trusts and estates, including:

  • Full probate of decedent’s estate, and summary probate where available
  • Proper administration of trusts, including sub-trust funding, estate tax returns, settlement of account
  • Gifting programs, including formation of educational and irrevocable trusts
  • Planning for non-U. S. citizen clients, including the use of qualified domestic trusts
  • Implementation of living trusts, life insurance trusts and wills
  • Charitable gift planning and the organization and administration of charitable trusts
  • Distribution regarding tax planning and tax disputes
  • Fiduciary accountings
  • Estate administration questions
  • Environmental cleanup of properties in trusts or probate estates
  • Collection and allocation of trust assets
  • Leasing or sale of real property in trust
  • Disputes regarding trust assets, terms or liabilities

For more information, please contact Brian L. Shetler at
Merced and Modesto: please contact Kevin Kelley,