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We Have Deep Experience & Knowledge

Our Published Articles

The lawyers of The Firm have a long practice of writing articles for law reviews and journals.  Partly we do this to elevate the practice of law in general.  This also keeps us sharp and up-to-date. Writing for professional journals gives us a chance to do a deep dive into a specific facet involving the practice of the law of estates and trusts.

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Our Presentations

Our Law Firm has a long tradition of presenting continuing education courses for fellow lawyers and, on occasion, for various judicial institutes. It is a great honor to be asked to make these presentations on estates/trusts topics. Aside from giving back to the profession, these activities deepen and extend the firm’s understanding of the law of estates and trusts thereby improving the quality of our advice and client services.

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Our Reported Cases

These are reported Maryland appellate court cases briefed and argued by our firm. There are two appellate courts in Maryland. The Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court and the Court of Special appeals is the intermediate appellate court. All Court of Appeals decisions are “reported.”

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Law Treatise

The Maryland Law of Estates and Trusts

A Treatise by Frederick Franke

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Protect What Is Important To You

A Maryland Estates and Trusts Law Firm for Over 35 Years

Our focus is the law of estates and trusts. Some firms offer, or claim to offer, a wide variety of services to clients. We do not. Our clients benefit because we concentrate on the law of estates and trusts. Within this practice niche, however, we do it all:

  • Estate and Asset Protection Planning: Good estate planning is designed to carry out the client’s wishes. It is not just about saving taxes (although it certainly involves that). It is about making sure the plan is implemented while protecting the client’s intended beneficiaries.
  • Will and Trust Litigation: We handle disputes over the meaning of estate planning documents, arguments involving personal representatives or trustees, and challenges to documents based on lack of capacity or undue influence.
  • Estate and Trust Administration: Administering an estate or trust can seem to be an overwhelming task. We can make the job more manageable by assisting our clients in every facet of the task. We prepare all estate and trust tax returns in-house so we are able to offer seamless administration services from beginning to end.

For over 35 years, we have focused on the law of estates and trusts. The firm has developed deep experience and expertise in the practice area. “Doing it all” within our practice niche creates a synergy that strengthens our handling of each matter. Our approach to planning, for example, is strengthened by the fact that we administer estates and trusts. Our handling of both planning and administration is informed by the lessons learned from our fiduciary litigation practice. Our fiduciary litigation practice, in turn, benefits from our understanding of the substantive issues that arise during the planning and administration process.

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Not only does the firm “do it all” within the practice niche, but our professionals do it all as well. The firm culture promotes a deep understanding of the practice area by continually involving the lawyers, accountant, paralegals and other professional staff in all aspects of the practice. This means that knowledge and expertise builds on itself.

Clients are clients of the whole firm – not just of one lawyer in the firm. This starts from the initial meeting of any new matter. Generally, two lawyers will initially meet with a new client to discuss the client’s concerns and to offer recommendations of how to handle those concerns. If it is an estate planning matter, for example, after the initial meeting with two lawyers, one lawyer will prepare a draft of the will or trust. Before this draft is sent to our client, it is reviewed and discussed with at least a second lawyer of the firm. With an estate or trust administration matter, usually the initial meeting includes a mix of lawyers, a CPA, and a paralegal. This brings the different professional perspectives to the matter that begins from the initial meeting and continues thereafter. A similar team approach is used with litigation. This collaborative approach, coupled with the office-wide involvement in all aspects of an estates and trusts practice, lets us deliver the highest quality of client services.

Each partner has written articles for law reviews or other publications for lawyers and each have presented continuing education courses for fellow lawyers on estates/trusts topics. Aside from giving back to the profession, these activities deepen and extend our understanding of the law of estates and trusts. This, in turn, also benefits the quality of our advice and client services.

These attributes are important factors that enable us to deliver superior advice and services to our clients. Although each factor is important, it is the unique combination of these factors, working together, that contributes to the strength of the firm. We keep an exclusive focus on the law of fiduciaries and of estates and trusts. With this focus, we gain deep knowledge and experience in the field. By having broad experience in a relatively narrow practice area, however, we have specialized knowledge without being blind-sided by overspecialization.  Our commitment to writing articles and conducting continuing education courses for lawyers and judges, gives us the exposure to a broader context than one experiences from only handling individual client matters. Our one-firm firm approach to delivering client services puts the collective resources of the firm at work on each individual client engagement. The combination of all of these separate factors is one reasons the firm has continuously been ranked as a Best Law Firm for estates and trusts by U.S. News & World Report.

About Our Firm

Franke Beckett LLC is a law firm in downtown Annapolis. The firm's practice is exclusively the law of estates and trusts. Within this niche practice, the firm provides a wide range of services: planning, administration, and litigation.

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Franke, Sessions & Beckett - An Estates and Trusts Law Firm