Trust & Estates

Preserve And Protect Your Wealth with our Trust & Estates Attorneys

Wealthy individuals and families continue to move millions (and even billions) of dollars to Nevada, one of the most tax-friendly states in the United States. At the forefront of this movement is McDonald Carano, representing clients located in Nevada as well as out-of-state clients with personal and business interests in Nevada. We counsel clients on private wealth law and all kinds of estate planning activities, ranging from the simplest of wills to the most complex of irrevocable trusts and probate and conservatorship issues, as well as every kind of fiduciary income tax matter. Our expertise includes uncontested and contested probates, conservatorship, and trust proceedings.

We represent fiduciaries, beneficiaries and creditors in court and when a problem cannot be resolved through the audit process. We prosecute and defend estate-related disputes involving fee controversies, ownership and creditor problems, alleged breaches of trust, will contests and trust contests. We also work on estate and gift tax returns, represent clients in tax audits and requests for private letter rulings, and advise closely held and family businesses.

Our Trust & Estates Law Practice is ranked in the highest Tier 1 category in the “Best Law Firms” 2023 report published by U.S. News–Best Lawyers. As the “Best Law Firms” report explains, “achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.” Firms that receive the Tier 1 designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other estate and trust attorneys and clients from the same communities and practice areas.

2022 is the sixth consecutive year that McDonald Carano is the only law firm in Nevada ranked Band 1 in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide for Private Wealth Law. McDonald Carano attorneys Scott Swain and Robert Armstrong are also individually recognized as the only Band 1 lawyers in the Private Wealth Law category in Nevada.

“The value-add is peerless.” “The team that has been assembled is superior, from the partners in the firm all the way through the administrative support and the paralegals. They are very thorough and they have a great deal of depth.” “McDonald Carano has a very good reputation for handling trusts and estates matters for wealthy clients.” “I like that the firm is highly reputable in the community. When I tell people who my attorneys are, everyone tells me what a great firm that is.”

– Chambers High Net Worth Guide: Private Wealth Law

Our Reno and Las Vegas Trust & Estates attorneys are among the most qualified private wealth law attorneys in Nevada. Many of our team members also have an LL.M. or Master’s Degree in tax. Several are licensed CPAs. Two are fellows in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the most prestigious affiliation for such practitioners. No other Nevada law firm has more than one such fellow, and only seven are admitted statewide. We have earned our outstanding reputation in the probate courts in Washoe and Clark Counties, and with the author of the “Decedents’ Estates” chapter of the Nevada Civil Practice Manual for LexisNexis. Our firm is also involved in legislative initiatives that improve Nevada’s tax-advantaged climate, particularly with regard to issues involving private-trust companies and asset-protection trusts.

We represent clients ranging from middle-class Americans, to millionaires to Forbes 400 members in the following areas:

  • Private wealth law
  • Asset protection and wealth preservation
  • Business continuation and succession planning
  • Charitable tax and trust planning
  • Estate, generation-skipping, gift and income tax planning
  • Estate and trust planning and administration
  • Fiduciary and beneficiary representation
  • Foundation and tax-exempt organization initiatives
  • Probate, trust and fiduciary litigation
  • Trust modification, reformation and termination


Practice Area News

Nevada’s “Top Rank Attorneys” 2023

McDonald Carano proudly announces that 17 of our attorneys are recognized as “Top Rank Attorneys” in Nevada Business Magazine’s 2023 list of the State’s top attorneys as voted by their…

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™

McDonald Carano proudly announces that more than half of our Partners, Of Counsel, and Senior Counsel have received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ for achieving “the highest level…

McDonald Carano Promotes Michael Whittaker to Partner

McDonald Carano is proud to announce that Michael Whittaker has been elevated to Partner, effective January 1, 2023. Michael is a Partner in our Trust & Estates Law practice which…

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