Trust & Estates

Preserve Your Wealth

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 endeavor is McDonald Carano. We counsel clients on all kinds of estate planning initiatives, 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” 2022 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 leading lawyers and clients from the same communities and practice areas.

2021 is the fifth consecutive year that McDonald Carano was the only law firm in Nevada ranked as Band 1 in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide for Private Wealth Law. McDonald Carano attorneys Scott A. Swain and Robert E. Armstrong are also individually recognized as the only Band 1 lawyers in the Private Wealth Law category in Nevada since 2017.

“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.”


– Chambers High Net Worth Guide: Private Wealth Law, 2020, 2021

Our Las Vegas and Reno Trust & Estates attorneys are among the most qualified in Nevada. Many of our team members 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:

  • 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


Our Trust & Estate attorneys and practice group have been recognized in legal industry ratings and rankings directories such as Chambers HNW Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell.

Practice Area News

McDonald Carano Awarded Recertification in Meritas,
the Leading Global Alliance of Independent Business Law Firms

McDonald Carano proudly announces earning recertification in Meritas, the leading global alliance of independent full-service business law firms. McDonald Carano joined Meritas in 1990 as a founding member and we…

McDonald Carano Receives 17 Tier 1
Practice Group Awards
in “Best Law Firms” Report

McDonald Carano proudly announces that 17 Practice Groups in our Reno and Las Vegas offices have received the prestigious “Tier 1” ranking in the 2022 edition of the “Best Law…

McDonald Carano Celebrates
a Record Number of
“Lawyer of the Year” Awards
from Best Lawyers in America

McDonald Carano proudly announces that seven lawyers in our Reno and Las Vegas offices received “Lawyer of the Year” awards in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Over…

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