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What's Up Magazine


May 15, 2017 02:07PM ● By Cate Reynolds
*Special Advertising Section


A Maryland Estates and Trusts Law Firm for Over 30 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, we do it all:

Estate and Asset Protection Planning. Good estate planning is designed to carry out your wishes. It is not just about saving taxes (although it certainly involves that). It is about making sure your plan is implemented while protecting your 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 you 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 taking you from beginning to end.

For over 30 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.

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, one lawyer prepares a draft of the will or trust. Before this draft is sent to our client, it is reviewed and discussed with at least one other 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.

The firm consists of lawyers Fred Franke, David Sessions, and Jack Beckett. Fred, the firm’s founder, is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is a past chair of the Estate and Trust Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association and he has been an adjunct Professor of Law of estates and trusts at the University of Baltimore Law School. The firm’s lawyers have authored estates and trusts articles and other materials for Maryland and national publications. The firm has continuously been ranked as a Best Law Firm for estates and trusts by U.S. News & World Report.

Law Office of Frederick R. Franke, Jr. LLC
The Law of Estates and Trusts
Planning • Administration • Litigation
151 West Street, Suite 301, Annapolis, MD 21401
410-263-4876 |