sister and brother-in-laws will specifies 50% to family and 50% into a foundation set up in their names. is it right/legal to expect that the gross amount of the estates value will be divided in half prior to the foundations establishment, and that all legal costs for the foundation will be taken out of its 50% and not billed to the whole estate. Could the lawyers work on the foundation be considered a separate "job". The same lawyer is doing both.
1 Answer from Attorneys
The normal estate administration costs are deducted from the gross estate as well as any estate taxes. The cost of setting up the foundation could be deducted from the gross estate or it could be deducted from the 50% left to the foundation. It depends on the language in the Will or Trust. I would hope the costs of setting up the foundation are reasonable. Likewise, who is going to run the foundation? It should not be the attorney who sets it up.