Estate Planning – We work with clients and their advisors to develop a strategic approach for the preparation and execution of appropriate estate planning documents based on each client’s needs and wishes. Such documents may include the following:
- Revocable Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Advanced Medical Directive
- Irrevocable Trust
We routinely consult with clients on the implementation of sophisticated gift tax strategies to minimize transfer taxes and efficiently transfer wealth to multiple generations. Various forms of gifting are considered and developed with our clients before completing this process. Such strategies may include the preparation and execution of the following:
- Dynasty Trust
- Asset Protection Trust
- Charitable Trusts
- Private Foundation
- Family Limited Partnership
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust
- Special Needs Trust
Trusts – Our services also include providing advice and guidance on the funding and administration of trusts. We advise our clients regarding titling accounts and assets in trust (for asset protection and estate planning purposes), as well as coordinating beneficiary designations (of life insurance policies and qualified accounts) for proper disposition in a tax-efficient manner.
Our team of attorneys provides guidance to multi-generational families in developing and implementing a plan for the transition of family and business assets to the next generation in a tax-efficient manner, which may involve the creation of a trust for multiple generations and utilizing valuation discounts in funding it. The overall goal is to protect significant family assets for generations to come and to avoid the imposition of transfer taxes on those assets.
Estate Administration – We provide services including the probate of wills, funding of trusts, administration of estates, and distribution of estate and trust assets. We also assist with estate tax and probate compliance during the estate administration, including the preparation of filings with the court and federal and state estate tax returns.
In addition, we provide representation before the IRS, state Departments of Revenue, and Probate Court. Our attorneys have substantial experience in matters before the taxing authorities in negotiating with the IRS and state Departments of Revenue on audits. We have significant experience in representing family members in estate and trust administration matters and disputes, including through mediation and family settlements.
Fiduciary Litigation – We also represent trustees in trust administration matters, including developments that become contentious or result in litigation, as well as providing general guidance and representation. An example is representing a surviving spouse in a contentious dispute and securing a very favorable settlement fully resolving all outstanding issues related to the estate and trust administration.
Our attorneys have successfully represented trustees in significant cases through the state courts, including declaratory judgment actions regarding the interpretation of ambiguous trust provisions and proceedings securing compensation in complex estate administration matters.