We have extensive experience in dealing with both small and large estates. Our estate planning practice focuses not only on drafting instruments (e.g., wills, trusts, etc.), but also on advising clients on steps they can take to reduce the impact of transfer taxes during life and death, including estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning strategies.
Our estate practice goes hand-in-hand with our knowledge of business and tax law. Our understanding of these subjects assists us in counseling clients in estate matters such as:
- Reducing the ultimate burden of estate taxes on passing business interests to beneficiaries at death.
- Helping business owners in marking partial transfers of business interest to beneficiaries during the donor’s life to avoid inclusion of subsequent appreciation in those assets in the donor’s estate.
- Creating family business entities, including family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies, which remove the value of assets from the donor’s estate while still assuring the donor’s continued control over those assets, often with discounted values for gift tax purposes.
- Creating revocable (‘living”) trusts and irrevocable trusts, including life insurance trusts.
- Making beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, IRA’s, 401(k) plans and other retirement plans.
- Helping achieve charitable giving goals while still providing income for family members through the use of certain charitable trusts. We have special experience in representing charitable entities and donors with regard to gifting of interests in property, including conservation easements and outright donations, and various types of charitable trusts.
- Planning for personal disability through the use of durable powers of attorney and health care advance directives (e.g., health care powers of attorney and living wills). A growing part of our practice is elder law, and we can help clients not only plan for disability but also work through the maze of Medicare and Medicaid regulations.
- Helping executors with probate and estate administration, including payment of estate debts and taxes and distribution of assets to satisfy bequests.
- Helping executors on certain post-mortem tax elections which may substantially reduce the ultimate burden of estate taxes.
- Planning for business succession