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Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning and Probate

 
We provide comprehensive legal representation on estate planning and succession planning to families and individuals, estates and trusts, closely-held businesses and charitable foundations. We counsel our clients on estate and succession planning, trust and estate administration, tax planning and preparation, charitable planning, foundation management and regulatory compliance, business succession planning and martial agreements planning. We provide personalized service and treat every client as unique. We take time to get to know each client so we can fully understand the client’s priorities and concerns. We then create a customized plan and implement strategic and practical solutions to achieve the client’s objectives, structure their legacy and minimize taxes. We are committed to our clients' evolving needs and strive to be lifelong advisors for our clients. We often represent client families through multiple generations.

Questionnaire

Our firm’s Estate Planning Questionnaire has been created to assist us in gathering the necessary information to complete your estate plan.  If you are interested in our estate planning services, please complete our Estate Planning Questionnaire.  Please do not spend inordinate amount of time completing the questionnaire. After you have completed as much as of the questionnaire as possible, please contact our office to schedule a meeting to discuss your estate planning needs.

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Our Clients

  • Our clients include individuals and families, professional athletes, doctors, real estate developers, privately owned companies, foundations and fiduciaries.
  • We help clients who have large, complex estates with cutting-edge tax planning and asset management.
  • For people with more standard needs, we have constructed an efficient, cost-effective model to minimize administrative hassles and help provide security and certainty to loved ones.
  • We help business owners plan for an orderly succession and maximize the after tax proceeds of liquidity events.
  • We assist trustees with tax and legal matters that arise from their trustee duties.
  • We represent both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate disputes both in probate and under trusts. 

Areas of Focus 

Estate and Succession Planning

  • Develop plans to minimize the cost and delay in transferring assets at death through trusts and other arrangements
  • Prepare traditional estate planning documents (wills, revocable trust agreements, powers of attorney, and living wills)
  • Gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning
  • Asset titling and customized beneficiary designations
  • Full integration of wealth transfer plans in a team approach with other advisors
  • Trusts for education of children and grandchildren
  • Irrevocable trusts, including intentionally defective irrevocable trusts (IDITs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) and irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs)
  • Dynasty trusts

Trust and Estate Administration

  • Advise executors, trustees and beneficiaries on all aspects of the estates and trusts administration to make sure the intentions of the individual that established the estate plan are carried out.
  • Family dispute resolution
  • Fiduciary duty issues and avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Trust construction and reformation
  • Post-mortem tax planning strategies
  • Preparation of accounting and required court filings
  • Fiduciary income tax preparation
  • Estate, gift, and generation skipping tax preparation

Charitable Planning and Tax Exempt Organizations

  • Charitable gifting strategies
  • Charitable trusts, including charitable lead annuity and unitrusts (CLATs and CLUTs) and charitable remainder annuity and unitrusts (CRATs and CRUTs)
  • Family foundations and other tax exempt organizations
  • Tax compliance, governance and regulatory issues, risk management and other legal issues

Business Succession Planning

  • Pre-sale tax planning, communication and governance
  • Select the most beneficial legal entity to hold, manage and transfer the family business
  • Assist the owner in balancing the diverse needs of family members to minimize family conflict.
  • Analyze liquidity needs to fund buyouts upon retirement, death or disability
  • Use life insurance and other assets to equalize inheritance to children that will not receive a significant ownership in the business.
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Key employee ownership and incentive compensation planning to provide for the retention of key employees

Marital Agreements

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and planning
  • Cohabitation agreements and planning

Income Tax

  • Choice of entity/pass-through taxation
  • State income tax situs and minimization issues
  • Individual and Fiduciary income tax preparation
  • Estate, gift, and generation skipping tax preparation
 
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