Estate Planning & Administration
We recognize that increases to State and Federal estate tax exemptions permit many families to avoid estate taxes without overly complex estate planning. However, estate planning provides many benefits in addition to eliminating or reducing taxes. Accordingly, we provide estate planning and wealth transfer planning to our clients in the following areas:
Fully Coordinated Wills and Revocable Trusts
We draft documents that provide the fundamental structure to coordinate asset management and eliminate or reduce estate taxes. Each client’s individual structure is tailored to accomplish the client’s specific objectives in connection with establishing appropriate distributions to children and more remote generations, appointing guardians for minor children, coordinating ownership of a family business for future generations, establishing appropriate benefits and controls for a surviving spouse, implementing charitable distributions and designating desired trustees to protect the investment and the distribution of funds for future generations.
We provide legal assistance after a death in a prompt, tax-efficient and cost-efficient manner and in accordance with the decedent’s estate planning documents. This often includes probate administration, trust administration, income tax planning, estate tax planning, retirement account planning and disclaimer planning. We typically represent executors and trustees during administration. In addition, we are also well-equipped to represent beneficiaries of estates and trusts whose interests need to be explained, understood and fully protected in both contested and uncontested situations. Maintenance of Family Vacation Homes. We help families maintain family vacation homes for future generations, including income tax planning and estate planning as well as planning for the equitable usage of the vacation home where future generations may have competing desires with regard to usage.
Establish Life Insurance Trusts
We prepare documents to establish irrevocable life insurance trusts and transfer life insurance policies to such trusts to avoid the inclusion of the policy proceeds in the client’s estate at death. In connection therewith, we coordinate a plan to effectuate premium payments in a gift tax efficient manner.
Establishment of Qualified Residence Trusts
We assist families in transferring their principal residences to the next generation in a tax efficient manner while permitting the client to continue to reside in the residence.
Creation of Family Limited Partnership or Family Limited Liability Company
We work with high net worth families to transfer certain assets to a family limited partnership or a family limited liability company in order to reduce income and estate taxes, better coordinate a family gifting program, ensure asset protection and provide efficiencies through overall family coordination of these assets.
Create Irrevocable Dynasty/Gift Trusts
We prepare and coordinate the creation of lifetime trusts to transfer wealth to future generations in a manner that is highly efficient to minimize income taxes, estate taxes and generation skipping transfer taxes.
How to Avoid Common Estate Planning Pitfalls