Areas of Practice
Our firm provides services in all areas of estate planning, including the drafting of Wills, Trusts, and other documents, including Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers and Authorizations, Living Wills, and Advance Designations of Conservator. We offer advice on the estate and gift tax consequences of dispositions of our clients’ assets both during life and upon death, and on the treatment of special assets such as real estate and business interests. Depending on the specific situations of our clients, our planning may be focused on the use of federal and state exemptions with respect to estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, credit shelter trust planning, and various forms of lifetime gift transfers, including life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trust, and family partnerships. An essential area related to the foregoing functions concerns advice regarding the appointment of executors, administrators, trustees and guardians for minor children.
Estate & Trust Administration
An essential aspect of our services includes advice and consultation in all aspects incidental to the administration of trusts and estates. The firm has extensive experience serving as a fiduciary in estates, as well as trusts of all types, and has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of probate administration. Additionally, its work in this area includes advice regarding the filing of state and federal estate and income tax returns, probate administration, estate accountings, assistance with estate tax return audits and advice to executors, administrators and trustees, generally.
Business Succession Planning
A substantial portion of our estate planning clients are business owners. Accordingly, a core function of our services in this area consists of rendering advice on all aspects of business succession planning, seeking to minimize income, estate, and gift taxes in connection with the transfer of business interests to family members as well as non-family employees. Significant functions in this area include consultation and drafting of shareholder and/or buy-sell agreements, implementation of leveraging transactions, such as sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, and similar strategies.
A core function of the firm’s practice involves advice, consultation and document preparation for a variety of business entities. This includes work from the inception of the business entity, including the selection and formation of the entity, its capital structure, and tax elections related thereto. The firm’s work in this area includes the drafting of pre-formation agreements, partnership, shareholder and LLC operating agreements, and buy-sell agreements for the disposition of business interests upon retirement, death or disability of the business owners. The firm has extensive experience in the purchases and sale of business interests in all forms, as well as in the area of executive employment agreements, buyouts, and in related areas.
Charitable Gift Planning
Many of the firm’s higher net worth clients have exhibited a history of charitable giving, which they desire to perpetuate in future generations. For this reason, the firm’s charitable gift planning includes work in the areas of charitable lead and charitable remainder trusts, the establishment and administration of family foundations, and advice and consultation concerning all aspect of establishing these, and other charitable vehicles.
Increasing demographic changes have made planning for advanced age and incapacity an essential complement to the firm’s estate planning services. Our work in this area includes Medicare and Medicaid planning at all levels, advice concerning the advisability and permissibility of transfers to and among family members, the use of various trusts, and measures to be taken to protect certain assets, as well as the proper use of exemptions granted by federal and state governmental agencies. Reviews are also made of the advisability of utilizing reverse mortgages, various types of annuities, and other planning options.
Real Estate Acquisitions & Disposition
The firm offers extensive experience in all aspects of real estate conveyancing, including transfers and finance in the commercial and residential areas. Our work in this area consists of the review and drafting of purchase and sales agreements, review of loan documents, review and drafting of lease agreements, and advice and closing services in connection with 1031 like-kind exchanges.