Tax / Trusts and Estates / Elder Law
We create comprehensive estate plans to efficiently transfer wealth between generations and offer asset protection from creditors. Our plans reflect our clients’ values and goals, minimize or eliminate gift, estate, income, and generation-skipping taxes. We work closely with our clients to develop personalized estate plans, which can include family limited partnerships, charitable trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, revocable trust agreements, qualified personal residents trusts, living wills, health care directives, credit shelter trusts, and other devices tailored to suit their individual needs.
We also assist clients in creating gifting programs, either outright or in trust, that have the dual benefit of benefiting younger family members and minimizing taxes. We prepare gift tax returns for clients to properly document gifts and reduce exposure to IRS challenges in the future.
We assist our clients in deciding which business form, whether Subchapter S, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or another form of organization, is most advantageous for their purposes. We assist our business clients in negotiating contracts, licensing agreements, joint ventures, and other transactions.
We provide sophisticated planning for closely held businesses including: restructuring with mergers and acquisitions and using limited partnerships and limited liability companies to minimize tax consequences. When family-related issues arise in the business context, we take care to integrate the concerns of our clients through family limited partnerships or limited liability company agreements, shareholder buy-sell agreements, marital agreements, or other appropriate means. We also assist our clients in succession planning to orchestrate in advance what will happen with closely held businesses when an individual retires, becomes ill, or otherwise cannot run the business. Other aspects of succession planning include estate and income tax issues, and life insurance and we are able to assist our clients in these and other aspects of succession planning.
We also counsel our clients on structure and operation of retirement and incentive compensation plans (e.g. employee stock ownership plans, 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans, stock-option plans, and other plans).
Special Needs / Disability Planning
As part of our planning services, we counsel clients regarding special needs trust and third party supplemental needs trust planning for family members with a disability or special needs to maximize the use of government provided benefits and preserve their wealth for the benefit of the disabled family member and other members of the family. The planning includes durable powers of attorneys, appropriate trusts, and health care directives.
We provide a full range of services for our aging population. We can assist you or your loved one when questions regarding capacity arise, when a guardian of the person or property is needed, or when a power of attorney is required.
We represent individuals and bank trust departments in litigating trust and estate matters at trial and appellate levels. Such litigation can include the following issues: validity of a will, will and trust construction, elective share, and accounting actions. We also provide representation in cases involving contested guardianships. Our background in other areas of the law also makes the firm well suited to handle litigation involving ADA compliance, age discrimination, traffic accidents, identify theft, elder abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or quality of care.