The laws affecting estate planning and the transfer of personal wealth are constantly changing. We keep our clients abreast of changes which present valuable opportunities.

Careful consideration of both tax and non-tax issues affecting individuals and families in the transfer of wealth are priorities when we advise clients in matters of estate planning. Our Estate Planning Practice Group handles all areas of personal and tax planning, from matters as straightforward as guardianships, to complex irrevocable trusts and family partnerships.

In advising our estate planning clients, we draw upon our experience in the areas of business and family law. Different people have different needs at different times in their lives. Therefore, we prepare a range of planning vehicles, such as wills, insurance trusts, personal residence trusts and family partnerships, all designed to maximize family assets and minimize estate and succession taxes.

Estate planning issues have a far-reaching impact upon small business owners. The owner of a closely-held business faces the challenge of retaining an effective measure of control within the business entity, while shifting wealth to family members at the lowest possible tax cost.

To solve that problem for one typical business client, we prepared a plan utilizing a family limited partnership and an aggressive program of tax-free gifting of active business assets. Thus, the owner could divest himself of asset ownership at an accelerated rate, without compromising his control of the company. Business operations have continued unchanged, but the family will realize significant estate tax savings.

After death, efficient estate administration is critical to the smooth dissolution of assets at minimum cost to heirs. We provide counsel for fiduciaries in fulfilling the responsibilities imposed on them by the probate laws and in maximizing existing opportunities for tax savings.

Estate planning is a lifelong process. Our goal is to identify the client’s personal and business objectives and create techniques to fulfill them.