Our goal in the Trusts and Estates Group is to help clients reach their personal and business objectives with a minimum tax burden. We work with clients to identify and execute the most tax-efficient solutions available for their unique needs. Business owners considering expansion or sale of their businesses, families establishing wealth transfer plans and estate administrators all rely on the significant experience of our lawyers across multiple tax disciplines to identify overlooked opportunities and creative solutions.
As skilled listeners, we ask questions and carefully evaluate the needs of our clients in order to formulate effective tax saving and asset protection strategies. We understand that the nuances of business transactions can be complex, and pride ourselves on our effective communication to provide clarity to our clients. We advise multi-generational families, closely-held businesses, entrepreneurs, large corporations and their shareholders, non-profit and tax-exempt organizations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, estates and family offices. We collaborate with private equity funds, investment bankers, financial, accounting and other professional advisors.
We provide practical legal solutions related to:
- Business formation and choice of entity
- Taxable and tax-free mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
- Real estate transactions, including Section 1031 like-kind exchanges
- State and local tax planning
- Charitable giving and tax-exempt organizations
- Individual estate and income tax planning
- Wills, trusts and elder law planning
- Asset protection
- Estate and trust administration and probate litigation
- Tax dispute resolution
Estate Planning and Administration
Our lawyers guide individual clients and their families through all phases of estate and wealth transfer planning, accommodating long-term objectives while being sensitive to current needs. With sophisticated knowledge and understanding of federal and state taxation, we devise plans that allow for the passage of wealth and assets across multiple generations while minimizing the transfer tax burden. We counsel young families with early stage planning as well as those with significant assets, including the ultra-high net worth, in all cases focusing on protecting and preserving family assets. We also advise individuals on ownership succession for closely-held businesses both during lifetime and by testamentary devise.
We take a collaborative approach to private wealth management, both in our internal structure and in our client relationships. Ensuring thoroughness and accessibility, each client is introduced to the appropriate lawyers and paralegals within the group to ensure that the client’s needs are fully and timely addressed. Additionally, we regularly partner with our clients’ other professional advisors, including accountants and investment managers, to create highly tailored and tax-efficient plans unique to each client’s specific needs and desires.
As part of our estate planning practice, we have developed significant experience in the design and use of irrevocable life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, charitable remainder trusts and private foundations, generation-skipping trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, and other sophisticated estate and income tax savings techniques. Our experience includes tax audits with the Internal Revenue Service and dealings with the Art Advisory Panel, Charities Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office and various Surrogate Courts.
- Represented a family of a closely-held family business in designing the transfer of the business to the 5th generation, by designing a transaction structured as a sale which did not yield income taxes and shifted ownership to the next generation without incidence of the gift tax
- Worked with the owner of a privately held business in its acquisition by a private equity firm while deferring a significant portion of the owner’s gain from the ‘sale’ of such business
- Worked with a number of clients to qualify for and utilize state income tax credits to minimize their overall tax burden and improve the bottom line
- Resolved multiple IRS audits on issues ranging from R&D tax credits, hobby losses, and depreciation adjustments, often with little or no adjustments.