Estate Planning

Our clients expect unparalleled, personalized attention when seeking answers to the questions that keep them awake at night. We take great pride in working closely with clients to create their estate plans, and our responsibility to be there when it matters most is the foundation of our practice.  We strive to simplify the estate planning from our very first process and ensure that our clients have the confidence that can only come from understanding their plan.

Sometimes, though, an estate plan just isn’t simple.  Transfers of significant wealth can require discussions about the complex estate and gift tax laws.  We use planning strategies designed to maximize the tax efficiency of wealth transfers to future generations, balance estate tax and income tax issues, address liquidity concerns related to unique assets like closely held business interests, and address generation-skipping transfer tax issues. A sound estate plan has the flexibility to adjust to changing financial and family circumstances.  This understanding, along with unparalleled client attention, allows us to deliver peace of mind to our clients with even the most intricate wealth transfer questions. 

Examples of Services:

  • Multigenerational wealth transfers designed to minimize tax liability
  • Gifts and sales of closely-held business interests, real estate using irrevocable trusts
  • Traditional estate plans for clients in the building stage using wills and revocable trusts
  • Reformation and modification of trust instruments to respond to changes in the law or better align with changing circumstances
  • Marital property agreements and prenuptial agreements

Trust and Estate Administration

In the aftermath of a death, the last thing on the minds of friends and family is wrapping up their loved one’s affairs.  But questions of how to administer financial accounts, real estate, taxes and other assets quickly confront surviving friends and family.  Additionally, the legal duties of the persons named as fiduciaries in estate planning documents give rise to the need for experienced and compassionate counsel to help guide the estate and trust administration process.

We understand the need to balance the practical financial duties that arise upon a loved one’s death, with the sensitive dynamics of a grieving family. We work closely to advise fiduciaries throughout the administration process.  Each administration is different, but this advice often includes answering questions about estate planning documents, communicating with financial institutions, preparing and filing probate and trust administration documents, filing estate tax returns and income tax returns, and assisting in the sale or distribution of assets.  Our team understands the great responsibility a loved one vests in his or her fiduciaries at death, and we take equal pride and responsibility when those fiduciaries choose us as their counsel during this difficult time.

Examples of Services:

  • Advising trustees in the administration of trusts and compliance with trust terms and tax laws
  • Advising personal representatives and executors throughout the probate process
  • Reviewing trust and estate documents on behalf of beneficiaries, and advising beneficiaries and heirs of their rights in the administration process
  • Advising institutional fiduciaries regarding their administration risks and responsibilities

Business Services

When you own a business, you don't leave the office behind at the end of the day.  For a family business, we know the dining room table can double as the boardroom table, and we take great care to focus on the connection between your business and your personal life.  Our role is to help guide you and your business without losing sight of what matters most to you.  We know that legal needs don't just arise when businesses are being bought and sold, so we focus on helping you evaluate risks and navigate the legal issues you confront every day.  When the time comes for an ownership change, we take great pride in helping businesses with the transition.  Often this means involving family members in a new and exciting way.  Other times, it means helping a business shift ownership to a business partner or other entity. In either case, we focus on providing legal advice that accomplishes our clients’ unique goals, and we provide counsel that never loses sight of what makes each business – and each transaction – unique.

Examples of Services:

  • Drafting governing documents and agreements between business owners
  • Creating succession planning strategies involving future family business owners and key employees
  • Guiding businesses through mergers and acquisitions, from drafting transaction documents through diligence and closing.
  • Review of contract matters and providing operational advice
  • Counsel regarding business formation, entity choice and structuring issues