Estate Planning and Probate

Practice Groups

Estate Planning and Probate

Our estate planning professionals counsel with clients to determine and implement their financial and dispositive objectives. We take into account any special circumstances relating to unique family structures, charitable inclinations, and requirements of dependents who may have special needs or spendthrift issues. We address clients’ needs involving prenuptial or postnuptial agreements or other situations requiring specific planning for blended families. Within the framework of family objectives and asset consideration, our estate planners devise and recommend a plan to minimize federal estate and gift taxes, take into account special dispositive considerations, plan for generation skipping if desired, and maximize assets for the client’s heirs.

Our lawyers create plans which may include lifetime transfers to trusts through specialized instruments designed to create federal estate tax savings or through transfers outright to others. They restructure asset ownership or form limited liability entities in addition to preparing wills, trusts and other documents designed to accomplish both tax and personal objectives.

Various vehicles available for charitable giving can provide increased benefits to heirs while making valuable contributions to a client’s favorite charitable purposes. Estate planning may also deal with assets requiring special treatment. We develop solutions to help preserve and provide for succession or transfer of family businesses, including buy-sell agreements, insurance programs, inter vivos gifts to family or charitable donees, and deferred compensation planning. In short, we develop a unified plan for each client’s unique circumstances to accomplish the client’s goals at the least possible tax cost.

The firm also carries on an active probate practice, handling legal matters in probate proceedings as well as consulting with decedents’ executors, spouses, and other family members and heirs regarding estate administration procedures to minimize estate tax, income tax, and other administrative costs. Our estate lawyers devise and implement procedures to minimize the difficulties of transferring ownership of family businesses and other assets to avoid complications in the probate administration process.