Trusts and Estates and Charitable Organizations

We counsel clients regarding trust and estate planning and administration, gift and estate taxes, wealth preservation and charitable transfers. We also advise tax exempt organizations regarding all aspects of formation and operation.

Estate Planning

We have extensive experience with trust and estate planning from simple wills and trusts to the most sophisticated tax savings techniques and charitable giving vehicles. We help clients plan for the transfer of wealth in a tax efficient and cost-effective manner and provide comprehensive and attentive estate-planning counsel. We routinely advise individuals on basic and complex taxation matters to minimize the imposition of income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer taxes. We help clients make informed choices with respect to a variety of personal and technical issues including:

  • Wills, Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney;
  • Transferring assets during lifetime or upon death;
  • Creating insurance trusts, family trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts (GRATS) and Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs);
  • Using trusts, family limited partnerships, limited liability companies and other devices to hold, preserve, and dispose of assets;
  • Charitable giving and philanthropic planning;
  • Reducing or eliminating estate and gift taxes;
  • Planning for liquidity to meet personal needs, tax liabilities, and other obligations through the use of life insurance policies and other arrangements;
  • Analyzing life insurance needs and products;
  • Selecting guardians, executors, and trustees;
  • Providing for family members, including those with special needs;
  • Asset protection planning;
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements;
  • Establishing multigenerational plans;
  • Planning for the long-range use of qualified retirement plans;
  • Insulating assets from claims of future creditors;
  • Planning for business succession; and
  • Preserving and protecting family residences.

Estate Administration

We regularly assist family members in the orderly settlement of decedents' estates, including:

  • Probate of Wills;
  • Administration of intestate estates (when there are no Wills);
  • Preparation and filing of probate or administration petitions and related documents;
  • Post-mortem tax planning;
  • Collecting, valuing and distributing assets;
  • Determining and paying debts and expenses;
  • Trust administration;
  • Complying with federal and state reporting requirements for estate and income taxes;
  • Preparation of fiduciary accountings releasing fiduciaries (Executors and Trustees) from liability; and
  • Probate litigation and fiduciary litigation proceedings.

Charitable Transfers

We have a broad range of experience assisting clients in creating, structuring and administering charitable gifts as well as counseling clients regarding all aspects of philanthropy including:

  • Outright charitable gifts and pledge agreements;
  • Helping individuals establish and administer private family foundations including compliance with private foundation rules;
  • Structuring split-interest trusts including charitable remainder trusts (CRATs and CRUTs) and charitable lead trusts (CLATs and CLUTs);
  • Assisting individuals and charities in structuring restricted gift agreements and endowment funds; and
  • Working with public charities on all aspects of their planned giving and endowment programs.

Charitable Organizations

We have extensive experience advising tax exempt organizations regarding all aspects of formation and operation including:

  • Creation of private foundations and public charities;
  • Governance structure;
  • Obtaining federal and state tax-exempt status;
  • Compliance with federal, state and local governmental agency requirements (IRS, Departments of Law, Departments of State, and Departments of Education);
  • Preparation of federal, state and local filings;
  • Charitable solicitation registration;
  • Fundraising;
  • Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Consolidations;
  • Fulfillment of their fiduciary obligations;
  • Employment discrimination claims;
  • Endowment issues; and
  • Dissolution.