Estate Planning is the backbone of our practice. We partner with our clients to customize estate plans to protect their families and pass assets from generation to generation in a tax efficient manner. While we employ the latest and most sophisticated estate planning techniques, we realize that the essence of good planning is to understand a client’s individual situation and needs. Minimizing transfer tax is often only a part of a client’s goals. We know that planning must evolve as a client’s circumstances change. That's why we invest in long-term relationships with our clients and their families.
We regularly draft simple and highly complex wills; durable powers of attorney; health care proxies and living wills; revocable and irrevocable trusts to hold life insurance or other assets. We also employ planning vehicles such as qualified terminable interest trusts (QTIPs); grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs); qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs); family limited partnerships and limited liability companies; trusts to hold gifts for children and grandchildren; and charitable trusts. We work with our clients to implement their estate plan. This often involves transferring property or amending beneficiary designations, or reviewing options for their retirement plans, which often comprise a substantial portion of a client’s net worth.
Although the majority of our clients have traditional family structures, a number of our estate planning clients are in non-traditional relationships or are same-sex couples. We help them use the estate planning tools that are available for them, many of which differ from those available to traditional families. Other clients consult us on “elder law” issues involving aging parents and planning for governmental benefits.
Many of our clients view us as their “General Counsel” and consult us on all legal matters. Our legal experience is broad, and we are usually able either to either handle the issue or refer our client to a professional we trust. We believe in a team approach to estate planning; often this involves working closely with the family’s accountant, financial advisors, and others.