We counsel fiduciaries, individuals and foundation clients on all aspects of wealth transfer and estate and business planning. We handle fiduciary litigation, issues related to tax-exempt entities for individual and foundation clients, as well as provide legal services related to the traditional notion of estate planning.

On the fiduciary side of our practice, we advise executors, trustees and other fiduciaries, including directors and trustees of charitable corporations and foundations. On the individual side of our practice, we advise clients on the personal, practical and legal aspects of preserving, managing and transferring wealth. We bring our knowledge of income and estate taxes together to solve problems with a goal towards minimizing taxes and maximizing the transfer of wealth, while being sensitive to the emotional aspects of the administration of estates.

In this age of highly focused legal practice, we fill the traditional role of the family counselor who deals with a broad range of personal as well as legal questions.

Trusts and Estates

Fiduciaries and Fiduciary Litigation

We have extensive experience in major will contests, will or trust interpretation disputes, fiduciary surcharge claims and tax litigation, at both the trial and appellate levels. We also partner with our employee benefits lawyers to structure health care and retirement benefits and executive compensation plans. Many of our lawyers have experience as executors or trustees and are thoroughly familiar with legal issues related to the long-term management of trusts, endowment funds and similar assets for which our fiduciary clients are responsible.

Tax-Exempt Entities

Our lawyers partner with individuals who wish to establish private foundations, then assist those foundations as they carry out their philanthropic goals. We represent hospitals, universities and other operating charities, as well as large charitable foundations, and our lawyers regularly work with foundations engaged in a variety of activities, including human services, academic scholarships, conservation and publishing.

We advise organizations on tax requirements, structuring deductible charitable gifts by donors, investment opportunities, real estate negotiations, and other fiduciary obligations. We also handle complex representations, including federal self-dealing regulations, foreign grant-making regulations and conversions to public status. Our operational services include reviewing major gifts or grants, mergers and other fundamental changes, property issues, and employment and compensation arrangements.

Estate Planning

Our lawyers have comprehensive experience in tax and other complex legal ramifications for high-net-worth clients, and focus on preserving, managing and transferring wealth. We have extensive knowledge and experience in handling audits of estates and are skilled at negotiating with the IRS and other taxing authorities, which may bring about substantial estate and gift tax savings. We also serve as general practitioners and family counselors who endeavor to resolve personal issues that impact individuals and families. We approach issues with a broad perspective, by integrating our experience in corporate, tax, real estate, family and trust law.

We advise our clients on:

  • Transferring wealth within their families
  • Educational funding and retirement planning, including income tax guidance
  • Complex legal problems that often occur during administration of trusts and estates
  • The funding of trusts and selection of assets
  • The correction of oversights in estate plans
  • Planning the ownership and disposition of company assets, including employer securities, insurance and retirement plan funds
  • Dealing with common holdings in business, valuable collection of tangible assets and land holdings
  • Tax-effective solutions for donors