Estate Planning and Administration

Tensions, disagreements and conflicting objectives make thoughtful estate planning as complicated as any legal endeavor. Along with our decades of hard-earned experience, clients value our professionalism, discretion and sensitivity as the virtues that set us apart.

Despite the complexities of planning and administering estates, our objective is simple: to help our clients achieve their goals with respect to the disposition of their assets while minimizing tax cost and the risk of potential creditor claims. As an essential component of this objective, we offer counsel on estate- and trust-related litigation.

Estate Planning

We have planned thousands of estates, ranging up to many billions in dollars of value. Our clients include:

  • Private fund managers
  • Real estate owners and developers
  • Private investors
  • Resident and non-resident aliens
  • Senior executives of public companies and major financial institutions
  • Entrepreneurs in various businesses

We have extensive experience in planning for many different types of assets held in the U.S. and abroad, including:

  • Hedge fund management companies
  • Closely-held businesses
  • Extensive art collections
  • Various forms of life insurance
  • Illiquid private investments and real estate

From standard planning techniques to more “exotic” approaches, our experience includes:

  • Family limited partnerships
  • Intentionally defective grantor trusts
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts
  • Insurance trusts
  • Revocable living trusts
  • Dynasty trusts
  • Charitable trusts, operating and non-operating private foundations and public charities
  • Qualified personal residence trusts
  • Offshore and domestic asset protection trusts
  • Trusts the grantor or beneficiary can effectively control (we call them “transparent trusts”)
  • Structures to achieve the future safety of assets from claims of creditors, in-laws and others
  • Private placement life insurance
  • Planning for clients’ possible future disability
  • Planning for the continuity of businesses in the event of the loss of key principals
  • Using techniques to amend irrevocable trusts to reflect our clients’ changing objectives and to add tax efficiency

Estate Administration

We currently represent numerous estates in administration. Working with the executors and trustees, we handle all of the required legal matters, prepare or coordinate the preparation of all necessary estate and trust tax returns, and advise our clients on numerous related income tax matters. We believe estate administration is also an occasion for further planning opportunities.

Family Offices

Our team has significant experience counseling families on the creation and operation of family offices. We provide family offices with comprehensive legal services including estate and tax planning, succession and continuity planning, asset protection planning, entity formation, regulatory and compliance advice and filings, and real estate leases and transactions.