Estates & Trusts Planning

We believe planning an estate is a two pronged approach. First, estate planning focuses on the maintenance and distribution of assets during life and upon one's death. This may include planning for a surviving spouse or other family members. We approach this portion as if there are no tax consequences since we do not want taxes to govern the planning. Second, we look at the estate and gift tax planning aspects. If an estate has tax exposure, we then look at how your estate planning can be structured to minimize or eliminate the estate tax. Regardless of the size of the estate, however, there are generally property tax and income tax issues that require our attention.

Estate Planning documentation can include:

    • Revocable Living Trusts

    • Wills

    • Durable Powers of Attorney

    • Health Care Directives

Estate and Gift Tax documentation will have provisions in many of the above referenced documents as well as in the following:

    • Discounted Gifts via Split Interest Trusts such as a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)

    • Entity Discount Planning such as Limited Parternships (LP) and Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

    • Charitable Trusts that benefit the charity(ies) of your choice as well as you and your family. Examples include Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT) and Charitable Lead Trusts (CLT)

    • Sales of estate assets to an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)

    • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax planning with Dynasty Trusts

    • Retirement plan strategies

These are only examples of what can be done. The legal and tax strategies are myriad and the best strategy for an individual can only be determined after a gathering of the facts, goals and motivations.