Scope of Practice
Attorneys in our Estate Planning Group counsel clients on the use of wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, powers of attorney for health care, living wills, buy-sell agreements, limited partnerships, and other available means to assist you in developing a customized plan that will meet your specific estate planning goals.
Estate planning is a legal process by which clients seek to maximize the benefits offered in applicable areas of law (probate, wills, trusts, taxes, property, insurance, contract law, etc.) while at the same time providing for the management of your property and health care decisions during life and the management and disposition of your property after death.
There are many benefits to estate planning: naming guardians to care for children; minimizing death or estate taxes; protecting assets for children, your spouse, or disabled heirs; avoiding guardianship proceedings in the event of mental incapacity; managing property and health care; minimizing probate; protecting assets from creditors; and protecting assets from division in the event of death or divorce.
Our attorneys can help you determine and achieve your short-term and long-term objectives regarding asset protection and management using wills, living trusts, testamentary trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), retirement benefits trusts, qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs), family limited partnership and limited liability companies, beneficiary designations, and lifetime gift planning.
Business Succession Planning
One problem faced by owners of many non-publicly traded businesses is that there is no readily available market to sell their business. Business succession planning addresses this issue by devising a system for transferring the value of a business to the owner, heirs or others at an appropriate time and price while allowing for the continuity of the business.
We can counsel clients on proactive strategies to protect value and continuity. We assist owners in developing a strategy uniquely tailored to their business succession needs and goals. We can advise on planning strategies such as shareholder and buy-sell agreements, recapitalizations, and ESOPs.
Probate is the court administered distribution of property after you die. Estates must often be probated upon death. The probate process involves a series of events, which culminate in the final distribution of assets to heirs. Throughout the process, many legal issues can arise and our attorneys are here to assist you from start to finish.
IRS Revenue Procedures 2017-58 - What You Should Know
It's Official. The 2018 annual exclusion amount will be $5.6 million and the annual exclusion for gifts will be $15,000 per person. These and all of the other inflation adjusted tax items are set out in the IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-58 (which you can see in the attached link).