Everyone’s financial and family situation is unique. By analyzing personal objectives in light of current laws and rulings, our Trust & Estates attorneys build estate plans tailored to our clients' wishes and objectives, while emphasizing both immediate and long-term tax savings. 

Estate planning, estate settlement and trust administration are critical components of the full, integrated range of services the Trusts & Estates group provides to our clients. We have years of practical experience with the most sophisticated methods of estate planning, including:

  • Use of grantor-retained annuity trusts
  • Installment sales of assets to grantor trusts
  • Life insurance trusts and split‑interest charitable gifts to maximize the amount of assets you transfer to succeeding generations

Changes in regulations can cause unintended adverse results to your current estate plan, usually affecting your surviving spouse. We think ahead to revise your estate plan as needed to preserve your intent when the law changes. We address complex tax and non‑tax issues related to estate and trust administration.

Clients

Families, individuals and others rely on our Trust & Estates team for a wide range of counsel and representation. Some of the services we provide:

PREPARATION OF WILLS AND TRUSTS FOR INDIVIDUALS

Our attorneys prepare customized estate plan documents for clients, including wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, living wills and HIPAA authorization forms. Such documents are sensitive to the tax and non-tax objectives of our clients.

PLANNING FOR LIFETIME GIFTS

After forecasting a client’s estimated estate tax liability, we discuss sophisticated lifetime giving techniques to reduce this liability. Techniques include discounted annual exclusion gifts to family members, the creation and funding of irrevocable trusts such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), and the formation of family limited partnerships or family limited liability companies. Non-tax lifetime gift considerations may include family vacation residences, interests in family businesses and the disposition of valuable family heirlooms.

CHARITABLE GIVING

Individuals, estates, trusts and corporations with charitable objectives turn to us for help analyzing alternative methods of making such gifts, and formulating charitable giving plans. These plans include the use of:

  • Direct gifts
  • Charitable lead trusts (CLTs)
  • Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs)
  • Charitable gift annuities
  • Donor advised funds
  • Pooled income funds (PIFs); and
  • Bargain sales to charities, to maximize tax and non‑tax benefits of making charitable contributions

DRAFTING PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Our attorneys work with clients to draft and negotiate prenuptial agreements. Our attorneys look at the current and potential assets of the client and their fiancée, highlight any vulnerable assets and provide recommendations for ensuring security for such assets.

ADMINISTRATION AND SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES

When someone dies, we guide the family through the estate administration process, which includes filings in state probate courts, federal and state estate tax, income tax returns and the disposition of the person’s assets according to his or her estate plan.

POST-MORTEM ESTATE PLANNING

In certain instances, tax or dispositive objectives not set forth in an estate plan during life can be achieved after death through disclaimers, various elections, funding and allocation decisions.

FIDUCIARY SERVICES

Our attorneys serve as trustees and executors for clients’ trusts and estates in addition to providing guidance to others who serve in these roles.

GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND OTHER PROBATE COURT PROCEEDINGS

Our attorneys have significant experience advancing and defending contested and uncontested claims in multiple jurisdictions.

Accolades

  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020
    • Trust & Estates Law, National (Tier 1);
      Boston (Tier 1); New York (Tier 2)

Key Contacts

U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" 2020

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