The preservation and transfer of wealth is an important – and very personal – component of financial planning. To facilitate an orderly disposition of assets during life, after a divorce and upon death, high-net-worth individuals and their families require a legal advisor experienced in devising and implementing sophisticated estate planning techniques that maximize intergenerational wealth.
Equally important is an understanding of how to work closely with financial and investment advisors, as well as a recognition that this process involves not only financial and tax concerns, but emotional considerations as well.
Recognized among the region’s leading law firms for Trusts & Estates law, CSG Law offers comprehensive personal and business planning services specifically tailored to the unique needs of our clients, their families and advisors – both domestic and abroad.
Business Succession Planning
Proactive succession planning is critical to securing the continuity of your family-owned business and maximizing returns prior to a transition of ownership. With the right team of advisors on your side, you can ensure that your exit strategy is optimally aligned with your and your family’s long-term objectives.
Whether preparing business succession agreements or identifying opportunities for tax minimization in advance of an intergenerational transfer, our seasoned estate planning attorneys work closely with the firm’s Corporate & Securities Group in serving the dynamic needs of family-owned businesses.
Our attorneys take a practical approach to helping business owners identify and implement a succession plan that best reflects their current situation and future goals by addressing several key challenges faced by businesses in transition, including assessing business ownership and asset transfer strategies, determining the allocation of value and control, and strategic tax planning.
Estate Planning & Administration
When dealing with a matter as delicate as the disposition of assets upon a loved one’s death, it greatly helps to have skilled counsel on your side who is sensitive to the need to distill complex regulatory requirements and tax law into actionable insight.
The CSG Law Trusts & Estates Group takes exceptional pride in their ability to not only simplify the process for clients, but to also strategically spearhead advisory teams comprised of investment advisors, accountants and other consultants, with an eye toward achieving the client’s specific tax minimization objectives.
Our estate planning and administration services include, but are not limited to, counsel on the following critical issues:
- Transfer of personal and business assets using planning techniques designed to meet a client’s specific objectives within his or her family, while at the same time minimizing the estate and gift tax impact of such transfers
- Preparation of all legal documents necessary to carry out a client’s estate planning, including:
- Revocable (“living”) trusts and irrevocable trusts
- Personal residence and other retained interest trusts
- Special needs trusts for disabled individuals
- Life insurance planning
- Charitable gift planning
- Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
- Durable and springing powers of attorney
- Living wills (advance directives, proxy directives and instruction directives)
- All other related estate planning documents
- Administration of estates, whether straightforward or complex; probate and ancillary probate; distribution issues and counseling executors in the exercise of their fiduciary duties
- Preparation and filing of all estate, inheritance and gift tax returns
- All aspects of the audit process for estate, inheritance and gift tax returns, from negotiations with federal and state revenue agents through tax court
- Administration of trusts and advising trustees on their fiduciary duties
Special Needs Planning
When a loved one has special needs, it is critical to plan for their life in the event you are no longer able to provide for them. Fortunately, CSG Law can help develop a lifetime plan of care. Our trusts and estates attorneys work closely alongside clients, their families and advisors to create a plan tailored specifically for loved ones with disabilities. We help clients take a proactive approach to special needs planning, addressing matters related to assistance with estate planning; government benefits applications, including those for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and Medicaid and preparation of special needs trusts.
Tax Planning for Dual and Non-U.S. Citizens
Estate and tax planning for dual and non-U.S. citizens differs from domestic planning not only in applicable regulations and penalties, but in the outlook your tax consultant must bring to the table. Seasoned advisors attuned to the nuances of cross-border tax planning are essential when working toward the long-term preservation of multinational wealth.
Our experienced trusts and estates attorneys bring a deep understanding of the unique estate and tax planning needs of non-U.S. citizens, and work diligently with clients and their multidisciplinary advisory teams to structure assets and transactions in a manner that limits U.S. tax liability. To this end, we advise U.S. beneficiaries of foreign trusts and foreign clients investing in U.S. real estate and business ventures on the tax-efficient structuring of multinational assets. Further, our trusts and estates attorneys help U.S. and non-U.S. citizens address domestic and cross-border tax and asset preservation concerns, and lead coordination with their countries of origin.
Trusts & Estates Litigation
The tension that comes along with litigation is greatly intensified when the dispute involves those closest to you at odds over an estate or trust. Unfortunately, the recent proliferation of laws governing trusts and estates opens new areas for potential disputes and will likely increase the volume of trust and estate litigation in coming years. Given the increased complexity and volume of these disputes, it helps to have an experienced team of litigators and dedicated trust and estate attorneys ready to advocate on your behalf.
The CSG Law Trusts & Estates Litigation Team serves as this advocate for those – whether corporate or individual fiduciaries, beneficiaries or family members – faced with challenges or complex decisions related to estate, probate and tax matters that have turned litigious.
Our attorneys help lead and clarify the negotiation process and seek to resolve disputes in an amicable manner through discussion, mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution – placing an emphasis on curbing the need for costly or protracted litigation. However, as a last resort, we are prepared to aggressively defend your interests through trial.
We assist with:
- Breach of buy/sell agreements
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Business and asset valuation disputes
- Disputes involving charitable trusts and foundations
- Federal and state tax disputes
- Probate and estate litigation
- Trust disputes
- Will contests