Trusts and Estates
Our trusts and estates group includes seasoned practitioners in all areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration and contested estate and trust matters.Estate Planning
Our estate planners are proficient in all areas of estate planning, including:
- Wills, revocable (living) trusts, insurance trusts and other trust agreements, as well as living wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney
- Planning and gifting techniques involving grantor trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies
- Business succession planning, including shareholder agreements and equity transfers
- Charitable gifts and bequests, private charitable foundations, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts
- Assisting non U.S. persons to acquire and structure their ownership of U.S. assets, including U.S. real estate.
- All aspects of trusts and estate administration, including probate, valuation and collection of assets, preparation of inventories and estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns, accountings, and post-mortem tax planning techniques
We assist our clients in anticipating and handling complex issues relating to income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Estate and Trust Administration
We engage in all aspects of trust and estate administration, including probate, valuation and collection of assets, preparation of inventories, estate tax returns, fiduciary income tax returns, accounting and post-mortem tax planning techniques.
Our attorneys are supported by highly-skilled paralegals and an in-house fiduciary accountant, enabling us to administer estates and trusts in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Whenever appropriate, we enlist the aid of our clients’ accountants and financial advisors to foster a close working relationship with them.
Trust and Estate Litigation
Our estates and trusts litigators represent our clients in the New York Surrogate’s Courts, the United States Tax Court and other state and federal tribunals. In addition, we represent our clients before the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. Our areas of expertise include:
- Will contests, guardianship proceedings, accounting proceedings, tax protests and other estate, trust and gift litigation
- Discovery and reverse discovery proceedings
- Proceedings to construe wills and trusts
- Proceedings to set aside or impose trusts
- Proceedings to appoint, remove, replace and/or surcharge executors and trustees
- Proceedings to compel payments of debts and legacies
- Proceedings to partition, mortgage or sell real estate held by estates
- Proceedings to determine business succession, charitable gifts and bequests
We recognize the benefit to our clients of resolving personal and often highly-charged matters discreetly and amicably, and use our best efforts to achieve negotiated settlements that benefit our clients by avoiding litigation. However, we are fully prepared to litigate and take to trial any matter that cannot be resolved amicably.
Our trusts and estates professionals are valued by our clients not only for their superior legal skills and for their aggressive defense of the rights of their clients, but also for their sensitivity in addressing personal issues that often arise in family situations and for helping clients recognize and avoid potential family conflicts.