Sophisticated strategies for success.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Estates and Trusts attorneys have extensive experience with federal and state tax regimes and the laws that affect ownership and transfer of property. We advise clients in business succession planning, transmission of wealth, preservation vehicles, management of family assets, and tax planning and tax controversies. In addition to gift and estate tax planning, we focus on related areas including strategic planning for qualified retirement benefits and IRAs. We also evaluate the income tax liabilities arising from proposed transactions and provide for the liquidity necessary to pay federal estate and gift taxes, as well as state estate, gift and inheritance taxes. Through our association with Tax Management
we regularly publish monographs and articles, as well as present substantive seminars and teleconferences.
We provide comprehensive estate planning for business owners, corporate executives, high-net-worth individuals and professionals and their families. Our estate planning attorneys advise clients about effective means to transfer property to their spouses, children, grandchildren, charities and other potential beneficiaries. Planning efforts also focus on effective management of closely held and family business enterprises. Our attorneys also address problems that may arise when assets are located outside of the U.S. and special problems of persons who are not U.S. citizens but who own property that is subject to U.S. tax laws. Special attention is given to the area of family and business succession planning. With knowledge of both estate planning and business planning, our attorneys act as advocates for business owners, helping them to make effective decisions that will affect the estate of the surviving spouse and future heirs. One of the goals regularly achieved in such planning is significant growth of assets for the client's business while reducing tax liability and other costs for future generations. Our lawyers also assist in the structuring of family assets to provide for special needs of family members — for example, education or other assistance for disabled loved ones. Health care issues and planning for possible disability are of increasing importance and such considerations are an integral part of the planning process. Our attorneys work closely with our clients' accountants, financial advisors, family offices and other related professionals. We implement the plans we develop for clients by preparing the wills, trust agreements, financial and health care powers of attorney and living wills, as well as agreements for limited partnerships and limited liability companies, governing documents for charitable foundations and other documentation necessary to implement complex business structures and transactions.
Nontraditional Couples and Families
Our Nontraditional Couples and Families Group is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to address the estate planning needs of unmarried couples, whether of the same sex or opposite sex. We recognize that these relationships do not enjoy many of the legal protections afforded to couples who are legally able to marry. We are familiar with the issues facing such couples, and the opportunities as well.
An additional focus of our estate planning practice is probate or the administration of decedents' estates and ongoing trusts. Estate administration may involve complicated tax planning available after a decedent's death, settling will disputes, addressing disputes between beneficiaries and fiduciaries and resolving controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and other taxing authorities. A common area of focus for business succession planning is to identify sources of cash to fund estate tax liability and to facilitate ongoing business operations during the period of administration of an owner's estate. Insurance arrangements and agreements among shareholders or co-venturers are two common approaches. As counsel to trustees that care for surviving spouses or children, we assist in the selection and supervision of competent investment counsel, monitor the performance of trust investments and assist in the administration of such trusts as intended by the creator of the trust.
Trust and Estate Litigation
In conjunction with attorneys in the firm's Financial Institutions and Litigation Sections, we represent corporate and individual fiduciaries, charitable foundations and estates and trusts in both administrative and court proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. With the experience our lawyers have in fiduciary matters, we understand and provide counsel on fiduciary removal and other court issues.
Recent representations have included:
- Analysis of suitability of Delaware trust to hold real estate outside Delaware valued at $45 million
- Developed "escrow" solution for trustee holding high concentration of one publicly traded stock valued at $31 million where beneficiaries fiercely opposed diversification
- Consulted in $3 million dispute between individual and corporate fiduciary
- Federal estate and gift tax minimization for nonresident alien and formation of a domestic dynasty trust with assets of $6 million
- Structured sale of $65 million of LLC interests to an intentionally defective grantor trust
- Structured the special needs trusts for individuals with personal injury awards and other settlements, and advise corporate trustees in these issues, including how to set up profitable operations managing such trusts