In recent years, the tax laws have been modified to enable most individuals and couples to transfer wealth without engaging in complex tax planning techniques. However, for clients who continue to have exposure to estate taxes, we can advise and assist with the implementation of strategies such as:
- Credit shelter trusts (intended to use the available estate tax exemption at the first death of a member of a married couple, often combined with GST planning);
- Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) (a vehicle designed to transfer future appreciation in a high growth asset outside of the tax system);
- Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) (a method for transferring a valuable personal residence or vacation home on a discounted basis);
- Spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs) (a trust funded for a client’s spouse, typically to take advantage of a large lifetime gift exemption before changes in the tax laws reduce the exemption);
- Generation-skipping transfer (GST) trusts (trusts designed to benefit successive generations of a family without subjecting the assets to estate taxation in each generation);
- Charitable trusts (allowing a client to fulfill philanthropic objectives while also benefiting the client’s family on a tax-advantaged basis).
I concentrate my law practice on planning for the transfer of family wealth and the design and implementation of tax-advantaged asset transfers. I also help clients establish and administer closely-held business and real estate entities, such as corporations and limited liability companies.