ShapiroCroland Trusts, Estates and Wealth Management Department has a long-standing history of providing quality estate planning services to our clients, their families and their businesses. Our clients include entrepreneurs, executives, corporations, partnerships, private foundations, charitable organizations, families and high net-worth individuals. Our lawyers are committed to coordinating all aspects of our clients’ financial planning, which includes asset protection planning. In so doing, we work closely with clients, as well as their accountants, investment advisors and financial planners, to develop personalized plans that incorporate their values and goals, including wealth preservation, asset protection planning, international planning and the resolution of potential family conflicts. At the same time, we strive to minimize gift, estate, generation skipping and other taxes.
Our attorneys incorporate a myriad of planning vehicles to design a personalized, integrated plan, including wills, trusts, family partnerships and limited liability companies. We also advise clients regarding long-term care arrangements and insurance, living wills, health care proxies and the use of durable, springing and standing powers of attorney. We help our clients focus on the financial considerations of their future, while recognizing the sensitivity with which the area must be addressed.
ShapiroCroland represents beneficiaries, executors and trustees in the resolution, through both negotiation and litigation, of disputes involving estates and trusts. Examples of such matters include will contests, construction and interpretation proceedings for wills or trust agreements, objections to accountings, administration and removal of fiduciaries. We also represent the estate and its beneficiaries in the event that the Internal Revenue Service or state tax agencies allege a deficiency in the payment of taxes on behalf of the estate.
ShapiroCroland routinely advises individual and corporate executors regarding the legal, tax and accounting requirements for the orderly administration of estates. We assist clients in all stages of estate administration, with a focus on tax strategies that may be appropriate to fully carry out the intentions of a decedent or donor to preserve assets and transition wealth to future generations. Our estate administration services include probating wills, marshalling and valuing assets, preparing and filing federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns, calculating and paying any and all required death taxes and distributing estate assets. We assist with post-mortem tax planning and fiduciary income tax planning, as well as represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service and state tax agencies and represent beneficiaries to ensure maximization of the benefits of their bequests.
Closely Held Business Planning
Our Trusts, Estates and Wealth Management attorneys also provide succession planning services to owners of closely held business as a means of protecting family wealth. We regularly restructure businesses to place our business owner-clients and their families in the most tax advantageous position. These services extend not only to the family business, but to business investments with unrelated partners and co-shareholders. We work to ensure that our clients’ heirs receive the same return on the business investment that our owner-client received during his or her lifetime. In order to achieve these results for our clients, our attorneys implement creative long-term business succession plans to minimize the adverse effects of death taxes. Such plans may include the creation of partnerships, long-term irrevocable trusts, the use of shareholder agreements and/or the acquisition of insurance.