Offering clients a full range of estate planning and estate administration legal services from relatively simple wills to the most expansive planning for large estates, the lawyers in our Wealth Transfer Planning group have extensive estate planning experience and knowledge in the context of traditional family planning situations as well as in family situations involving multiple marriages, children by different marriages, and same-sex marriages. Wills and living trusts can provide for simple contingent testamentary trusts for minor children, or for more complex by-pass, disclaimer, marital, generation skipping, and charitable testamentary trusts depending on clients’ needs and objectives. We also have extensive experience in international estate planning and trust matters including planning for non-citizen spouses, inheritance from non-U.S. individuals and trusts, and ancillary probate for non-US estates with US-situs assets.
Our lawyers utilize many varieties of lifetime trusts to protect and conserve wealth and protect beneficiaries from future creditors, ex-spouses, lawsuit claimants, and themselves depending on the circumstances, including spendthrift trusts, education trusts, insurance trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts, charitable lead and remainder trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, special/supplemental needs trusts, multi-generational legacy trusts, and asset management trusts. Such trusts are also used in our business succession planning for clients with closely held business interests and family limited partnerships.
Upon death, our lawyers provide guidance to heirs and beneficiaries in probating wills, assisting the executors in administering the estate, funding any trusts and in understanding the considerations and choices involved in post mortem planning. We also create and advise clients on the use of general durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, directives to physicians, HIPAA releases, self designations of guardian, out of hospital do-not-resuscitate orders, dispositions of remains, directives regarding refusal by health care institutions, and authorizations and consents for release of electronically stored information, all as part of the testamentary planning process.