Our Estate Planning & Asset Protection Practice
About our ESTATE PLANNING AND ASSET PROTECTION clients
- We work on over 250 estate plans a year, and average nearly 200 new estate planning clients every year.
- In total, we have over 2,400 estate planning clients.
- Our estate planning clients range in net worth from a few thousand dollars to $150,000,000.
- Approximately one-third of the estate planning work we do is for clients whose net worth is over $8,000,000.
- Meetings with clients are often conducted out of the office, and occasionally over a beer.
- Our clients range in age from their 20s to their 90s, with most clients falling between 35 and 65.
- Most of our estate plans are done for $1,200 or less.
- Almost all of our new clients find us through existing clients or other professionals.
BASIC ESTATE PLANNING
Many of our clients feel that their needs are quite simple, but they are unwilling to trust something as important as their estate plan to LegalZoom. These clients are justifiably worried about paying the high fees charged by attorneys who might focus a bit too much on cufflink collections and not enough on law firm technology and efficiency. The reality is that the actual preparation of documents is fairly straightforward when an attorney knows what he or she is doing and has systems in place that can assist with that process. While we devote significant time and attention to our templates, we realize that our true value is not in our forms. Our value lies in the fact that we prepare over 250 estate plans a year for a broad range of clients experiencing a broad range of issues, and that we can find the best possible solution for your exact situation. You sleep well at night with the peace of mind that your plan was done by an experienced professional, and we sleep well at night knowing that our service and cost-effectiveness is difficult for any firm to match.
The world is a litigious place, especially for professionals and business owners. We can help you determine whether any steps need to be taken to protect your assets, and then help you understand and implement appropriate techniques. As our clients know, a few simple steps can go a long way.
HIGH NET WORTH PLANNING
A number of our clients range in net worth from $15,000,000 to $150,000,000. We offer complex tax planning on a wide variety of acronyms (GRATs, ILITs, SCINs, QPRTs, IDGTS, CLATs, CRTs, family LLCs, etc.) and can use that alphabet soup to turn past successes into lasting legacies. We perform many of these services on a yearly retainer basis so that document preparation is done at a low cost and the planning can be monitored, understood, and fine-tuned.
PROBATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION
The probate process can be confusing and frustrating, especially when you are already dealing with the loss of a loved one. We have extensive experience helping clients move through the probate process as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. While we always make an effort to be approachable human beings first and lawyers second, this is especially true when we assist clients with probate matters.
Trust administration, even when it occurs outside of the purview of the probate court, is no walk in the park. We help trustees understand their obligations and beneficiaries understand their rights, and we also can help bring change to irrevocable trusts that were intended to address a problem, but over time, have actually become the problem.
prIVATE FOUNDATIONS & NON-PROFITS
One of the most rewarding parts of practicing law is being the architect of a client's philanthropic plans. By that, we mean being able to help them see possibilities they didn't even realize existed, and then help plan and create a meaningful and lasting legacy.
In terms of the nuts and bolts, we help create tax-exempt organizations, whether they be public charities or private foundations, and we also help clients weigh the various planning options to determine what options might be most appropriate. Once the organizations are established, we also assist with tax returns and other required annual filings.
probate AND TRUST DISPUTES
An unfortunate truth in estate planning is that even the best laid plans often go awry (credit there to Robert Burns' "To a Mouse"). This often occurs when an executor, trustee, or agent under a Power of Attorney fails to abide by his or her fiduciary duties. Another unfortunate truth is that sometimes susceptible individuals are coerced into signing documents or giving away property. And sometimes, people just commit downright fraud by taking assets or forging documents.
As described above, we devote a considerable amount of our practice, as a whole, to helping clients set up their estate plans and also administer their loved ones' estates or trusts. When issues arise in relation to these matters, we are able to help resolve disputes, and, if necessary, help clients seek redress through litigation.