Estate, Trust and Wealth Planning and Administration
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – English Proverb
We assist our clients in developing a comprehensive estate plan which may minimize, if not eliminate, gift and estate taxes. Every transfer of property for less than full and adequate consideration is potentially subject to gift tax. Additionally, the net fair market value of all of the assets the decedent owns on the decedent’s date of death is subject to estate tax. Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P. attorneys help clients minimize tax burdens.
Our attorneys’ primary focus is to help our clients achieve their estate planning goals and prepare the legal documents required to implement their objectives. We listen to our clients. From the first discussion through completion, our goal is to make sure our clients’ wishes are carried out fully and promptly. An estate plan may be as simple as the preparation of a will or involve complex trusts and estate tax reduction vehicles. Whether a client’s needs are big or small, we design an estate plan to fit.
We provide a full range of estate planning services including the preparation of wills, medical advance directives such as health care proxies and living wills, powers of attorney, shareholder agreements, prenuptial and antenuptial agreements and both testamentary and living trusts.
Estate planning is more than just planning the disposition of a person’s assets at death, it encompasses lifetime gifting, planning for incapacity and ensuring that minor children will continue to be provided for in the event of their parents’ death. We help our clients plan to send their children to college, open their own businesses and invest towards retirement.
Our attorneys represent guardians and alleged incapacitated persons in guardianships of persons and property. Guardianship proceedings of an incapacitated person are designed to provide a structure to prevent abuse of a vulnerable person (both adults and minors), alleviate the risk that an incompetent or incapacitated person may present to himself, herself or others and restore the person to health and financial security. Guardianship proceedings for property are designed to protect certain assets during the pendency of a dispute or other circumstances where oversight is warranted.
Our attorneys provide clients with proper planning to exclude insurance proceeds from their estates by distributing it appropriately. Life insurance can be used to create an instant estate, pay estate taxes, and guarantee the funds necessary to continue a business.
Upon the death of a client or the termination of a client’s trust, our dedicated professionals prepare the legal documents necessary to settle the estate and carry out our client’s wishes, representing individuals and fiduciaries in all aspects of the probate and administration process. We gather all of the pertinent documents and information regarding the client’s assets and determine whether estate or income tax returns are necessary, preparing them as required. We work closely with the personal representative to ensure our client’s estate plans are carried out promptly.
We assist our clients with complicated tax planning issues associated with estate taxes and requisite tax and probate filings. Our attorneys are also experienced in both defending and challenging the validity of wills and trusts.
We have been involved with countless formal and informal probates of decedent’s estates, both testate (with a will) and intestate (without a will). Through proper planning, intestate succession and even probate may be avoided.
We assist trustees and beneficiaries in making sure that trusts operate smoothly and efficiently and that the grantor’s intentions, as set forth in the trust document, are effected.
Additionally, we prepare trusts specifically designed to achieve our clients’ goals including asset protection, minimizing estate taxes, leveraging charitable gifts, providing for blended families and avoiding probate.
We have an elite relationship with Biltmore Trust Company, a South Dakota trust company, which offers high net worth individuals, families, businesses and philanthropic organizations the following services: (i) administrative family office services (bill paying, tax consultation, management of multiple residences, etc.), (ii) investment consulting services (strategic asset allocation, asset protection planning, financial performance review, etc.) and (iii) fiduciary services (administration of trusts, estate administration, financial reporting, etc.).
Our experienced Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P. professionals advise clients in all planned giving needs, including donating to foundations and public charities. Transfers of cash, securities and real estate to charities during life offer a means to reduce taxable estate as well as provide for current income tax deductions. We evaluate individual needs and offer an advantageous plan accordingly.
Our attorneys advise clients on a full range of vehicles for charitable giving, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities, wherein the donor makes a gift to charity, but retains all or part of the income from the gift for the donor or other person for their lifetime(s) or a chosen term of years. The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the value of the remainder interest which at a future point passes to the charity.