Estates, Trusts and Tax Services

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Anderson Kill’s Estates, Trusts and Tax Services professionals plan estates, administer trusts and estates, advise clients on personal tax and wealth management issues, and resolve related disputes through negotiation or litigation. These are personal and sensitive areas requiring dedication, discretion and a keen understanding of the laws as they apply to our clients’ needs. We handle such important matters creatively and comprehensively. Our domestic and international clients include highly compensated and moderate to high net worth individuals, owners of successful businesses, and families whom we have represented for generations. We advise our clients on methods of accumulating, managing, and preserving wealth, as well as on its tax-efficient disposition during life and upon death. Our attorneys provide custom-tailored approaches to our clients’ needs, ranging from simple to very sophisticated plans. We also represent individuals, banks and trust companies as executors and trustees in all aspects of estate and trust administration, work that frequently requires collaboration with attorneys in other Anderson Kill practice areas, such as real estate, corporate and litigation.

At Anderson Kill, we are acutely aware that clients seek and require more than legal knowledge. Clients expect and value good judgment and the prompt, personal service we have traditionally provided and on which we continue to pride ourselves.

Estate Planning

We assist clients in building their estates and planning for the transfer of property to beneficiaries in ways that minimize income, gift, and estate taxes. Central to our practice is the preparation of wills, revocable and irrevocable trust agreements, specialized trusts for personal residences, life insurance and other lifetime gifts, charitable trust and foundation instruments, family limited partnership documents, shareholder and operating agreements, instruments for the sale, gift or testamentary transfer of property at discounted values, powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills, and other documents tailored to achieve our clients’ objectives.

Business succession planning is an important part of our practice, including ways to leverage business asset values. In addition, at times we provide services on a group basis to corporate key executives. We also regularly advise on retirement-related issues, including the disposition of employee benefits, such as stock options, 401(k) and profit sharing plans, and rollover IRAs, as well as on planning for college education expenses. Finally, we monitor the financial affairs of many of our clients on a current basis and advise them periodically during the year as to tax saving opportunities.

Estate and Trust Administration

We assist and advise executors and administrators on all aspects of estate administration which we recognize can be a complex and even alien process. This includes shepherding clients though the probate and administration process, preparing estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns, and the completing of the judicial or non-judicial settlement of the executor’s account of proceedings. When requested, we assist with the fiduciary’s debt-paying obligations, marshaling and valuing the decedent’s assets, the distribution of such assets pursuant to the decedent’s wishes or to the laws of intestacy, and with all other aspects of estate administration. Advising trustees, including individuals, banks, and trust companies, on the varied tasks involved in administering trusts is another central component to our practice. At times, due to family circumstances, our attorneys are asked to serve as executors or trustees in clients’ estate plans.

Income Tax Planning and Return Preparation; FBAR Reporting

Our tax practitioners assist clients with income tax planning and prepare all types of federal and state tax returns for individuals, estates, trusts and business entities. We also represent taxpayers in federal and state audit and appeals proceedings and in all other forms of tax disputes both on a federal and state level, including representation in the U.S. Tax Court and in several district courts. In addition, Anderson Kill tax professionals have represented a number of clients in connection with the voluntary disclosure of their foreign bank accounts, a program initiated by the IRS in the context of foreign bank account reporting (FBAR) requirements.

Estate, Trust and Guardianship Litigation and Dispute Resolution

When disputes concerning estates, trusts or guardianships arise, Anderson Kill’s litigation services come to the fore. We represent corporate and individual executors, personal representatives, administrators, guardians, trustees and beneficiaries, both in court and in negotiations, with a view to forging early and satisfying results for our clients. In addition, as stated above in the Income Tax Planning Section, we represent taxpayers in a variety of tax-related disputes in many different forums. At times this requires collaboration with Anderson Kill’s litigation department. On those occasions when only a trial will resolve an issue, our attorneys have the courtroom experience to litigate such matters.

The attorneys in the Estates, Trusts and Tax Services Group also support Anderson Kill’s Financial Services Industry Group with advice on trustee responsibilities under bond indentures and trustee responsibilities in connection with the management of pension plan assets.