Trusts and Estate Planning Practice Group
The focus of our firm's Trusts & Estate Planning Practice Group is to advise clients regarding individual estate planning goals for their spouses, children, parents, charities, schools and businesses. We thoroughly review our client's existing planning, and reveal where additional planning can be beneficial based upon their unique goals.
We work to simplify and explain the basic principles of complex federal estate tax laws to achieve their dispositive intent with minimum estate, gift and property tax consequences.
Overall estate planning usually begins with the creation of a revocable family trust, wills, and durable powers of attorney for health care and financial management. Depending upon the client's need, we often establish business entities such as Limited Liability Companies or Corporations, and/or prepare insurance, charitable and other irrevocable trusts.
Clients are counseled on the appropriate use of various available techniques, such as living trusts utilizing the unlimited marital deduction through the use of "Q-TIP" trusts and unified credit trusts; and minimizing the adverse effects of the generation-skipping tax. Often we work with clients to reduce their taxable estate through lifetime gift planning, use of life insurance trusts, residence "QPRTs" and other trusts, and family limited partnerships or LLCs.
We will coordinate with our client's financial and insurance advisors to analyze insurance needs, and the form in which the insurance is, or should be owned.
Related to estate planning is the firm's probate practice, which assists clients with the court procedure necessary upon a person's death if the decedent did not have a trust or owned assets outside of a trust.
Lewitt Hackman's Trusts & Estate Planning Attorneys help survivors deal with the probate court when necessary and to avoid its jurisdiction when appropriate. This involvement encompasses obtaining court approval of complex sale transactions and resolution of will contests and other disputes involving the estate. We also represent clients in other matters under the probate court's jurisdiction, including conservatorship and guardianship proceedings and continuing court supervision of certain trusts.
Estate Planning includes: