Estate Planning

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We provide the full range of sophisticated estate planning, trust administration, tax planning, and wealth management advice to individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations. Depending on your requirements, we limit our counsel to a single issue or provide advice on a broad range of personal, family, or business goals and how best to achieve those goals.

Our Approach

Estate Planning for Affluent Individuals

We create plans that are designed to reduce potential tax burdens within the context of your overall estate-planning objectives. We use sophisticated planning vehicles — including specialized trusts, family-limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and private charitable foundations — and tailor them to meet your specific needs

Planning for Closely-Held Businesses

We provide counsel on alternatives for transferring ownership and control to the next generation, and in solving liquidity concerns associated with estate taxes. We work closely with members of our Transactional & Securities, Real Estate, and Taxation practices to provide a coordinated approach to a wide range of matters, including business operations, income tax planning, estate tax planning, management succession planning, and ownership succession planning.

Nonprofit Organizations and Charitable Trust Planning

We form private foundations, donor-advised funds, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. We also represent a large number of public charities. For all charitable organizations, we can provide counsel on developing planned giving programs and establishing such charitable gift vehicles as annuities and pooled income funds.

Family Offices

Our experienced Family Offices team can help you ensure the success and longevity of your family enterprise while being attuned to your specific needs and perspectives. We structure family offices and family investment pools, and we can help develop office family leadership.

Private Trust Companies

Many families form private trust companies to establish a permanent, family-controlled entity as trustee of family trusts. We help clients form and operate private trust companies. We also help clients develop an ownership structure to accomplish the family objectives and provide ongoing legal advice regarding operations.

Executive Estate Planning

Because employee benefits often are at the core of a public company executive’s wealth, we offer Executive Estate Planning services to our corporate clients, working with CEOs and CFOs to provide their top executives with thorough estate planning that adapts to constantly changing tax laws. We assist executives with estate planning for stock option plans, employee stock ownership plans, retirement benefits, compensation plans, restricted stock and fringe benefits, and compliance with relevant securities laws. Our Executive Estate Planning program is designed to minimize the cost per executive for comprehensive estate planning services.

Counsel for Fiduciaries

In addition to serving as general counsel to executors, trustees, and guardians, we frequently serve as special counsel to individual and corporate fiduciaries, providing advice about the construction of wills and trusts, complex issues of fiduciary law, and fiduciary tax issues.

Trust & Estate Litigation

We provide the complete range of services to individuals, institutional trustees, and professional fiduciaries, tailoring our risk management or litigation strategies to avoid disputes or resolve them favorably and expeditiously. Our clients receive advocacy in trust construction, enforcement and modification suits, will and trust contests, suits to surcharge or remove fiduciaries, and negotiation of private settlement agreements to resolve such litigation out of court. In addition, we frequently represent estates in complex estate and gift tax audits and litigation.

Wealth Administration Counsel

We represent numerous multimillion-dollar estates and trusts, many of which involve portfolios with such diverse and complex assets as art collections, closely held business interests, real estate held for development, mineral interests, patents, and copyrights. We assist in the administration and management of these estates and trusts, and counsel the fiduciaries and beneficiaries regarding a wide range of administration, investment, and tax planning matters. We also serve as executors or trustees for clients when appropriate. Our services additionally include preparing estate and fiduciary income tax returns, providing comprehensive trust accounting services, and representing fiduciaries before the IRS.

Foley Private Client Services

In addition, clients who rely on us to serve as trustees or successor trustees have access to Foley Private Client Services, the firm’s exclusive trust administration services. Through Foley Private Client Services, our attorneys and staff administer several billion dollars in client assets and cater to the needs of approximately 1,000 family members.