Estate and Gift Tax Planning

At Levin Schreder & Carey, we believe that estate planning is about providing solutions tailored to each client’s needs. We view estate planning as a process – started early and carried out over an extended period of time. Estate planning is more than preparing wills and trusts – the goal is to use the appropriate tools to achieve each client’s specific and unique objectives. We look to develop long-term relationships with clients to better understand their desires and perspectives. We strive to guide our clients through planning, which can sometimes seem complicated, by applying both our legal knowledge and our experience with family and business issues faced by many clients.

Most of our clients seek to reduce exposure to gift, estate, inheritance and generation-skipping transfer taxes. We provide creative, cutting-edge and customized advice on estate planning techniques used, not only upon death but also during lifetime, to enable clients to transfer wealth in the most tax efficient and appropriate manner. These transactions can include the creation and operation of a wide range of trusts, partnerships, corporations or other entities that can be used to shift the growth in the value of assets out of a client’s estate. In developing the plan best suited for a client’s financial and personal situation, we carefully evaluate the type of assets involved – whether closely-held businesses, retirement assets, real estate, marketable securities or collectibles.

We also work to re-structure outdated planning, including existing irrevocable trusts, to more closely achieve a client’s current goals. Having seen many such plans, we include flexibility in our proposals since circumstances often change.

Prudent wealth management and estate planning entails more than tax considerations. Equally important are how to best provide for a client’s family, both during lifetime and at death, and who should manage assets after a client’s death. Making such decisions is difficult regardless of the age or capacity of one’s children. We provide perspectives from our varied experiences and offer alternatives based on a client’s description of his or her concerns and feelings about money.