Practice Areas

Estate Planning

No estate plan is too small or too complex for us.  Our experience has taken us from the simplest wills to the most complicated trusts.  We try to combine tax efficiency with your practical wishes, and we work with your accountant, financial planner and insurance advisor to implement a coordinated overall plan.  Wills that take maximum advantage of the estate tax exemption and the marital deduction are the most common documents that we prepare, but we also have extensive experience with life insurance trusts and more advanced tools, such as charitable remainder trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and other estate freeze devices.

Corporate Planning

Many of our clients are owners of closely held businesses.  Business continuity and liquidity are often problems when a shareholder passes away.  In many cases, the most important estate planning document for business owners is not a will or trust but a properly drafted shareholders’ agreement.  A shareholders’ agreement can provide three important benefits when a shareholder dies:  (1) it provides a mechanism for the deceased shareholder’s family to get the value for his stock (addressing liquidity); (2) it allows the surviving shareholder to retain control of the company without interference from the deceased shareholder’s family (addressing business continuity); and (3) it can help establish a value for the stock for estate tax purposes.

Formation of Corporations, Partnerships and LLC’s

It is generally not too difficult to form one of these entities with the Secretary of State, but there are other important issues relating to the creation of one of these entities.  The first issue is “Do I want a corporation, a partnership or a limited liability company?  If I want a corporation, should it be a C corporation or an S corporation?  If I want a partnership, should it be a general partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, etc.?”  We will help you answer these questions.  The second issue deals with the documents that we will draft to govern the entity, such as a shareholders’ agreement, partnership agreement or LLC operating agreement, and we will provide you with guidance there too.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Over the years, we have represented both buyers and sellers in numerous types of transactions involving a variety of businesses.  Whether we are representing the buyer or the seller, we try to determine the client’s goals and work to achieve those goals throughout the transaction.  Again, we work closely with the client’s other advisors to maximize the client’s benefit from the transaction.  No transaction is too large or too small.  We realize the importance of these transactions to our clients, and we commit to each transaction as if it were our own.