Since the Firm’s inception, we have provided sophisticated counsel in the areas of estate and tax planning to individuals, couples, extended families, their business entities, accountants, financial planners, asset managers, insurance agents and other advisors. We provide thorough analysis of and planning for the business, financial and personal goals of our clients, as well as the income tax, estate tax and gift tax ramifications of their intended disposition of assets.
FVLD provides services and prepares a wide range of estate planning documents including health care and property powers of attorney, memoranda of last wishes, simple wills, wills including testamentary trusts, living trusts, generation-skipping and dynasty trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs), gift and minor’s trusts, trusts for disabled beneficiaries, irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, private foundations, leveraged wealth transfer techniques such as grantor retained annuity trusts, intra-family sales and loans, unitrusts and personal residence trusts, and family limited partnerships. We also negotiate and prepare prenuptial (premarital) and postnuptial (post marital) agreements.
For the client with business interests, FVLD fully integrates its estate planning services with the full range of business services, including choice of business entity, entity creation and corporate-level tax planning.
Business Succession Planning
One of the biggest challenges for the family-owned business is providing for the transfer of management, control and wealth from one generation to the next. Unplanned, poorly planned, or incompletely planned succession has led to costly litigation among family members, forced sales, and bankrupt companies.
Planning succession requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Firm conducts an in-depth analysis of the owner’s, the next generation’s and the business’s needs, the likelihood of the next generation’s, effective participation in the business, and the need to supply incentives to non-family member key employees. FVLD works with business entities and their owners to develop effective succession plans that include an analysis of options for inter-generational transfer of management and ownership, minimization of transfer and income taxes; consultation on family members’ management skills and interest, and the need for training and development; options for the use of non-family management; exploration of non-ownership incentives for the non-family manager; and analysis of the advisability of sale of the business.
Estate and Trust Administration; Probate; Postmortem Planning
FVLD’s attorneys have long provided estate and trust administration services and represented numerous clients in probate and guardianship matters. While it is a goal of the Firm to minimize probate costs through negotiation and family settlement agreements, because of its strength in litigation, the Firm offers continuity in the management of contested probate matters, if necessary, through trial and the appellate process.
In the aftermath of a death, FVLD can conduct an analysis of the decedent’s probate and postmortem tax planning needs, assist the personal representative (executor or administrator) in estate and/or trust administration, and provide drafting, negotiation and tax planning services, including the preparation of the decedent’s federal and state estate tax returns and representation of the personal representative before the Internal Revenue Service, in the United States Tax Court, or in the federal district courts.