Managing wealth and ensuring its successful transfer to the next generation do not happen without challenges.
Armstrong Teasdale’s Trusts and Estates lawyers counsel high net-worth individuals and families, banks and trusts companies, wealth management advisers and other clients in a broad range of substantive areas, including:
- Advising individuals and families with significant wealth, owners (and former owners) of closely held businesses, corporate executives, professionals and other individuals in all facets of estate and tax planning, including sophisticated wealth transfer techniques and business succession planning.
- Advising surviving family members on the structure and effects of the estate plan, including post-death tax planning, and administering the assets to the intended beneficiaries and preparing estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.
- Representing clients privately and before taxing and regulatory authorities, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and attorneys general.
- Establishing and maintaining philanthropic endeavors such as private foundations, charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts.
Our Trusts and Estates lawyers collaborate closely with other practice areas at the firm to handle related tax, corporate, employee benefits and litigation matters.
Lifetime Estate Planning
We counsel clients in developing their economic goals, administering their financial affairs, and passing on their assets to their families and others in order to fulfill their wishes, solve special issues and minimize estate, gift, generation skipping transfer and income taxes. We work closely with professionals such as accountants, brokers, investment advisers, life insurance agents, trust companies and other corporations with fiduciary powers to offer the best options for our clients.
Our Trusts and Estates lawyers prepare estate planning instruments from simple wills to complicated trust agreements and other necessary documents. Individuals can consider numerous types of trusts to manage and distribute their assets, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, grantor and non-grantor trusts, foundations and charitable trusts. They work closely with our clients to insure that all assets are properly transferred to or otherwise tied into to the entities which are created. In coordination with the firm’s Corporate, Securities and Tax practices, we guide clients in developing feasible plans for the devolution of their closely held businesses, which could include such instruments as buy-sell agreements, stock redemption plans, recapitalizations, ESOPs and intra-family sales.
Estate and Trust Administration
Our lawyers regularly assist fiduciaries to properly execute their duties as personal representative, executor, trustee, and agent under a power of attorney. When necessary this includes petitioning the court to commence administration of a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s estate, and following through with all necessary pleadings and documents throughout the period of administration until the fiduciary is discharged. We also assist our fiduciaries by maintaining computerized financial records and preparing the requisite estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns. When controversies arise, our litigators regularly represent both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in matters such as will and trust contests, contested claims, petitions to discover assets, petitions for accounting, construction suits to determine the meaning of language in legal documents and tax disputes.