This involves determining not only the “right” amount and type of assets to be left for each family member, but the “right” method by which to transfer them, so as to safeguard not only the assets, but just as importantly the overall well-being of each family member receiving them. All this must take place under the overall umbrella of minimizing probate costs, and income and estate taxes. Although the majority of this planning is structured to take effect at death, often a program of effective lifetime family gifting is integral to maximizing the overall objectives just described.
Because of the sensitive nature of this process, involving as it does division of assets and safeguarding of beneficiaries coming to fruition in one of the most stressful time of life, i.e. following the death of a loved one, it is imperative that the lawyer helping the family have the experience and understanding to thoughtfully guide the survivors. The lawyers in our Family Wealth Planning Group have from ten to thirty-three years of demonstrated and recognized experience at the highest level of professional expertise in helping and guiding our clients through the process of protecting their families and their assets.