Fundamental Estate Planning
Estate planning is an essential step in structuring and protecting your property, both during your life and after your death. Everyone who owns assets can benefit from the estate-planning process. It includes planning for the unexpected, such as an illness or disability, as well as preparing for the certainty of death and taxes. Whether dealing with bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement plans, other investments, real estate or any other types of property, you can always minimize risks, pursue opportunities and simplify transitions. Proper planning will protect you, your loved ones and your legacy.
Estate Settlement and Trust Administration
Our trust and estate attorneys guide individuals, families and fiduciaries through the difficult decision-making process that follows the passing of a loved one. We help simplify the process by collecting assets, paying creditors and taxes, and transferring the remaining assets to beneficiaries. We regularly provide representation in audits with the IRS and other tax-collection agencies. We administer trusts of all kinds and provide assistance with forms, deeds, accountings and other administrative tasks. We also counsel individuals and families who need assistance with after-death tax planning.
Fiduciaries are appointed to act in the best interest of an individual (known as the principal) in the management of money or property. Fiduciary relationships involve legal and ethical obligations of trust and good faith to protect the assets of the individual. Trustees, guardians, agents under powers of attorney, patient advocates, trust protectors, caregivers and personal representatives all involve fiduciary roles that come with great legal responsibilities. At Warner, we counsel fiduciaries and help them uphold their duties. We also represent fiduciaries in mediation and litigation.
Family Business and Succession Planning
For family and closely held businesses, succession planning is not optional. Without it, the business will not survive and there will be no related legacy. We help implement a balanced strategy that promotes and protects the needs of both the family and the business. This often involves separate transitions of management and ownership and assistance with family meetings to discuss and plan these transitions. Our dedicated family business attorneys represent families of all sizes, from small businesses to large multi-billion-dollar international organizations. We are passionate about guiding clients through all areas of succession planning, tax planning, gift planning and various value-freezing and sale techniques – all designed to strengthen your business and secure your family bond while ensuring a lasting future.
Charitable Giving and Organizations
Charitable giving can be very beneficial – and very complicated. It involves ensuring the desired benevolent goals are reached while maximizing the income, gift and estate tax benefits. Whether creating a charitable lead trust, charitable remainder trust, charitable gift annuity, donor advised fund, designated fund, private foundation or giving to your favorite public charity, we will lend expertise to help you further your cause. We also serve as counsel to several types of charitable organizations, such as educational, medical and cultural institutions, private and community foundations and business leagues. We also assist with the formation and implementation of fundraising and grant programs, as well as reporting to the IRS and responding to IRS examinations. From business conception to dissolution, we provide tax-exempt organizations with the proper guidance needed to remain compliant and achieve goals.
Federal estate tax laws now place a greater focus on income tax planning in conjunction with estate tax planning. The decisions you make now can greatly affect how your assets are taxed later. We counsel individuals and businesses in all aspects of federal, state and local taxation, including estate, gift, generation-skipping and income (whether individual, entity or fiduciary-based) taxes, whether applicable to individuals, entities or fiduciaries. In addition, we represent clients in defending their tax positions under audit by the IRS and state agencies. Helping you prepare and plan today will ensure a better tomorrow for you and your loved ones.
Family Office Representation
We provide family offices with legal services, including tax strategy, estate planning, entity formation and governance, private equity and transaction evaluations, charitable and asset protection arrangements, risk management, real estate and corporate services, dispute resolution and litigation services as well as employment, records retention, investment RFPs and numerous other services. Our family office clients range from multimillion-dollar organizations with little to no staff to complex and multi-faceted organizations with full time employees and billions of dollars in net worth. Whether you need a single issue addressed or an outsourced Chief Legal Officer, we can provide the very best service – at the very best value.