We advise individuals and implement planning for the succession of their assets in ways that reduce taxes and simplify the management of property at death or upon disability. Our engagements range from young couples whose primary goal is to name guardians and trustees for their young children, to entrepreneurs and business owners, to those in or nearing retirement.

We have maintained many of our client relationships over decades because we believe in an individualized approach, taking the time to listen and understand clients, and delivering advice based upon the unique needs, circumstances and beliefs of each person. While assisting clients in achieving their personal succession goals, we closely follow the changing tax laws in order to reduce the impact of gift, estate and income taxes to the fullest extent possible.

EVW’s attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with a wide variety of issues, including using gifts to irrevocable trusts and outright gifts to reduce state estate taxes, supplemental needs trusts for the financial protection of disabled children, planning for business succession and inter-generational transfers, incorporating retirement accounts and life insurance into succession planning, and structuring charitable giving.

We also counsel clients on the gift and estate planning issues that arise in regard to U.S. citizens with non-citizen spouses, resident foreign nationals, and non-resident foreign nationals owning or controlling assets in the U.S. In addition, we provide advice to clients in planning for health care needs and preparing for possible disability through the use of living wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney.

EVW’s Trusts & Estates Group represents individual and corporate executors and trustees in all aspects of administering decedents’ estates, lifetime trusts and testamentary trusts.

We advise executors and trustees on tax planning, fiduciary duties, marshaling and distributing assets and dealing with legatees and beneficiaries. We work closely with private banking and trust departments of many banks and trust companies in New York and with many others around the world. When needed, work is done in tandem with law firms in other state jurisdictions and foreign countries.

EVW’s attorneys also represent directors and officers of charitable corporations and private foundations. Our services include preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, federal and state estate tax returns, and accountings, and we are highly experienced in handling all aspects of settlement of estates and trusts and representing executors and trustees in tax audits.

In estate and succession planning, we emphasize prevention of disputes between executors and legatees, trustees and beneficiaries, and family members. If a dispute arises, we are able to provide advice based upon our many decades of experience so that clients can make highly informed decisions regarding their options.

When litigation is necessary, our group’s attorneys have had great success in obtaining favorable results from the Surrogate’s Courts in connection with our representation of both fiduciaries and beneficiaries. Such litigation has included defending and prosecuting probate contests, litigating contested accountings, and prosecuting and defending turnover proceedings.

In dealing with extensive court matters, the firm’s highly regarded litigation department attorneys and staff are readily available to support us as needed.

 

 

Sample Clients

Among others, attorneys in our group have represented:

  • High net worth individuals and couples
  • Young couples with minor children
  • Small business owners
  • Estates of private investors
  • Estates of artists and writers
  • Trustees
  • Grantors and trustees of Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Grantors and trustees of irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Grantors and trustees of grantor trusts
  • Beneficiaries of trusts and estates
  • Private foundations

Engagements

In the gift and estate planning area, our engagements range from young couples just starting out, whose primary goal is to name guardians and trustees for their young children, to business owners and those in or nearing retirement who require more sophisticated planning.

In the administration area, engagements range from representing corporate and individual executors and trustees to representing heirs and will and trust beneficiaries in probate and accounting proceedings.

We use a wide variety of tools to accomplish our clients’ goals, including:

  • Wills
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Resident Trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
  • IRA beneficiary designations
  • Health Care Proxies and Living Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Generation-skipping transfer tax trusts
  • Family Limited Partnerships and Family LLCs
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Buy-Sell Agreements

Multi Discipline Concentrations

Members of our group are also experienced in handling many of the matters related to the management of client wealth including residential real estate sales and purchases as well as negotiating prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

EVW’s trusts and estates attorneys work in tandem with the other EVW groups and departments when clients require assistance with corporate, employment, litigation and other matters.