Estates & Trusts

Perpetuating and protecting wealth are goals that never fall out of favor. For that reason, the services provided by Cohen & Grigsby’s Estates and Trusts Group are particularly valuable and timeless for our clients. Whether those clients are individuals, families, corporations, partnerships, or foreign entities, we help develop tax-planning strategies, create and administer estates and trusts, and handle tax controversies and other adversarial proceedings.

360° Estates & Trusts (PDF)One of Cohen & Grigsby’s hallmarks is a team approach to achieving each client’s objectives. This is nowhere more evident than in the area of estates and trusts, where we often partner with our clients’ investment advisers, accountants and life underwriters.

Estate Planning

The introduction of innovative strategies to preserve wealth and the evolving law regarding valuation make estate planning a dynamic, evolving field. Our lawyers are highly experienced in the fundamentals and modern nuances of this discipline and are poised to offer assistance across the board. In the area of traditional estate planning, our group can:

  • Structure domestic and international estate, gift, income, and generation-skipping tax planning
  • Prepare wills and trusts in light of special circumstances including multi-generational wealth transfer, second marriages, charitable aspirations, and care of family members with special needs
  • Fashion lifetime gifting programs through use of outright gifts or gifts in trust
  • Plan for times of disability through living wills, powers of attorney for management of property, powers of attorney for healthcare, and revocable trusts
  • Minimize income and estate taxes through outright charitable gifts, gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, and charitable remainder trusts
  • Provide estate planning advice in connection with closely held businesses including shareholders’ agreements, restructuring, dissolution, and transferring business interests to younger generations of owners
  • Administer estates, trusts, and guardianships utilizing state-of-the-art software
  • Represent individuals as beneficiaries of existing estates and trusts
  • Counsel personal representatives and trustees concerning estate and trust administration; fiduciaries with property in multiple jurisdictions; and trustees and directors of charitable, educational, and other public-benefit organizations

Beyond the traditional execution of testamentary documents, our lawyers maintain a broad referral network that includes the leading providers of financial planning; long-term care insurance; nursing home and assisted living facility placement; estate asset valuation, sale and liquidation; and Medicaid consulting.

Cohen & Grigsby also handles a variety of specialized legal issues involving client estates and trusts. These include the sale of art, real estate, and other assets, as well as enforcement of legal rights by or against the estate or trust.

Estate and Fiduciary Litigation

Our Estates and Trusts Group has extensive litigation experience in the representation of fiduciaries, which allows us to offer our clients an understandable, practical, and comprehensive approach in substantive and procedural matters in federal and state courts. We have represented corporate and individual fiduciaries on such issues as accountings; surcharge and removal actions; interpretation issues; reformation of governing instruments; and tax planning, and tax controversies. In addition, we have represented individuals in contests of testamentary instruments, incapacity proceedings, and the disposition of assets.  We have resolved these matters through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, or trial – whichever is the most appropriate to achieving positive results.

Estates & Trusts