Trusts & Estates

The Gibbons Trusts & Estates Team works extensively in both the estate planning and estate and trust administration areas. Our estate planning practice, including family business succession planning, involves formulating clients’ estate plans at both the federal and state levels and implementing such plans through the drafting of wills and trusts and such other documents as family limited partnerships, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, charitable trusts, and private foundations. In addition to creating or analyzing estate plans with a view towards minimizing or eliminating the federal and state estate and inheritance taxes, as well as the federal generation-skipping transfer tax, we review various estate planning techniques, including lifetime gifting, retirement benefits planning, and asset protection. Our trust and estate administration practice involves the probate of wills; preparation and filing of both state and federal income, gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; preparation and settlement of executor and trustee accounts; and trust and estate litigation.

Areas of Focus

Business Succession Planning

With a significant portion of our clients holding interests in closely held businesses, we have substantial experience in planning for the continuation or sale of such closely held businesses upon the death, disability, or retirement of a shareholder or partner. Such planning requires us to review and analyze issues important to each business and its owners, such as the maintenance of Subchapter S status, the use of life insurance funding, and the ramifications of chapter 14 of the Internal Revenue Code on transfers between family members of interests or rights in closely held businesses. Understanding our clients’ goals with respect to the disposition of closely held business interests, we work with them to plan for the tax efficient transfer of these interests. Working closely with our broader Corporate Group, the Trusts & Estates Team prepares shareholder, partnership, deferred compensation, and other agreements necessary to accomplish the desired objectives.