planning for what matters

Lerch Early’s estate and trust attorneys help clients develop plans to manage and distribute their assets with the maximum benefit to beneficiaries.

The foundation of any well-designed estate plan is the will or revocable trust, as well as a financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will or advance medical directive. We give you a comprehensive questionnaire that allows us to see your complete financial picture so we can create a plan that takes into account all assets, from bank holdings to real estate to retirement funds.

We combine our experience in taxation, probate, and trust administration law to develop, implement, and administer comprehensive estate plans that enable our clients to grow their assets, obtain protection from the claims of creditors, and ultimately distribute the assets according to the plan while minimizing or deferring the impact of state and federal income and estate taxes. We are experienced in preparing estate plans for clients with modest assets as well as those with multimillion-dollar estates.

We also are experienced with the special issues involved in preparing estate plans for married couples in second marriages, as well as unmarried couples and same-sex couples. Additionally, we assist the families of persons with special needs by establishing special-needs trusts to protect the trust assets for the benefit of the disabled persons while preserving their eligibility for government benefits. We also are experienced with the use of family limited partnerships, life insurance trusts and “dynasty” trusts, as well as all of the other available options to reduce or defer state and federal estate taxes.

We have worked extensively with clients seeking to achieve charitable objectives through the use of charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and private foundations. We understand the tax issues involved in the proper coordination of retirement benefits – such as individual retirement accounts – stock options, and deferred compensation into an estate plan. Our professionals are also familiar with the range of complex legal and tax-related issues that real estate owners, heads of closely held companies, executives of publicly traded companies, and self-employed individuals and professionals face in the day-do-day operation of their businesses as well as business succession matters.