Estate Planning

To aid clients in preserving wealth and minimizing tax exposure in matters of gifts, estates and trusts, the Estate Planning Group of Sideman & Bancroft represents individuals, spouses, domestic partners and families in developing and implementing comprehensive estate plans. As a group, we have a breadth of knowledge and experience gained through close to 100 years of law practice. Composed of partner-level attorneys at varying stages in their careers, the Estate Planning Group ensures your family a consistent, trusted advocate across generations. Our attorneys offer clients options for both family wealth planning and tax planning that are tailored to their particular circumstances. We use the most current estate planning techniques to create clear and coherent estate plans, make tax-efficient gifts to family members, protect assets from creditors, pay estate taxes, and further client’s charitable intentions. Providing thoughtful and comprehensive solutions to the complex issues associated with significant wealth is our forte.

Wealth Transfer Planning
The fundamentals of a sound estate plan—and often the first documents we draw up for our clients—include a pour-over will, revocable trust, durable power of attorney and advance health care directive. In addition to executing these essential papers, our attorneys assist clients with comprehensive estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning.

The Estate Planning Group uses the most current techniques available, including dynasty trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts to transfer wealth in tax-efficient ways and to minimize burdens on heirs. The creation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies represents additional strategies for transferring wealth at reduced cost while facilitating business succession planning for the tax-efficient transfer of a family business.

Trust and Estate Administration and Probate Litigation
Sideman & Bancroft provides comprehensive services for trust and estate administration when an individual dies. These include implementing the terms of the trust as specified in the estate plan, filing the estate tax return, and gathering and distributing estate and trust assets. We handle income taxation of estates, trusts and beneficiaries and represent clients contesting or defending wills and trusts.

Charitable Planning
The Estate Planning Group assists clients with all aspects of charitable planning, tailoring our advice to meet specific goals. We counsel on gifts to donor-advised funds and the creation of tax-exempt organizations, including private foundations, supporting organizations, private operating foundations and public charities. We assist in creating these charitable entities and obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status. Given the complex rules and requirements surrounding tax-exempt entities, we structure our practice to prevent clients from unwittingly straying into problem areas. We use charitable-giving techniques, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts, to help clients fulfill their philanthropic objectives.

International Planning
Because financial interests often cross national boundaries, the Estate Planning Group coordinates gift and estate planning for families with international investments, including U.S. residents with foreign investments, foreign families with U.S. interests and multinational families. We also assist foreign individuals and corporations with income tax planning for their U.S. investments and contacts—including pre-residency planning for foreign individuals—and coordinate with local counsel in other jurisdictions to create the most tax-efficient structure for cross-border investments and transactions. Additionally, we administer estates of non-U.S. residents who are subject to U.S. estate tax.