Vedder Price provides comprehensive estate planning advice and services tailored to your goals for accumulating, preserving, managing and transferring wealth.
You can expect to work with attorneys who combine technical experience in all aspects of estate and financial planning with a strong appreciation of your personal objectives and needs.
Broad estate planning credentials. We work with clients whose personal objectives and financial interests are as diverse as the individuals themselves, including:
Individuals and families with large estates, as well as those with more modest assets
Individuals and families with personal situations that require special planning, such as family members with disabilities
Owners of closely held businesses
Corporate executives and professionals
Businesses and not-for-profit organizations
We also represent executors, administrators, trustees and guardians.
Personalized services backed by sophisticated planning tools and resources. When preparing an estate plan, we begin with a thorough understanding of your asset holdings, family situation and personal and financial goals. With this information as a foundation, we can make planning recommendations and assist with developing wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other documents appropriate for your needs.
Our attorneys have access to state-of-the-art planning tools and educational resources to support estate and trust accounting, research, analyses, tax return preparation, financial and tax projections and other services.
Our attorneys provide counsel with a wide array of matters that affect wealth preservation and transfer goals, including:
- Compensation planning
- Employment agreements
- Options under retirement plans and individual retirement accounts
- Personal and business income tax planning
- Tax return preparation
- Investment bookkeeping
- Asset custody arrangements
- Property ownership alternatives
- Premarital and postmarital agreements
- Planning for the possibility of physical or mental disability
Failure to consider estate and gift taxes can have a significant impact on your ability to transfer wealth according to your personal objectives. Although tax considerations should not take precedence over your goals, our attorneys strive to help you develop plans that address both objectives.
In addition to recommending and implementing appropriate techniques, from outright gifts to sophisticated irrevocable trusts, we can prepare all types of tax returns and provide representation before administrative and judicial authorities.
We represent many individuals and families with charitable interests. Our attorneys can help implement a number of techniques to benefit favorite charities in a tax-efficient manner, while also addressing personal goals such as increasing lifetime cash flow or transferring wealth to successive generations.
We also assist not-for-profit organizations in developing charitable giving programs and in presenting estate and financial planning seminars for prospective donors.
We prepare premarital agreements for clients concerned about controlling and managing assets during marriage and/or disposing of assets upon termination of a marriage. Our clients range from individuals concerned about protecting assets acquired before marriage or through a family business or gift/inheritance, to persons who want to provide for both a new spouse and children from a prior marriage.
Our attorneys understand the legal issues that must be considered in negotiating these agreements. Just as importantly, we understand and are sensitive to the emotions that typically arise during this process.
Many people hold a significant part of their wealth in profit-sharing, pension and/or individual retirement accounts that require special attention and planning to minimize income and estate taxes when such accounts are distributed.
Our attorneys can help you develop plans that comply with the complicated tax rules regarding timing of distributions, but they will also consider your personal interests, whether those interests include retiring and accessing funds early or deferring distributions as long as possible. We have counseled many clients on tax-efficient lifetime distributions, beneficiary designations and planning for post-death distributions.
We represent many individuals and families with large estates with a variety of assets, including securities, real estate, closely held businesses, mineral interests, art collections and the like. Our attorneys can recommend and implement sophisticated strategies that balance personal goals with tax benefits, such as:
- Grantor-retained annuity trusts
- Family limited partnerships
- Limited liability companies
- Installment sales of assets
- Qualified personal residence trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Gift trusts
- Irrevocable life insurance trusts
We assist executors, administrators, trustees and guardians in handling all aspects of estate and trust administration, including record keeping, tax return preparation, tax planning, asset distribution and review of claims. We also represent beneficiaries with respect to questions of estate and trust administration, and provide legal opinions related to interpretation of wills and trusts.
In addition, our attorneys represent beneficiaries, as well as executors or trustees, in adversarial proceedings such as will contests, interpretation of wills and trusts, and claims by or against estates and trusts.