Morrison & Foerster represents individuals and fiduciaries in all aspects of estate planning and trust and estate administration and related litigation.
Our attorneys design estate plans with an eye toward achieving tax efficiency, maximizing wealth transfers, and ensuring that the final distribution of the clients’ assets is in accordance with their wishes.
For multinational families, our attorneys work with advisors in other countries to plan transfers in light of U.S. tax rules.
We address special needs beneficiaries, such as those who cannot manage assets or who suffer from mental or physical disability. We advise on how to provide incentives for younger generations to use their wealth wisely, in ways that contribute to their communities.
Our attorneys are also experienced in all issues relating to property transfers, including estate, income, and property tax minimization and compliance, probate, and related litigation.
We serve a range of clients in different life situations that can benefit from sophisticated estate and tax planning techniques.
Our clients include executives of public corporations, owners of closely-held businesses, and entrepreneurs involved in start-up businesses. Members of our group also assist individuals, families, private foundations, charitable organizations, and businesses to implement their philanthropic goals.
We provide advice regarding family philanthropy, foundations, the structure of charitable organizations, ongoing governance issues, management succession, tax issues, compliance with federal and state reporting and other regulatory requirements, strategic planning, and financial sustainability.
We also represent individual trustees and executors, as well as institutional clients, to ensure efficient and effective post-mortem implementation of estate plans.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in these specialized areas:
“Estate Freeze” techniques to achieve tax savings and non-tax planning objectives, such as Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), and installment sales to “intentionally defective” irrevocable grantor trusts;
Minority and fractional-interest discounts for gift and estate tax purposes generated through the use of family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and tenancies-in-common agreements to transfer business and other assets to the next generation without undue depletion by estate taxes;
Non-qualified executive compensation plans and planning for retirement benefits distributions;
Business succession planning;
Community property planning, including pre-marital, post-marital, domestic partner cohabitation, and other property agreements;
Charitable and other non-profit organizations and charitable planning techniques, such as Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Lead Trusts, to preserve assets for, and transfer assets to, family members while supporting charitable organizations and activities; and
Planning for multiple generations using generation-skipping transfer tax-exempt dynasty trusts.