Without claiming that they are necessarily “representative,” we think you might find the following summaries of some of our interesting recent cases to provide a better understanding of our experience and capabilities:
Kenneth P. Brier:
- Structured a pre-IPO installment sale of a high-tech founder’s stock to a nontaxable family corporation located offshore, with the price locked in by means of a forward option, providing the opportunity to avoid tax on millions of dollars of gain accruing after the IPO.
- Successively negotiated a resolution of a gift tax audit involving the valuation of multiyear gifts of family limited partnership interests, securing a valuation discount of 35% from the IRS Appeals office (as contrasted with 19% offered by the IRS agent), representing a difference of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.
- Counseled surviving wife on alternatives for distributions from husband’s $4 million profit-sharing plan account, comparing projected income and estate tax consequences of lump-sum distribution (partially taxed at old 20% capital gain rate), rollover to IRA and rollover to Roth IRA, taking into account children’s likely cash needs and family’s preferences for ongoing simplicity.
- Straightened out the administration of family trust several years after death of the grantor’s surviving wife, where (1) wife as husband’s executrix had transferred husband’s S corporation shares to a nominee trust upon husband’s death 12 years earlier (but prior to the liquidation of the corporation) with the estate as the beneficial owner, (2) wife as an individual had transferred family vacation home to same nominee trust, (3) family trust had never been appropriately divided into marital and family subtrusts, (4) wife’s estate had never been administered at all, and (5) one child purportedly had executed an ill-advised disclaimer of interest in family trust (which would have triggered a taxable gift); matters attended to included attention to estate and generation-skipping tax issues, probate of wife’s estate, division of trust into separate trusts for adult children, appointments of new trustees, and sale of interests in family vacation home among sometimes contentious children.
- Structured trust as a vehicle for a large corporation to voluntarily provide benefits to the widow of deceased executive by transferring company stock to the trust prior to the company’s going public.
- “Created” sizeable estate tax deduction in the course of estate administration by structuring a $2.4 million 10-year loan from decedent’s insurance trust to decedent’s estate (holding facially illiquid LLC interest) in a manner qualifying for an upfront estate-tax deduction of all future interest payable on the loan.
- Represented a decedent’s second wife in the renegotiation of a proposed settlement agreement with the decedent’s children, proposing in place of the settlement agreement that the wife execute partial disclaimers of federally-mandated spousal interests in retirement plans and simultaneously purchase the marital home (at no taxable gain) with the remaining plan proceeds, with results consistent with intended prenuptial agreement and superior tax results for all parties, and with this eleventh-hour proposal being accepted by counsel for all parties.
- Handled U.S. aspects of estate planning, in coordination with U.S. and Swiss advisors, for wealthy elderly couple with dual U.S.-Swiss citizenship, dual residences, and extensive corporate and real-property interests in U.S. and Switzerland, seeking to reconcile requirements of inconsistent U.S. and Swiss tax regimes and legal systems while adhering to pre-existing prenuptial agreement.
- Assisted terminally ill client with end-of-life planning, saving about $300,000 in estate taxes (about 35%) through (1) gifts of fractional interests in waterfront summer house and (2) conversion of land development company from S corporation to limited liability company, coupled with sales and gifting of LLC member interests to children.
- Assisted guardian with estate planning for brain damaged ward under Massachusetts statute, including preparation of new revocable trust (based on ward’s limited expression of wishes), presentation of estate plan to probate court for approval, and liaison with insurance companies to designate trust as beneficiary of $4 million of annuity policies funded under structured settlement of worker’s compensation claim in New York.
- Worked with younger clients preparing their first Will to older clients looking to "tweak" an existing estate plan.
- Prepared "deathbed" estate plans.
- Structured gift of pre-IPO stock.
- Prepared several estate plans for individuals/couples with foreign citizenship and/or foreign assets.
- Structured sales of life insurance policies to "updated" Irrevocable Trusts.
- Implemented "rolling GRAT" strategy.
- Advised on gifting strategies for families with real estate interests in several states/countries.
- Counseled on business succession planning with respect to both the operating business and the real estate.
- Counseled on estate and gift tax audits.
- Advised Personal Representative on how to administer an insolvent estate with various creditors.
- Advised on disclaimer issues in estate administration context.