As part of our long range plan for the law firm, last year we made a decision to substantially increase the sophistication and capacities of our firm in the area of tax, trusts and estates. As a result, we decided to completely reorganize and staff what used to be called our “Estate Planning and Elder Law” practice, into what is now called our “Tax, Trusts and Estates Department.” This department is headed up by our new partner, AnnMarie Smits, and includes paralegals, Pat Hopp and Janice Thill, and the assistance of associates, Andrew Kohut and Nicole Cleenput.The Tax, Trusts and Estates department services the needs of clients in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, gift and income tax advice, elder law and Medicaid planning, conservatorships, guardianships, fiduciary litigation and dispute resolution. Our team designs estate plans to protect clients’ assets, and assist in the transfer of wealth to the younger generations, with minimum tax implication. They are trained to use both complex and simple planning techniques that address the individual needs of our clients. The department prepares Wills, revocable “living” trust agreements, irrevocable trust agreements, family limited partnerships, charitable trusts and foundations and other trusts that leverage gift tax transfers.
Our Estate Planning attorneys and paralegals frequently work with accountants, investment advisors, trust officers, insurance professionals and other advisors, to help clients formulate asset protection planning, lifetime gift giving programs and wealth succession planning. They also assist fiduciaries in administering estates and trusts and advise executors and trustees on post mortem tax planning options. Since the creation of our new department, we also now prepare estate, inheritance and gift tax returns, value estate assets, handle tax audits and prepare accountings to settle an estate or trust, all in house. Finally, if a dispute arises with respect to any area of this practice, we are well qualified in dispute resolution and prepared to go to Court when necessary. We are excited about our new department. Stop in and meet them.
– Tom Wells