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Trust & Estates

For over twenty five years, Lassar & Cowhey LLP has specialized in the area of trusts and estates, representing individuals in virtually all aspects of gift and estate planning, trust and estate administration, and estate and tax litigation. The firm offers personal estate and gift planning advice and tax planning services to individuals and families, married and unmarried couples, as well as to corporate and individual trustees, executors, personal representatives, and other fiduciaries.

Estate Planning

In addition to the preparation of traditional estate planning tools such as simple and complex wills and trusts, we utilize sophisticated planning techniques to best serve our clients. The firm's practical and innovative approach to succession planning allows us to minimize the tax liabilities of our clients while achieving the maximum preservation of wealth for subsequent generations. We design plans which are tailored to each client's specific needs using strategies which incorporate:

  • Sales to Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Revocable Inter-Vivos Trusts
  • Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
  • Formation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts (CRTs & CLTs)
  • Living Wills, Health Care Proxies and Power of Attorney documents

Our clients include high net worth individuals, families, unmarried couples and domestic partners. Our attorneys are admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and the District of Columbia. In addition to the sophisticated tax aspects of estate planning, our attorneys assist clients in fulfilling their non-tax concerns of estate planning and wealth preservation, such as liability concerns, centralized management of assets, and continuity in transfer of assets. We carefully consider the current and projected changes in both federal and state tax laws to ensure full compliance in meeting our clients' planning objectives.

Trust and Estate Administration

Our team of skilled attorneys, paralegals, and staff works closely with both fiduciaries and beneficiaries of the estate to implement a timely and cost sensitive approach to the administration of trusts and estates. We assist clients in both the Probate process and administration of estates and trusts. Our services include:

  • Probate: Preparation and filing of all court documents needed for the appointment of Executors & Personal Representatives
  • Appointment of Administrators, or Administrators c.t.a.
  • Marshalling and valuation of assets
  • Use of disclaimers as a post-mortem tax planning device
  • Preparation of federal and state estate tax returns
  • Preparation of fiduciary accountings
  • Effectuating distribution of estate and trust assets to designated beneficiaries
  • Representation in miscellaneous proceedings throughout the Probate and Surrogate’s Courts including: Construction Proceedings of Will and Trusts; Lost Will proceedings; Filing and defense of objections to Estate and Trust accountings; Representation before the Internal Revenue Service as well as State tax authorities with respect to all aspects of estate tax audits