Family Wealth Planning
CCM attorneys play an active role in assisting clients in their wealth planning needs. This encompasses proper planning to minimize income and estate taxes, together with properly protecting wealth for clients and their beneficiaries.
CCM attorneys have experience in a number of different techniques designed to protect family wealth, including irrevocable life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts and various charitable vehicles. While these techniques are effective in transferring large amounts of wealth to future generations, this is only part of the solution for our clients.
Our attorneys are skilled at advising clients regarding non-tax inheritance issues, including the creation of prenuptial agreements, special needs trusts for disabled children and adults, and planning for the unique issues presented by “blended” families, second marriages, and divorce. We also advise clients regarding asset protection, using a combination of traditional estate planning techniques, limited liability business entities and domestic asset protection trusts to increase protection for personal and business assets owned by professionals, entrepreneurs and clients with a variety of concerns regarding potential litigation.
We are active in helping clients achieve their goal of proper stewardship of wealth. Often, if a beneficiary is able to obtain substantial amounts of wealth at his or her discretion, this can damage incentive and lead to other problems for the beneficiary. CCM attorneys counsel there clients and address their concerns about the negative influence that wealth may cause by preparing gift trusts for descendants, generation-skipping trusts and dynasty trusts designed to protect wealth for future generations, as well as family business entities and foundations to assist families in their efforts to act as proper stewards of family wealth.
The vast majority of CCM business clients are family owned. These unique business entities merit special attention because often there are contentious issues involving family management and succession of the family business. CCM attorneys assist family business leaders in designing proper succession plans to better prepare the family business to survive for future generations. These techniques include the use of properly designed shareholder agreements, recapitalizations and design of equity to accommodate active and inactive family business owners, and design of equity incentive plans for key executives outside of the family. If appropriate, CCM attorneys also assist the family business for sale to a third party, including employee stock ownership plans (ESOP’s).