Holland & Knight's Private Wealth Services lawyers represent high-net-worth individuals and families, including executives of private and public companies; principals of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms; and entrepreneurs, celebrities and owners of closely held businesses, in all aspects of business succession planning and wealth transfer.
Sophisticated Planning Requires Understanding and Attention
In our experience, the most effective method for successful wealth planning and preservation is investing the time to learn about each client’s long-term goals, family situation, business holdings and insurance coverages to ensure we understand the big picture before recommending a course of action. Each wealth plan we devise is unique because each client’s current circumstances and long-term goals are different.
Every comprehensive lifetime wealth transfer plan we develop involves an iterative process that includes continual attention and adaptation to ensure that it remains responsive to changes in your current situation and future goals. As wealth, family circumstances and laws change, so must the plan. Therefore, we work with you over the course of your lifetime, in collaboration with your other professional advisors, to help you reach and maintain your goals and preserve your family heritage. Our estate planning attorneys offer counsel on wealth transfer planning techniques such as:
- cutting-edge lifetime gift programs, including multigenerational planning
- sophisticated charitable planning
- private foundations
- life insurance planning, including irrevocable life insurance trusts and split dollar arrangements
Succession Plan Analysis
As the largest generation of U.S. business owners contemplates retirement, some find themselves in better shape to walk away from the business confident their goals will be met, whether those goals include a positive cash flow that will support them in their next phase or a continuation of their legacy. However, a business owner’s personal financial success is often inexorably intertwined with the future of their business. And yet, most business owners do not know how to assess elements of this symbiotic relationship in order to make the most of their hard work.
Estimates suggest more than 70 percent of family-owned businesses do not survive the transition from founder to second generation primarily to unrealistic or poor planning or lack of interest on the part of the successor generation. If your intent is to preserve your business legacy, an in-depth analysis of all of the documentation and planning processes by a member of our team who has years of experience in sophisticated business and estate planning is in order. You need an impartial review of all of your business and personal matters, including:
- corporate documentation, structure and business plan
- philosophical considerations
- coordination of estate planning documents with the business succession plan
- real estate holdings
- life insurance and liquidity needs
Planning for Private Equity Principals
A key aspect of our private equity work involves special planning for fund principals, including fund managers and hedge fund managers, as well as venture capitalists and real estate developers. We regularly assist fund principals in designing and implementing tax-efficient wealth transfer strategies. The unique nature of private equity funds requires specialized planning for the principals of such funds. Implementation of any wealth transfer strategy requires careful attention to the principal’s ownership interest, the fund documents and the waterfall distribution. We work closely with private equity fund principals to structure transfers involving their carried interests in their funds. Following such transfers, extensive additional planning opportunities are developed that are designed to maximize future wealth transfer while minimizing overall family transfer taxes.
Estate, Probate and Trust Administration
Our team also engages in all aspects of probate and trust administration, both domiciliary and ancillary. In addition to the administration process, we assist you with tax-related activities for estates that regularly include the preparation of estate tax and income tax returns, representation in estate tax controversies and a full range of post-mortem planning, including qualified disclaimers and the use of the credit for tax on prior transfers.
We also engage in all aspects of probate and trust administration, both domiciliary and ancillary. In addition to the administration process, our attorneys assist fiduciaries with tax-related activities for estates, including preparation of estate tax and income tax returns, representation in estate tax controversies, comprehensive post-mortem planning, as well as qualified disclaimers and the use of the credit for tax on prior transfers. Our group also advises trustees on the distinct aspects of trust administration, including document interpretation, principal and income allocations, prudent investor issues and matters arising under the Uniform Trust Code, as well as state and federal tax concerns.
Leading Lawyers on Your Side
Our Private Wealth Services Group is consistently recognized among the leaders in their field by national and international publications. Holland & Knight was awarded the most first-tier rankings in the United States in Trusts & Estates Law in the U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 2015 guide. In addition, the firm was named the 2012 “Best Law Firm - Private Client” by Private Asset Management (PAM) magazine. The PAM award honors leading firms in the wealth management and advisory community for their work with the private asset management industry.