Wealth Planning and Preservation

  • Holland & Knight's Private Wealth Services lawyers assist high-net-worth clients to attain and maintain their financial and wealth planning goals through sophisticated wealth transfer arrangements.
  • We work continually with families and their advisors to devise and implement comprehensive plans that match and adjust to each family’s distinct attributes.
  • We understand that wealth is built, protected and transferred through a team effort. Therefore, we encourage each client to assemble a team of professionals who will collaboratively design and implement a plan that balances the current and future needs of the estate.


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

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 has extensive experience handling a broad spectrum work for our clients. Highly qualified and highly responsive to change, members of our team have been recognized as leaders in the private wealth industry by a variety of publications.

Holland & Knight was named one of the leading firms for Nationwide Private Wealth Law in the 2020 Chambers High Net Worth guide. The firm also received this honor in the 2016 through 2020 Chambers High Net Worth guides. Holland & Knight was named "Law Firm of the Year" in Trusts & Estates Law in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" guide and as a top-listed firm in the United States in Trusts & Estates Law. In addition, the firm has received national first-tier rankings in Trusts & Estates Law in the 2014 through 2020 guides. Holland & Knight's Private Wealth Service Group was also named the Private Wealth Services Law Firm of the Year as part of Corporate INTL's 2016 Global Awards. From 2016 to 2018, Corporate INTL named the firm's New York Private Wealth Services Group as the Private Wealth Services Law Firm of the Year in New York.

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