Murtha Means More

Trusts and Estates


Contact: Richard A. Marone, Chair

The Trusts & Estates Department of Murtha Cullina LLP provides personal assistance to clients in lifetime planning and asset accumulation, estate and gift planning and the administration of estates and trusts.  We have extensive experience employing sophisticated tax planning strategies, and we emphasize a personally tailored approach to our clients' needs and concerns, rather than pre-packaged, general solutions.

We are proud of the individual attention we give to each client's personal, financial and family circumstances in providing expert tax and estate planning advice.  We care about our clients and their families, and our top priority is to understand their needs and concerns, resources, family situation and objectives.  We explore alternatives with our clients and help them decide on plans to accomplish their objectives, being sensitive to family and other issues important to them.

We represent many entrepreneurs and small businesses, assisting them with their combined estate planning and business planning needs, including succession plans for the closely held business.  Many of our estate planning lawyers have substantial corporate law experience, which makes them uniquely qualified to deal with the full range of planning issues faced by owners of privately owned business.

Clients often ask us to serve as Executor or Trustee, and we are happy to do so when it is a strong client preference.  Murtha Cullina's Fiduciary Services Program is designed to assure that when clients ask us to become responsible for their personal wealth, assets are held and invested safely and professionally.  This program sets us apart from many firms; it affords clients personal service from their Murtha Cullina attorney as fiduciary (or co-fiduciary with a client's family member), together with institutional custody of assets and the assistance of well-qualified asset managers.

Our close, personal relationships often lead to multi-generation representations. Clients refer their children to us for estate planning that is thoughtfully integrated with the plans we have formulated for their parents.  Some of our client families have been with us for thirty years or more and include four generations of the family.

Murtha Cullina trust and estate professionals practice in this field because they are motivated by the satisfaction that comes from helping people — helping them to identify and achieve their families' personal and financial goals and helping them to avoid or solve legal, financial, tax and personal problems.  Close personal relationships with our clients and dedication to service, integrity, competence and reliability are our core strengths.

Lifetime planning starts with a careful review of the client's assets, family circumstances, expectations and objectives. Murtha attorneys can be particularly helpful in many ways:

  • Assisting in the acquisition, management and accumulation of assets. The firm can recommend financial institutions and financial and investment advisors in whom our attorneys have confidence. The firm's attorneys can also help clients manage their personal and financial affairs when family members, other professional advisors and corporate institutions do not meet these needs.
  • Gifts to family members and nonprofit organizations are important elements in many estate plans. Murtha attorneys not only counsel individuals with respect to family gifts and charitable trusts, but they also serve as counsel to nonprofit organizations in developing and implementing planned giving programs.
  • Land use and environmental planning can be very important when the client owns undeveloped real estate. Conservation easements and similar techniques can be effective in accomplishing an environmental objective as well as reducing income and estate tax obligations.
  • Closely held businesses present special planning challenges, including the necessity of designing and implementing a plan for succession of ownership, often to the next generation, with minimal tax impact.
  • Planning for disability insurance and health care has become an important issue for many of our clients. The firm assists clients in creating living wills to make clear their intentions with respect to unwanted health care intervention as well as health care and general powers of attorney to empower family members or other trusted agents to carry out their wishes.
  • Planning for retirement starts with an effective method of accumulating retirement funds, usually through tax advantaged retirement programs. The firm's attorneys also assist with careful planning of withdrawal distributions and beneficiary designations which are essential to get the most out of these programs.
     

Murtha attorneys extend lifetime planning into consideration of the orderly and economic transfer of family wealth through proper estate planning:

  • Lifetime and estate planning are carefully coordinated with the emphasis on consideration of alternative ways to accomplish our client's objectives and the development of a flexible plan to accomplish those objectives.
  • Wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, marital, credit shelter and generation skipping trusts are some of the techniques we use to meet the needs of each client. Life insurance plays a key role in effective estate planning by providing support for family members and meeting liquidity needs. Effective income, gift and estate tax strategies are needed to make best use of this important resource.
  • Charitable giving techniques can be very useful in reducing estate taxes; these and other tax strategies are employed not as ends in themselves, but to achieve identified objectives.
     

Murtha Cullina represents corporate and individual fiduciaries in all aspects of the administration of decedents' estates and living and testamentary trusts, including resolution of disputes and federal and state tax audits. The firm's attorneys seek to develop and maintain compatible working relationships with family members and other beneficiaries. Although most estates are settled without contest or dispute, the firm's expertise can be very helpful in minimizing and resolving difficulties between the parties.

From time to time, clients ask us to serve as executor or trustee because they have confidence in the attorney who works with them. Murtha partners accept these responsibilities when it is a clear client preference over other alternatives. We may serve as trustee to assist in accumulating and managing assets during the client's lifetime, and may also serve as executor and trustee for the benefit of the client's family.

Our partners serving as fiduciaries are supported by the firm's Fiduciary Services Program, which includes institutional custodial services for securities, on-line computerized access to all account information, investment management assistance from carefully chosen professional investment advisers, and periodic reports with close, personal attention to client and beneficiary needs.
 

Description

Contact: Richard A. Marone, Chair

The Trusts & Estates Department of Murtha Cullina LLP provides personal assistance to clients in lifetime planning and asset accumulation, estate and gift planning and the administration of estates and trusts.  We have extensive experience employing sophisticated tax planning strategies, and we emphasize a personally tailored approach to our clients' needs and concerns, rather than pre-packaged, general solutions.

We are proud of the individual attention we give to each client's personal, financial and family circumstances in providing expert tax and estate planning advice.  We care about our clients and their families, and our top priority is to understand their needs and concerns, resources, family situation and objectives.  We explore alternatives with our clients and help them decide on plans to accomplish their objectives, being sensitive to family and other issues important to them.

We represent many entrepreneurs and small businesses, assisting them with their combined estate planning and business planning needs, including succession plans for the closely held business.  Many of our estate planning lawyers have substantial corporate law experience, which makes them uniquely qualified to deal with the full range of planning issues faced by owners of privately owned business.

Clients often ask us to serve as Executor or Trustee, and we are happy to do so when it is a strong client preference.  Murtha Cullina's Fiduciary Services Program is designed to assure that when clients ask us to become responsible for their personal wealth, assets are held and invested safely and professionally.  This program sets us apart from many firms; it affords clients personal service from their Murtha Cullina attorney as fiduciary (or co-fiduciary with a client's family member), together with institutional custody of assets and the assistance of well-qualified asset managers.

Our close, personal relationships often lead to multi-generation representations. Clients refer their children to us for estate planning that is thoughtfully integrated with the plans we have formulated for their parents.  Some of our client families have been with us for thirty years or more and include four generations of the family.

Murtha Cullina trust and estate professionals practice in this field because they are motivated by the satisfaction that comes from helping people — helping them to identify and achieve their families' personal and financial goals and helping them to avoid or solve legal, financial, tax and personal problems.  Close personal relationships with our clients and dedication to service, integrity, competence and reliability are our core strengths.

Lifetime planning starts with a careful review of the client's assets, family circumstances, expectations and objectives. Murtha attorneys can be particularly helpful in many ways:

  • Assisting in the acquisition, management and accumulation of assets. The firm can recommend financial institutions and financial and investment advisors in whom our attorneys have confidence. The firm's attorneys can also help clients manage their personal and financial affairs when family members, other professional advisors and corporate institutions do not meet these needs.
  • Gifts to family members and nonprofit organizations are important elements in many estate plans. Murtha attorneys not only counsel individuals with respect to family gifts and charitable trusts, but they also serve as counsel to nonprofit organizations in developing and implementing planned giving programs.
  • Land use and environmental planning can be very important when the client owns undeveloped real estate. Conservation easements and similar techniques can be effective in accomplishing an environmental objective as well as reducing income and estate tax obligations.
  • Closely held businesses present special planning challenges, including the necessity of designing and implementing a plan for succession of ownership, often to the next generation, with minimal tax impact.
  • Planning for disability insurance and health care has become an important issue for many of our clients. The firm assists clients in creating living wills to make clear their intentions with respect to unwanted health care intervention as well as health care and general powers of attorney to empower family members or other trusted agents to carry out their wishes.
  • Planning for retirement starts with an effective method of accumulating retirement funds, usually through tax advantaged retirement programs. The firm's attorneys also assist with careful planning of withdrawal distributions and beneficiary designations which are essential to get the most out of these programs.
     

Murtha attorneys extend lifetime planning into consideration of the orderly and economic transfer of family wealth through proper estate planning:

  • Lifetime and estate planning are carefully coordinated with the emphasis on consideration of alternative ways to accomplish our client's objectives and the development of a flexible plan to accomplish those objectives.
  • Wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, marital, credit shelter and generation skipping trusts are some of the techniques we use to meet the needs of each client. Life insurance plays a key role in effective estate planning by providing support for family members and meeting liquidity needs. Effective income, gift and estate tax strategies are needed to make best use of this important resource.
  • Charitable giving techniques can be very useful in reducing estate taxes; these and other tax strategies are employed not as ends in themselves, but to achieve identified objectives.
     

Murtha Cullina represents corporate and individual fiduciaries in all aspects of the administration of decedents' estates and living and testamentary trusts, including resolution of disputes and federal and state tax audits. The firm's attorneys seek to develop and maintain compatible working relationships with family members and other beneficiaries. Although most estates are settled without contest or dispute, the firm's expertise can be very helpful in minimizing and resolving difficulties between the parties.

From time to time, clients ask us to serve as executor or trustee because they have confidence in the attorney who works with them. Murtha partners accept these responsibilities when it is a clear client preference over other alternatives. We may serve as trustee to assist in accumulating and managing assets during the client's lifetime, and may also serve as executor and trustee for the benefit of the client's family.

Our partners serving as fiduciaries are supported by the firm's Fiduciary Services Program, which includes institutional custodial services for securities, on-line computerized access to all account information, investment management assistance from carefully chosen professional investment advisers, and periodic reports with close, personal attention to client and beneficiary needs.
 

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