Wealth Preservation & High Net Worth Planning

Where many large firms are shrinking, even shedding, their Private Wealth practice Meltzer Lippe’s is growing by leaps and bounds. With oft-changing state and federal laws allowing new opportunity and presenting many challenges to high net worth individuals and families; we appreciate the necessity and critical importance of these services to our clients.

As such, our Private Wealth attorneys meet this criteria and work closely with attorneys in our core areas of tax, corporate, real estate, trusts & estates, and litigation to provide a menu of creative solutions.

Understanding that all situations are different, our attorneys establish a plan tailored to each client’s wealth preservation goals, tax and estate planning objectives. We assist individuals and families in the preservation of wealth through estate planning expertise that includes drafting wills and revocable trusts to ensure the client’s succession plan and tax goals are maintained beyond the client’s life.

We establish trusts during the client’s life for residences, minor children, disabled children, life insurance and wealth preservation; develop a business succession plan for family businesses; create family companies to preserve control over family assets; negotiate pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and co-habitation agreements; and counsel individuals on charitable giving, including establishing and administering family foundations, donor advised funds, charitable trusts and conservation easements.

We advise trustees in their administration of trusts, including amending and decanting existing irrevocable trusts; migrating trusts to more favorable tax jurisdictions; advising trustees on the investment and distribution of assets; and settling accounts of corporate fiduciaries. The practice provides an excellent complement to our large Trusts & Estate and Tax-Exempt Organizations practices providing representation in estate and trust administration matters; the representation of executors in probating wills and administering estates; will contests, preparing and filing estate tax returns; and in the representation of fiduciaries in estate tax audits.

Clients include family business owners, real estate developers, investment bankers, private equity fund managers, physicians, inventors, entertainers, business professionals, retirees, non-resident aliens, domestic partners and those of inherited wealth.

Department Chair(s)
Stephen M. Breitstone / sbreitstone@meltzerlippe.com



ATTORNEYS 

Stephen M. Breitstone
Stephen M. Breitstone

Partner

Practice Groups: Tax Law, Business Law, Real Estate, International Law, Estate Planning, Trust & Estates, Tax-Exempt Organizations

Areas of Focus: Private Wealth & Taxation

Overview: Steve is counsel to many of the firm’s wealthiest and most prominent clients, providing sophisticated tax and estate planning advice for several large New York real estate families, private equity funds, Wall Street investment bankers, fund managers, corporate executives, large estates and others. He has pioneered many novel tax planning techniques – some combining his broad knowledge of partnership taxation and estate planning. Steve’s style of practice is personal, not institutional; and his client’s goals and objectives are his priority.

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José L. Berra
José L. Berra

Counsel

Practice Groups: Tax Law, Business Law, General Business Analysis and Advice

Area of Focus: Tax

Overview: José represents clients in sophisticated real estate and partnership transactions, general business advice, sophisticated financial modeling and analysis and select litigation. José structures and negotiates sophisticated domestic and cross border corporate and partnership transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, special allocation partnerships, financings and leases. He also engages in related controversy work before the Internal Revenue Service.

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Howard M. Esterces
Howard M. Esterces

Partner

Practice Groups: Trusts & Estates, Tax Law, Tax-Exempt Organizations 

Areas of Focus: Estate Planning and estate administration, tax planning and controversies, IRA / pension distribution, and elder law. 

Overview: “Howard has over 40 years of experience in Estate Planning & Administration and experience planning estates for the heads of some of the largest corporations listed on the NYSE. Howard has published over two dozen articles in various national tax journals, is an expert in pension & IRA distributions, and in business succession.”

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Jeffrey A. Galant
Jeffrey A. Galant

Counsel

Practice Group: Tax Law

Areas of Focus: Tax-Exempt Organizations,  Estate and Charitable Planning, Trusts & Estates Law

Overview:  Jeffrey has more than 30 years of experience in tax, trusts and estates, and tax-exempt organizations law; he has extensive experience in sophisticated tax and estate planning matters involving family owned and other privately owned enterprises including operating businesses, investment vehicles and family foundations; as well as the tax and estate planning issues that concern artists and collectors.

 

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David C. Jacobson
David C. Jacobson

Counsel

Practice Areas: Tax Law, Tax-Exempt Organizations, Trusts & Estates, and Wealth Preservation

Areas of Focus: Complex tax and estate planning; estate and trust administration; charitable giving; and representation of public charities and private foundations, as well as state and federal regulations compliance.

Overview: David’s practice encompasses all aspects of estate planning, with an emphasis on the efficient transfer of assets among several generations of a family. He has considerable expertise in minimizing the impact of transfer taxes upon the death of senior family members. He specializes in the structuring and implementation of sophisticated estate plans for both U.S. residents and non-residents.

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Joseph Katz
Joseph Katz

Counsel

Practice Groups: Trust & Estates, Tax, Wealth Preservation and Partnerships

Areas of Focus: General estate planning, personal tax planning, tax planning for life insurance and charitable trusts, estate tax motivated partnership, and asset planning, protection and restructuring. 

Overview:  Joe has more than 30 years of experience in the practice of the law of trusts and estates; is an expert in general estate planning, personal tax planning, tax planning for life insurance and charitable trusts, estate tax motivated partnership; and asset planning, protection and restructuring.

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Avi Z. Kestenbaum
Avi Z. Kestenbaum

Partner

 Practice Groups: Trusts & Estates, Tax , Tax Exempt Organizations, Wealth Preservation, Partnerships, Tax Controversy Areas of Focus: Domestic and International Tax Planning, Estate and Charitable Planning, Family Business Succession Planning, Tax-Exempt Organizations, Domestic and International Asset Preservation, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies and Joint Ventures Overview: Avi provides creative and sophisticated domestic and international tax, estate planning, and asset preservation counsel to CEOs of major corporations, utra high net worth individuals, multinational businesses, and large charitable organizations. 

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Christine K. Kitson
Christine K. Kitson

Counsel

 Practice Groups: Trusts & Estates, Tax Law, and Wealth Preservation.

Areas of Focus: Estate planning; wills, trusts & estates; and estate and trust administration.

Overview: Christine prepares wills, various types of trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care proxies. In addition to tax planning, Christine tailors each client’s estate plan for his/her specific needs and goals, including planning for minor children, second marriages, and family members with disabilities and/or special needs. She also negotiates pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

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Lew Meltzer
Lew Meltzer

Chairman

 Practice Groups:  Real Estate, Tax and Estate Planning  Areas of Focus:Tax, Corporate  and real Estate Overview: Lew is Managing Partner of the firm. He seeks out, structures and acquires real estate investments for clients. Lew is active in public service, community organizations, and national and international politics. He is the Founder, Chairman and President of Long Island Foreign Affairs Forum; a developer of residential country club featuring a Gary Player signature golf course, marina and tennis complex.  

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Mary P. O’Reilly
Mary P. O’Reilly

Partner

 Practice Group: Trust & Estates Areas of Focus: Trust & Estates, Tax, Tax-Exempt organizations Overview: Mary assists individuals and families in the preservation and transfer of wealth. Her clients include family business owners, real estate developers, investment bankers, private equity fund managers, physicians, inventors, entertainers, business professionals, retirees, non-resident aliens, domestic partners and those of inherited wealth. 

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John P. Proszak
John P. Proszak

Partner

Practice Group: Trust & Estates

Areas of Focus: Tax & Wealth Preservation 

Overview: John has over  20 years of experience in the trusts and estates field. He is an expert in all phases of estate administration, including probate, the preparation of estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns, and the settlement and accounting of estates, including contested proceedings.

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Richard Reichler
Richard Reichler

Counsel

 Practice Group: Tax Areas of Focus:  Trusts & Estates, Tax Exempt Organizations and Tax Law and heads the Employee Benefits Law Group. Overview: Prior to joining the firm, he was Vice President for Tax Planning and Deputy General Counsel at the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO). Most notably, he directed the tax planning involved in the $12 billion LILCO, LIPA, Brooklyn Union Gas transaction — one of the most complicated corporate tax transactions in recent times — including obtaining of the critical  IRS tax ruling needed to close the transaction. 

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Michael J. Schaffer
Michael J. Schaffer

Partner

 Practice Group: Trust & Estates Areas of Focus: Tax, Tax-Exempt organizations and Wealth Preservation  Overview: Michael has been practicing estates and trusts law since 1992. During that time he has amassed a high level of experience in all areas of estates and trusts law, including domestic and foreign estate planning, generation skipping tax planning, estate administration and fiduciary income tax. 

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Mordy Serle
Mordy Serle

Partner

 Practice Group: Trust & Estates  Areas of Focus:Tax Planning, Estate Administration Overview: Mordy concentrates his practice in estate and tax planning, estate administration, and wealth preservation and counsels clients on sophisticated planning techniques that have resulted in substantial tax-efficiencies and savings from federal and state gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer and income taxes. 

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Joy Spence
Joy Spence

Associate

Joy Spence, Esq. is an associate in the Private Wealth & Taxation Group. She focuses her practice primarily on tax law, wealth management, and trusts and estates. Joy regularly assists clients in developing tailored plans to maximize asset protection and wealth preservation, while minimizing tax exposure. She also counsels individuals and families on developing tax-efficient […]

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190 Willis Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: 516-747-0300 Fax: 516-747-0653 E-mail: info@meltzerlippe.com
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