Private Wealth & Taxation
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.
Practice Groups: Business & Real Estate Taxation, Trusts & Estates, Real Estate, Private Wealth & Taxation, Corporate/Business, 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.
Practice Groups: Business & Real Estate Taxation, Private Wealth & Taxation
Area of Focus: Tax
Overview: José Berra is counsel to the firm’s Tax & Tax Controversy and Wealth Preservation & High Net Worth Planning practice groups. Prior to attending The University of Chicago Law School, José was a C.P.A. at Ernst & Young. Following his graduation, José returned home to practice tax law in the New York City office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius where he developed a close, now over three-decade long, personal and professional relationship with Steve Breitstone, who heads the Meltzer Lippe Tax & Tax Controversy Practice Group.
Practice Groups: Trusts & Estates Business & Real Estate Taxation, Private Wealth & Taxation
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.”
Practice Group: Trusts & Estates, Business & Real Estate Taxation, Tax Exempt Organizations, Private Wealth & Taxation
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.
Practice Areas: Business & Real Estate Taxation, Trusts & Estates, Tax Exempt Organizations, Private Wealth & Taxation
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.
Practice Groups: Trusts & Estates, Business & Real Estate Taxation Private Wealth & Taxation
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.
Avi co-chairs our Trust & Estates Practice Group, nationally ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report, and chairs our Tax Exempt Organizations Practice Group. He is also a partner in the firm’s Business & Real Estate Taxation and Trust & Estate Litigation practice groups.
Avi provides creative and sophisticated domestic and international tax, estate planning, and asset preservation counsel to CEOs of major corporations, ultra high net worth individuals, multinational businesses, and large charitable organizations. He has also successfully represented many clients, including individuals, trusts and estates, businesses and charitable organizations with IRS and state tax audits.
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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Practice Group: Trusts & Estates, Business & Real Estate Taxation Private Wealth & Taxation
Areas of Focus: Tax & Wealth Preservation
Overview: John has over 30 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.
Joy Spence is an associate in the firm’s Business & Real Estate Taxation, Trusts & Estates, Tax Exempt Organizations and Private Wealth & Taxation practice groups. She focuses her practice primarily on tax law, wealth management, and trusts and estates.