BOB’S REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
Planning for protection of inheritance from exposure to estate taxes and capital gains taxes when inherited assets are subsequently sold; and protection of inheritance from exposure to the beneficiary’s creditors including a divorcing spouse of a beneficiary, often with provisions that creatively empower the beneficiary rather than isolating the beneficiary from his or her inheritance.
Preparation of irrevocable trusts with sophisticated substantive provisions including:
trusts that own complex life insurance policies;
trusts that own closely-held business interests where family control is a concern;
trusts that will own a beloved family vacation home that should be preserved, with provisions addressing funding of the expenses of the home, use of the home, and any ability of the beneficiaries to direct a sale of the home;
special needs trusts that do not interfere with a beneficiary’s government benefits;
trusts providing discretion to the Trustee to opt out of the usual fiduciary duty of accounting to beneficiaries (and instead account to a third-party Trust Protector) where the Trustee believes that disclosure of trust assets and income will be a disincentive to a productive life of the beneficiary;
Delaware Asset Protection Trusts that permit a donor to create a trust for his or her own benefit that is protected from exposure to his or her own creditors.
Transfers to trusts for family members that allow the donor to retain various income and principal interests in the trust while minimizing gift and estate taxes, including grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), sales of assets to a trust in return for a promissory note, and trusts partially for the benefit of charitable organizations.
Representation of executors (personal representatives) and Trustees in their duties of (i) making discretionary distributions to beneficiaries in accordance with fiduciary duties set out in the governing will and trust instrument and in state law, (ii) investing trust assets, (iii) accounting to beneficiaries for all transactions, (iv) defending the legitimacy of the will or trust instrument against litigation by family members, and negotiating settlements of the same, (v) dissolution of trusts, (vi) transfer of trust assets to different trusts with alternative provisions (known as “decanting”) where allowed under state law or the trust instrument, (vii) compliance with all tax requirements including income, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Creation of (and/or ongoing counsel to) charitable organizations that qualify as either a private foundation or a public charity and that will make grants to other organizations or directly perform charitable activities that ignite the client’s passion, such as:
convening owners of large portfolios of commercial real estate properties for the purpose of sharing best practices in reducing the carbon footprint of real estate;
creation of new institutes often affiliated with hospitals and universities to promote (i) neuroscience research and clinical care, (ii) the clinical care and social independence of adults with autism, (iii) reduction of human trafficking, (iv) public understanding of United States government; (v) for-profit and non-profit corporate leadership; (vi) leadership in the nursing profession; (vii) integrative medicine (both eastern and western culture); (viii) mental health for children;
support to foreign charities that (i) care for orphans and youth at risk in Israel, (ii) provide schooling to squatters who live on the ancestral land of the client in Liberia, (iii) reduce transmission of AIDS in Malawi, (iv) educate and feed indigenous children and their families in Guatemala, (v) promote literacy in Laos, (vi) preserve culture in Europe;
creation of new parks and open space throughout Boston;
corporate foundations sponsored by banks, credit unions, travel companies, life insurance companies.
Trustee of client trusts, overseeing:
discretionary distribution of funds for the benefit of minor children, young adults, and spouses (including second spouses) with due regard (under state law, as modified by the trust instrument), if any, for the needs of remainder beneficiaries;
selection of wealth advisors who excel at (i) asset allocation including analysis of trust beneficiaries’ tolerance for risk and need for reward, (ii) selection of investments including funds and fund advisors, and (iii) communications and personal interactions with beneficiaries that are valuable and valued;
accounting to beneficiaries for trust distributions, payment of expenses, income earned, and changes to capital assets giving rise to gain or loss.
Served as expert witness on behalf of estate beneficiaries arguing that an executor breached fiduciary duties by charging expenses to the estate in general where the expenses benefited only certain beneficiaries.