The Trusts and Estates Practice Group provides estate planning, trust and probate administration and estate, gift and fiduciary tax services to clients of all wealth levels, of all ages, and from all types of businesses, professions and occupations. We strive to find creative solutions to complex issues in a manner which meets family objectives while minimizing estate taxes and probate and other administrative expenses. We work with the family advisors, including CPAs, insurance professionals, financial advisors and corporate counsel, to insure an integrated approach to the family plan.
From the preparation of wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney and living wills, to more sophisticated estate planning tools such as insurance trusts, charitable trusts and qualified personal residence trusts, to efficient estate and trust administration, to the preparation of estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns, the Devine Millimet team focuses on preparing and implementing a comprehensive family wealth succession plan.
- The Process of Estate Planning: We work with you to establish your objectives and then review the various options available to you. We then develop a plan that you understand, and one that meets your objectives in an orderly manner. This often includes the preparation of the basic estate planning documents like wills, revocable trusts, durable financial powers of attorney, durable health care powers of attorney, and living wills.
- Estate Tax Planning: We identify wealth transfer techniques which reduce or even eliminate estate taxes. Utilizing options such as the marital deduction and credit shelter trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, grantor retained income trusts (GRIT’s) and qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT’s), we formulate comprehensive estate plans which minimize estate tax exposure.
- Charitable Giving: To help clients achieve charitable objectives and obtain charitable gift, estate and income tax deductions, we utilize many approaches such as outright gifts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable lead trusts, pooled income funds, and private foundations.
- Lifetime Gifting Strategies: There are programs of lifetime giving that allow you to maximize gift and estate tax savings. We help you identify those assets most suitable for gifting and advise you of the various tax saving gifting strategies.
- Business Continuity Planning: Business owners need to carefully structure their assets to allow for orderly succession of the business. Prior to the death or retirement of the family business owner, there has to be a comprehensive plan in place for either passing the business to the next generation or maximizing its value by sale to a third party. Devine Millimet prepares corporate structure documents (corporation, LLC, partnership), shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements and family partnership and LLC operating agreements. We strive to reserve business value and the continuation of income with minimum taxation to surviving family members.
- Probate: A natural complement to an estate plan is the administration of the probate estate. In this difficult time, we assist clients with all required court proceedings, asset transfers, and other steps necessary to carry out an individual’s estate plan. Often times, we can achieve enhanced tax savings that were not previously contemplated through post-mortem planning techniques.
- Trust Administration: Trusts have become commonplace in estate planning, and must be administered in an orderly and efficient manner. Advising clients regarding legal issues and fiduciary responsibilities, overseeing professional trustees, and even serving as Trustee or Co-Trustee are regular services that the attorneys at Devine Millimet provide.
- Probate Litigation: When necessary, our litigators work in tandem with trust and estate attorneys in probate court dispute matters, which include will contests, estate and trust beneficiary representation, suits against beneficiaries, representation of fiduciaries, and court ordered accountings.
- Tax Preparation: To complement our estate planning, probate and trust administration services, Devine Millimet prepares federal and state estate tax returns, gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.
- Representation Before Tax Authorities: We provide experienced representation in audits, appeals and inquiries on federal and state transfer tax and fiduciary income tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service, New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration, Massachusetts Department of Revenue and in Tax Court.
- Marital Planning: Estate plans can easily be thwarted where second spouses claim interests that were earmarked for children of a prior marriage or for other beneficiaries. We negotiate and prepare prenuptial agreements to ensure that everyone’s wishes are memorialized in the present and honored in the future.
- Planning for Special Needs: We work with clients to structure unique trusts and estate plans to meet the special needs of disabled individuals and to preserve their eligibility for government sponsored programs, if applicable.
- Planning for Special Assets: We plan for unique assets such as retirement plan benefits, works of art, real estate, collections, and other valuable tangible personal property.
- Planning for the Elderly: We counsel on planning for retirement, planning the use of pension funds and IRA’s, planning for housing and medical care, and planning for long-term care and Medicaid eligibility.