Wealth Transfer Practice Group
Estate planning is a proactive process that ensures the most efficient transfer of one’s assets to intended recipients, such as loved ones or charities. Beyond avoiding excessive taxes and safeguarding against attacks from third parties, a good estate plan will protect you in the event of incapacity. It will let you – not the courts – keep control of your assets and of decisions about your medical care if you can no longer handle your own affairs.
Our clients recognize that by planning ahead, they can maximize the value of their estate and set their families up for a successful financial future.
Marked by precision and a philosophy rooted in critical problem solving, McManus & Associates delivers the most sophisticated and cutting edge estate planning strategies.
Complex Tax Planning and Estate Litigation
In addition to ensuring that high quality documents are prepared, we ensure that all assets are properly re-titled, whether that is into a trust, or divided between spouses, and we ensure that proper beneficiary designations are in place. We also assist with the transfer of assets, which includes real estate, transfers of securities, LLCs, private equity interests. We also represent trustees and advise on meeting their fiduciary obligations (adequately diversified assets, appropriate distributions, appropriate trust investments, notification to beneficiaries, advice on tax reporting.) You could also mention that the firm serves as the trustee of various trusts.
In terms of litigation, we represent executors of estates when challenged by beneficiaries. We have also been involved in matters where a use of a power of attorney caused disharmony among family members. We also have also challenged wills based on a lack of capacity, or undue influence. We have also challenged lifetime transfers based on undue influence. We have also worked on will reformations to achieve the testator’s intent, and the admission to probate of improperly executed wills.
International Tax and Estate Planning
In a burgeoning, competitive global environment, where mobility is a necessary attribute for key executives, many non-U.S. citizens find themselves living and working in the United States for a period of time during their professional careers. Some elect to remain in the United States as permanent residents, green card holders, or citizens, while many return to their countries of origin after their employment term has expired.
In either scenario, while in the U.S. there are critical estate planning measures that must be undertaken to protect the non-U.S. citizen and his or her family, which include the preparation of a last will and testament, health care proxy and living will, authorization to release protected medical information, and a power of attorney.
Forethought and proper planning can ensure advantageous estate and gift tax treatment for the non-U.S. citizen as well as proper representation in the U.S. for medical and financial matters.
Pre-immigration planning, which often entails establishing trusts, corporations, and making lifetime gifts before one enters the U.S., can go a long way in alleviating the need for planning once in the U.S.
Furthermore, non-U.S. citizen permanent residents may face the same implications as U.S. citizens with respect to expatriation if they have resided in the U.S. for eight out of the previous fifteen years. For such individuals, as for all U.S. citizens, an exit tax may be levied on perceived capital gains. Gross asset values and growth must be calculated and a separate tax form must be filed with the I.R.S.
Should the non-U.S. citizen pass away during his or her term of residency in the United States, there are considerations beyond advantageous tax elections, which include providing for a surviving spouse and the children of the non-U.S. citizen, that must be addressed. A holistic approach for the non-U.S. citizen, which includes other key professionals in financial advisory and insurance, is necessary.
The Estate Administration Practice Group assists our clients with the multitude of legal and financial duties that need to be addressed upon the death of an individual. We walk with our clients through the process of probating a decedent’s last will and testament, obtaining financial information about the estate assets for the preparation of state and federal estate tax returns, paying estate tax due, making distributions of probate and non-probate assets and funding trusts for estate beneficiaries.
McManus & Associates provide the most professional legal representation with the utmost care and attention during a sad and emotional time for surviving family members. Although the death of a loved one is a traumatic event, we strive to ease the stress and consternation that accompany any matter before the courts and tax authorities.
A typical estate administration will include the following tasks to be performed:
- Prepare court paperwork including a probate petition and represent the client at the surrogate’s court to facilitate the receipt of executor and trustee letters providing the fiduciaries authority to act.
- Marshal of all asset information and obtain date of death statements for assets owned individually and jointly by the decedent.
- Employ complex post mortem planning strategies to reduce estate tax.
- Prepare and file required federal and state estate tax returns.
- Coordinate distribution of probate and non-probate assets.
- Provide consistent communication with estate fiduciaries including the executor and trustee as well as with estate beneficiaries.
- Assist in the funding of testamentary and inter vivos trusts to maximize estate tax exemptions and provide asset protection to estate beneficiaries.
- Prepare and file fiduciary income tax returns for the estate and trusts.
- Provide legal counsel with respect to additional estate administration issues.
Family Sustainability and Philanthropy
McManus & Associates helps philanthropists give smart: that is, achieve outstanding results, consistent with their values, by helping them define and measure success for the problems and people they care most about. We help them identify and pursue the most important initiatives and grantees that will create the changes they want to see in the world. We analyze the big ideas, and craft specific and adaptive strategies to achieve exceptional results over time.