Private Wealth Planning

Counseling Families

Our Private Wealth lawyers understand that long-term relationships with families are built on trust and require a lawyer’s personal dedication, commitment, and sound judgment. The diversity and geographic distribution of BakerHostetler’s Private Wealth lawyers allows us to connect with families where they reside and do business.

Family Legacy Planning

A family’s legacy is built on tailored planning designed to serve multiple generations. We provide advice on planning with trusts and other entities to achieve tax efficient protection asset and management. Legacy planning often starts with gifting of assets and can involve a wide array of techniques and structures. Our lawyers are experienced in all types of gifting vehicles, which often combine trusts with partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. We coordinate a client’s lifetime gifting strategies with their estate planning documents to achieve continuity of management and tax savings over several generations.

Tax Experience

Each of our Private Wealth lawyers is a trained tax attorney. We rely on our keen tax understanding in structuring a family’s estate plan to maximize economic benefits for future generations. When it is necessary to deal directly with the Internal Revenue Service or state taxing authorities, our lawyers are experienced in taking the lead role in audits, appeals, and court proceedings. We look for opportunities to work with a client’s accountants and other advisers because we believe the best results are obtained through collaborative efforts.

Philanthropy

In many cases, family legacy planning involves the use of family-controlled charities. We understand the critical importance of philanthropy as a family objective and can arrange gifts that are most tax advantageous. We counsel families on how to use charitable entities to further their values and charitable interests.

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Counseling Businesses

Many of BakerHostetler’s largest and most successful clients are family-owned businesses. We understand the importance of carefully drawn corporate governing documents, including buy-sell agreements, transfer restrictions, and voting/non-voting stock, but more importantly we are attuned to the personal dynamics inherent in a family-owned business. Our clients value this combination of legal experience and practical, sensitive counsel.

Corporate Governance

One of our strengths is integrating a client’s business ownership with family legacy planning. We work with families and their other advisers to create corporate governance structures and procedures while adhering to family dynamics and objectives. In drafting long-term trusts, we often suggest the use of Family Business Advisers and/or Trust Protectors to vote company stock owned in trust. We understand the importance of providing special protections for a trustee if a trust owns a concentrated position in a family-owned business.

Succession Planning

The decision whether to transfer ownership and/or control of a family business to the next generation is one of the most important, but often most challenging, decisions facing a senior generation business owner. Our team has guided many companies through this process and often utilizes sophisticated techniques to achieve maximum tax benefits. Clients especially appreciate our quantitative analysis, which assists in choosing among the best approach available to transfer value.

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Oakley V. Andrews Partner Cleveland
Edward J. Beckwith Partner Washington, D.C.
Leslie W. Bradenham Associate Washington, D.C.
James P. Casey Associate Costa Mesa
William J. Culbertson Counsel Cleveland
Leah E. DeLancey Partner Costa Mesa
Ashley L. Dietrich Associate Denver
Janny M. Duong Associate Costa Mesa
Jennifer L. Eschedor Counsel Cleveland
Christopher D. Fidler Partner Columbus
Robert R. Galloway Partner Cleveland
Theodore Z. Gelt Of Counsel Denver
Ellen E. Halfon Counsel Cleveland
Herbert W. Kalmbach Of Counsel Costa Mesa
Robert K. Lease Partner Cleveland
Gordon F. Litt Partner Columbus
Chad W. Makuch Associate Cleveland
George T. Mooradian Partner Costa Mesa
Lisa A. Roberts-Mamone Partner Cleveland
Kevin G. Robertson Partner Cleveland
Barry R. Robinson Partner Columbus
Daniela Ronchetti Associate Denver
Anthony J. Scaletta Partner Orlando
Mark D. Senff Partner Columbus
Michelle M. St. Pierre Partner Denver
David L. Starbuck Partner Denver
Michael R. Stiff Partner Denver
Raymond L. Sutton Jr. Partner Denver
Joseph F. Verciglio Partner Cleveland
Samantha M. White Associate Denver

Recognition

  • BakerHostetler received a 2014 “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 Ranking in the area of Trusts & Estates Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
    • Regional Tier 1 rankings were earned in Trusts & Estates Law in Cleveland, Colorado, Columbus and Washington, DC.
  • Twelve partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 in various private wealth-related fields.
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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WealthDirector
Tax Court Rules Corporate Merger of Family-Owned Businesses Results in Substantial Taxable Gift
November 17, 2014
In September, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Cavallaro v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-189, holding that a merger of two family-owned businesses resulted in a $29.6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cavallaro to their three sons...
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WealthDirector
IRS Attempts to Simplify the Application Process for Certain 501(c)(3) Organizations, but is “EZ” Better?
October 31, 2014
On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). Form 1023-EZ is an abbreviated version of the...
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WealthDirector
Keep Your Collection Away from the Collectors: Tax Planning for Fine Art
October 20, 2014
Appreciation of fine art can create challenging tax issues, but with proper planning collectors can minimize the estate, gift, and income tax consequences of their collections. For taxpayers hoping to keep their works in the family, a...
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WealthDirector
Colorado Court Leaves Valuation Question Unanswered When Valuing GRAT Appreciation
July 1, 2014
On March 20, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals, in Malias v. Malias, upheld the trial court’s determination that grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) remainder interests were “property interests” for property division purposes,  and the...
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WealthDirector
Income Tax Reporting for Decanting
June 20, 2014
Decanting refers to the distribution of trust property of one trust (the “first trust”) to another trust (the “second trust”).  Over the past several years, the number of states specifically authorizing decanting by statute has grown...
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