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
Edward J. Beckwith Partner Washington, D.C.
Scott J. Bent Associate Columbus
Leslie W. Bradenham Associate Washington, D.C.
William J. Culbertson Counsel Cleveland
Leah E. DeLancey Partner 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
Anthony J. Scaletta Partner Orlando
Michelle M. St. Pierre Partner Denver
David L. Starbuck Partner Denver
Michael R. Stiff Partner Denver
Raymond L. Sutton Jr. Partner Denver
Ashley L. Thompson Associate Denver
Joseph F. Verciglio Partner Cleveland
Samantha M. White Counsel Denver

Recognition

  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” (2016)
    • Litigation - Trusts & Estates
      • Metro Columbus, Tier 1
      • Metro Denver, Tier 1
      • Metro Washington, D.C., Tier 2
    • Trusts & Estates Law
      • National Tier 1
        • "Law Firm of the Year" (2016)
      • Metro Cleveland, Tier 1
      • Metro Columbus, Tier 1
      • Metro Denver, Tier 1
      • Metro Washington, D.C., Tier 1
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2016)
    • 3 lawyers named in Litigation - Trusts & Estates
    • 11 lawyers named in Trusts and Estates

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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WealthDirector
The Three Most Important Provisions for S Corporations Under PATH Act
January 21, 2016
It has become a tradition that at the end of each year, Congress passes legislation to extend previous legislation. In late 2015, Congress passed Public Law 114-113, which contains the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (“PATH”)...
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WealthDirector
New Basis Reporting Requirements (and Penalties) for Decedents’ Estates
January 4, 2016
On July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (the “Act”) to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority for another three months. To offset the...
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WealthDirector
Donors and Charities Benefit Under New Tax Legislation
December 31, 2015
While most provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) do not automatically expire, there are dozens that do. Included among the expiring provisions have been several intended to enhance charitable giving. Each has been hostage to the...
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WealthDirector
Use of a Limited Liability Company for Charitable Purposes
December 21, 2015
On December 1, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a letter to his newborn daughter, Max, and shared it with the world (on Facebook, of course). The letter announced the commitment of Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to improve the world in...
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WealthDirector
Family Trust Company Legislation Passes Ohio House
December 16, 2015
On December 9, 2015, House Bill 229 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 84-8. The bill, which was almost two years in the making, allows an Ohio family to establish its own trust company to serve as trustee for its...
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