Prominent Cases Handled

If you are involved in a situation similar to one described below, please contact our firm immediately for guidance.

Estate Tax Appeal/Refund:

Conceived of rationale for obtaining $16,000,000 Federal Estate Tax Refund for Estate Beneficiaries by taking the position that the decedent held a life estate (only) in Palm Beach Mansion based upon the exchange of notes between husband and wife the day the couple married and put the property in both names as tenants by the entirety. The Refund required a special act of Congress to approve.

Real Estate Sales or Tax Planning:

Avoided $400,000+ in Pennsylvania State Realty Transfer Tax by structuring sale of 330 unit rental apartment complex as a sale of leasehold interest for $14,000,000 followed by a sale of the remainder (fee) interest (in the same property) for separate consideration in the following tax year.

Florida Domicile Planning:

Engineered client’s change of domicile to Florida to avoid $5,000,000 in inheritance tax in state of former domicile.

Planned client’s relocation to Florida at age 93 to avoid hundreds of thousands of  dollars in inheritance taxes in state of former domicile through use of Limited Partnerships, Jewelry Trusts, etc.

Successfully changed domicile of 92 year old lifetime resident of Pennsylvania by transferring title to 55 year home to Family Limited Partnership and placing all other property in General Partnerships and Lifetime Trusts. The result was avoidance of hundreds of thousands of dollars on Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes and ancillary probate administration.

Extensive experience in Florida domicile planning, including the use of Special Declarations of Domicile and Declarations of Non-Domicile (authorized under special Florida Statutes), together with Confirmation of Florida Domicile where clients frequently travel to receive medical treatment outside Florida in states that have local inheritance/income taxes.

Asset Protection / Offshore Trust:

Established Offshore Trust in favorable foreign jurisdiction to disinherit heir of Estate and prospectively bar Will contest at parents’ death.

Guardianships:

Had Probate Court declare absent Florida domiciliary an incapacitated person to gain appointment of Guardian to revoke misfiled Election to Take Elective Share of Estate and avoid potential malpractice claim for local attorney-client.

Served as court-appointed Guardian of person/property for numerous Palm Beach County residents without families through which intimate, first-hand knowledge was gained of financial, medical and mental health issues/problems of these complicated matters.

Estate Planning:

Routinely use family trusts, partnerships, corporations, and other title-holding vehicles to own real/personal property in non-Florida states having inheritance/income taxes to reduce/avoid local tax exposure while maintaining control within family.

Sale of Stock in Corporation:

Used combination corporate redemption/sale of stock to third party to transfer ownership of wanted assets (Cadillac car dealership) while retaining unwanted assets (securities portfolio) for owners in most tax-advantageous way, taking into account federal, state and local tax consequences.

Conceived of and implemented private auction of 300 real estate development lots in Lee County, Florida, by selling the stock in a Subchapter S Corporation that owned title to the property for $5,000,000 more than last offer.

Wills:

Drafted U.S. Wills for U.S. Citizens residing in foreign countries and have administered U.S. Estates with substantial holdings outside the United States, taking into account interplay between U.S./foreign tax laws, statutes, treaties, etc.

Guardianship Litigation:

Overturned Guardianship in complex (multiple) Circuit Court actions where the Ward, age 90, was adjudged incompetent by her own attorney before a local judge, and the attorney’s secretary was appointed as guardian of her multi-million dollar estate without prior Notice to next-of-kin required by applicable Florida Probate Rules.

Estate/Trust Administration:

Appeared in dozens of Florida counties to administer Estates, litigate controversies in pending Estates and Guardianships, and obtain relief from improper actions by Trustees, Personal Representatives and Guardians including obtaining the appointment of Emergency Temporary Guardians, Administrators Ad Litem, etc.

Estate Tax Returns (IRS Form 706):

Have prepared/filed hundreds (100s) of United States Estate Tax Returns (IRS Forms 706) successfully obtaining multi-million dollar discounts which were accepted by the IRS and other state taxing authorities.

Family Limited Partnership Planning:

Obtained substantial Federal Estate Tax discounts for Family Limited Partnership interests based upon lack of marketability and minority interests.

Obtained $1,250,000 Federal Estate Tax savings using valuation discounts for Family Limited Partnership interests by 85 year old widow.

1031 Exchange:

Obtained tax-free treatment on Section 1031 property exchange involving five (5) co-owners of condominium on Palm Beach using creative income-tax planning strategies.

Pre/Post-Nuptial Agreements:

Used Non-Marital Agreement to protect family’s inheritance when female clergy person moved into 90 year old widower’s home after officiating at client’s deceased wife’s funeral.

Charitable Planning Giving:

Arranged for lifetime care for widower by housekeeper using Charitable Remainder Trust.

Used Charitable Remainder (Annuity) Trusts to provide income for client’s spouse and his long-time assistant with the remainder to go to client’s Private Foundation at their passing.

Negotiated naming of Conference Room in perpetuity at major University Building on campus for widow in exchange for a six figure scholarship fund donation to professional school in honor of late husband.

Asset Protection:

Created trusts as title-holding vehicles for client’s inheritance from various family members to insulate client from alimony/marital property claims in potential divorce which (actually) occurred years later.

Emergency Temporary Guardian:

Counseled family member on how to have an Emergency Temporary Guardian appointed where other family member improperly used Durable Power of Attorney.

Viatical Life Settlement:

Counseled client on process of selling $500,000 life insurance policy as a life settlement under applicable Florida Statutory procedure.

Private Foundation:

Created Private Foundation in 1980’s to which client left the majority of his testamentary Estate at his passing which supports private property rights and grants collegiate scholarships to deserving local High School seniors.

Intestate Succession:

Had Florida incompetent resident visiting in New York State adjudged incapacitated and a Guardian appointed to cancel an erroneously made spousal Elective Share Election to take 30% of the Estate so as to rightfully claim the intestate share of the entire (100%) Estate as a pretermitted spouse under Florida law.

Real Estate:

Convinced client to carve-out one acre of 19 acre parcel as consideration for assignment of its Purchase Contract in lieu of $25,000 cash offer with property that (ultimately) appreciated to a fair market value of over $1,000,000 in coming years.

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