Trusts and Estates

Trusts and Estates Services

Planning ahead can offer greater control and privacy, which is why estate planning is an essential part of an individual’s overall financial plan. Although estate planning can be complex, an informed and well-designed plan can help ensure that your assets and loved ones are secure.

Grassi & Co. Trusts and Estates Services Group professionals dedicate their time to working with individuals, business owners, trustees, executors, and other related parties with tax planning and consulting services; business succession planning; formal and informal court accountings; and fiduciary tax preparation services.

We work with our clients to integrate trust and estate strategies in order to:

• Maximize estate value and develop a wealth plan tailored to their unique circumstances • Protect their assets throughout every stage of their lives • Ensure tax compliance for them and their decedents • Assist and guide them throughout the estate administration process, which could be daunting based on the complexity of the estate and applicable law Estate, Gift and Income Tax Planning Grassi & Co.’s Trusts and Estates Service Group, with more than 250 professionals including a leading Tax Controversy Services Group, works in concert with leading attorneys, insurance experts, and other relevant advisors to ensure our clients develop an integrated plan that effectively aligns to their short- and long-term objectives. Our team provides guidance regarding income taxation of trusts and estates, and, when necessary, represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) throughout the audit and settlement of estate, gift, generation-skipping, and fiduciary income tax returns.

Gifting

The Grassi & Co. Trusts and Estates Services Group works closely with clients to coordinate the preparation and filing of gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax returns, as well as both domestic and offshore fiduciary income tax returns. Our Team also leverages the expertise of our Valuations Services Group to establish the value of businesses and other assets for estate and gift tax planning and administration.

Trust and Estate Administration

Grassi & Co. offers comprehensive administration and fiduciary services to trustees and executors. Proper trust and estate administration involves collecting assets, ensuring that all necessary income and estate taxes are filed, and providing comprehensive accountings to the probate court and to estate and trust beneficiaries.

Trust and estate administration services include:

  • Preparing and filing federal and state estate tax returns, personal income tax returns, and all fiduciary income tax returns required
  • Assistance with IRS audits and negotiation of estate matters
  • Working with executors, trustees, and administrators to prepare formal and informal accountings, resolve creditors’ claims, and identify and collect assets
  • Assisting executors and attorneys with the preparation of probate and administration filings in Surrogate’s Court
  • Providing guidance with regards to the ongoing administration of irrevocable trusts and other estate planning techniques, including trust reformation and decantings

International Estate Planning

We have a developed Trusts and Estates Team that consists of professionals who have extensive experience coordinating global estate planning for U.S., foreign and multinational families.

For our U.S. clients that have assets abroad, we coordinate their estate planning with local advisors in those jurisdictions, through our affiliation with Moore Stephens International, an international association of more than 300 independent accounting and consulting firms worldwide.

For our foreign clients with U.S. business interests and/or assets and families in the U.S., we assist in structuring their U.S. investments to maximize U.S. tax advantages and advise them on tax-efficient methods of transferring those investments to succeeding generations.

Facts to be Aware of When Developing Your Estate Plan

  • Current Annual Gift Tax Exclusion
  • Estate Tax Exemption
  • Estate Tax Exemption per married couple using the Gift Splitting Technique
  • New York Estate Tax will mirror the Federal system by 2019. A “CLIFF phase-out” now exists where estates may receive no exemption at all.
  • The illiquidity of an estate consisting predominantly of ownership in a privately owned business.

Pre and Post Death Planning Opportunities to be Considered:

Pre-Death

  • Consider purchasing adequate life insurance
  • Transfer assets to next generation via gift, sale or combination
  • Sale to ESOP or Management Buy-out
  • Strategic Sale

Post-Death

  • The ability to borrow funds or elect deferral under IRC Sec 6166 to pay the estate taxes
  • Consider selling specific assets to create liquidity

Life Events that May Require Changes to Estate Plan

  • Marriage, divorce, re-marriage, or death of ANY primary participant in the estate plan
  • Death, disability, retirement or other departure of any stakeholders involved in the estate plan
  • Substantial change in the profits of the business or a pending sale of the business

For more information on how Grassi & Co.’s Trusts & Estates practice group can be of service, contact Lisa Rispoli, CPA, AEP at lrispoli@grassicpas.com.