Trust & Estate 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's 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.


Grassi's 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 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 Global Network Limited, 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:


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


  • 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's Trusts & Estates practice group can be of service, contact Lisa Rispoli, CPA, AEP at


Rozleen Giwani Partner
Lisa Rispoli Partner, Trust & Estate Services Leader
Maryann Schugmann Partner

Articles & Alerts

Structuring Your Family Office for Maximum Tax Benefit

Family Offices have long struggled with maximizing the deductibility of their asset management and operating expenses. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated the deductibility of investment, accounting, tax and similar advisory fees, which has exacerbated this issue.


How Annual Trust Accountings Can Help Trustees Minimize Risk

It is in the best interest of trustees to take proactive measures to protect themselves against potential lawsuits and other liabilities. One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this is through annual trust accountings.


SECURE Act Signed into Law to Help Taxpayers Save More for Retirement

Last week, Congress passed some of the most significant retirement legislation in more than a decade. The SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act is designed to help Americans save more for retirement and to enable small employers to offer more retirement savings options.


IRS Issues Final Regulations on Increased Estate Tax Exemption

The IRS has issued final regulations that protect gifts made under the TCJA's increased estate tax exemption from being “clawed back” into a taxpayer’s estate after the provision expires.


Alert: Major News For Nonresident Real Estate Holders in the State of CT

In a ruling by the Department of Revenue Services for the State of Connecticut, new tax legislation was recently passed concerning nonresidents owning real estate in Connecticut.


Alert: Change to New York State Estate Tax

On Friday April 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.  This budget bill includes changes to the NYS Estate Tax Provisions.


Alert: Important Tax Update on QBI and Trusts

The Tax Cut & Jobs Act of 2017 provided a new Section 199A deduction on qualified business income for certain pass through entities (sole proprietorships, partnerships & S corps). This deduction, which is generally 20% of QBI with certain limitations, is temporary and expires at the end of tax year 2025.


EAlert: IRS Issues Workarounds for SALT Deduction

On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 


EAlert: Estate and Gift Taxes Under New Tax Law

The Holidays are over, for now—and so are estate and gift taxes, for some, for now.
The New Year brings in a significant increase in the estate, gift and generation-skipping tax exclusion amount. 


EAlert: IRS Issues Notice on Implementation of Executive Order 13789

On July 7, 2017 the internal revenue service issued Notice 2017-38, 2017-30 IRB[1] which announced the implementation of Executive Order 13789.  Executive order 13789 was issued by President Donald J. Trump on April 21, 2017, and was a directive designed to reduce tax regulatory burdens.


IRS Passes New Revenue Procedure—Simplifies Surviving Spouse Portability Election

The Federal government  imposes an estate tax which is calculated on the value of your assets when you die.  The first $5,490,000 (2017 exemption) is excluded for Federal Estate tax purposes.  This is a cumulative lifetime exemption; therefore taxable gifts made during your lifetime utilize part of this exemption.  Upon death, the remaining exemption is essentially applied to the remaining estate.


EAlert: IRS has issued Notice 2017-15

The IRS has issued Notice 2017-15 which provides relief for estate or gift tax transfers to same-sex spouses.



Estate Planning Council of Nassau County Dinner Meeting

Lisa Rispoli, Trust & Estate Services Leader, will present on Judicial Accountings at the Estate Planning Council of Nassau County's May dinner meeting.


EVENT: 8th Annual White Collar Crime Institute

Grassi & Co. will be sponsoring this annual event on Wednesday, May 15th! Register today!