Trusts & Estates
Designing and implementing a plan to preserve, protect, and transfer assets is most effective when completed before a crisis occurs. The crisis, however, sometimes arrives without warning, demanding immediate responses to complex legal, tax, business, and health care decisions. Inadequate preparation for life transitions and delayed response often lead to increased costs and loss of control over important personal and financial choices.
Wealth Preservation & Protection
Because each client's concerns are unique, we create plans to give our clients the comfort of knowing that their loved ones will be prepared to respond decisively when the need arises. That level of comfort exists not just because of our technical ability, but also because of our excellent listening skills. Working closely with our clients, we get to know them, their families, and their trusted advisors. A commitment to that process allows us to better understand each client's goals and objectives, to identify potential hazards, and to develop creative solutions.
Wealth preservation and protection require an appreciation of the current and future needs of our clients and of those who depend on them. Multi-generational planning requires cutting-edge legal and tax planning techniques and an appreciation of the human dynamics involved in intra-family disputes. Our clients rely on us to help them make prudent business, financial, and personal decisions and we take that responsibility seriously.
Estate & Trust Administration
Each executor, administrator, trustee, and other fiduciary is bound to promptly create a plan to meet their legal, financial, and ethical responsibilities. Without a timely and effective plan, a fiduciary cannot properly discharge the duties of office, thereby risking personal liability for opportunities lost and expenses incurred. We are committed to ensuring that our clients have a complete understanding of their obligations and a clear plan for meeting those obligations before they accept fiduciary appointments.
Strict deadlines, limited marketability of assets, and volatile financial markets require beneficiaries to be proactive in protecting their interests. Beneficiaries who delay in asserting their rights could experience irreparable financial harm through missed opportunities, increased tax and other costs, and changing economic conditions. Because each trust and estate is unique, we work closely with our clients to evaluate the myriad of relevant legal, financial, tax, and business issues and to understand their concerns, needs, and expectations. Our clients rely on us to help them make prudent decisions for meeting their legal, financial, and ethical obligations, and we take that responsibility seriously.
The illness or death of a loved one often evokes strong emotional responses, creating an environment that fosters disagreements. Disputes may center on the validity or interpretation of a will or trust, the unintended consequences of unforeseen circumstances, or the actions of a fiduciary being challenged by a beneficiary. Amicable resolutions to beneficiary-fiduciary, intra-family, and administrative disputes are always best. We use the court system only as a last resort.
Our litigation team is always ready to enforce a beneficiary's right to receive his or her full distributive share and the right to expect that fiduciaries will discharge their duties faithfully, promptly, competently, and without bias. We are equally prepared to defend a fiduciary from claims. In administrative forums, we fight to minimize estate and gift tax liability and to secure needed public benefits.
Our Estate Planning attorneys, led by Steven L. Friedman have extensive backgrounds in asset protection and wealth preservation, including hands-on experience in Tax Law (Federal and State), Probate Law, Corporate Law, Business Succession Planning, Elder Law, Guardianship Law and Conservatorship Law. They are also members of many national and regional organizations and are frequent writers and speakers on Estate Planning and related topics.
Stark & Stark clients receive the benefits found in a "boutique" firm that provides only trusts and estates services, along with the combined experience of many business, tax, real estate, family law, and litigation lawyers who bring to the creative problem-solving process an extraordinary depth of experience and level of sophistication.