Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning
Jennifer Jordan McCall
For the last ten years, Pillsbury’s Estates, Trusts and Tax Planning Group has been ranked as a leading firm in the area of Wealth Management by Chambers USA, Legal 500 and U.S. News and World Report.
Pillsbury partners were ranked in the inaugural Chambers High Net Worth Guide in Northern California and the Western Region in 2016.
Pillsbury’s partners have been individually ranked as leading practicioners in their field by Chambers, Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report
Pillsbury was named "Law Firm of the Year" for Trusts & Estates by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in 2013.
Chambers notes, The firm's trusts and estates expertise is especially strong in Palm Beach, Silicon Valley and New York. "They're spectacular and they are incredibly focused on service," says a commentator.
The goal of Pillsbury's Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning practice is to assist families and individuals in developing and implementing thoughtful plans for the transmission of wealth, and to protect wealth from the vagaries of taxes and economic conditions.
We advise individuals and families, including family offices and charitable foundations, in the planning and administration of substantial and complex trusts and estates. In working with clients on tax, financial, and estate planning issues, our attorneys provide a full range estate succession, gift transfer, and wealth planning services, including sophisticated tax planning techniques. Moreover, we apply our collective skills to help with additional matters, including those related to closely held corporations, partnerships, real property, income tax, charitable foundations, litigation, employee benefits, employment law, immigration law, and copyright and trademark laws.
Some representative areas of activity include:
Estate Planning and Wills
We help plan for the orderly transfer of wealth in accordance to client wishes by first understanding client intentions clearly, reviewing all pertinent financial statements, keeping current on constantly changing federal and state tax laws, and drafting the documents necessary to implement an estate plan.
Because needs change throughout a client’s life, we advise on activities that include creating trusts for minor children and grandchildren, creating tax-advantaged trusts to effect the transfer of assets at less than fair market value, purchasing life insurance and creating trusts to shelter the proceeds of gift and estate tax, preparing prenuptial agreements, and planning for the continuing support of disabled children or other dependents. We can also assist in structuring lifetime and testamentary charitable gifts and provide income tax planning to obtain the maximum benefit from available deductions.
After preparing a client’s estate plan and will, we customarily represent the executor in the probate of the will and the administration of the estate. We make a point of establishing a relationship with the client’s family, explaining the estate’s provisions to them and other beneficiaries. We arrange for the valuation and collection of assets and the payment of debts, as well as preparation of an income tax plan for the estate during its administration with the goal of providing overall tax savings for the beneficiaries. Our services have also included the sale of closely held businesses, sales of works of art, contested probate proceedings, and coordination for ancillary administration of assets in other jurisdictions.
International Estate Planning
We counsel clients on the U.S. tax consequences of U.S. assets owned by non-U.S. persons and advise them on the methods by which such assets may be sheltered from U.S. income, estate and gift taxes. This requires knowledge of U.S. tax laws as they relate to non-U.S. persons and the tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries. Through the use of our offices in Europe and Asia, we can coordinate with the client’s advisor in his or her home country with respect to the tax laws of that country.