Private Client Services

Our Practice

Our Private Client Services (PCS) attorneys advise clients in strategic, sophisticated planning for what matters most — their families, their businesses, and their charitable endeavors. With attorneys in offices throughout the United States and Mexico, clients are often relieved to find that we can be their “one-stop-shop” for planning involving assets in multiple jurisdictions requiring cross-disciplinary experience, including asset protection, tax-efficient generational wealth transfer, business succession planning, probate and trust administration, and estate and trust litigation.

Our PCS partners are recognized as leaders in the field and preeminent resources in each of our markets, regularly sought out for advice involving complex issues. Many of our partners have been elected as Fellows in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and ranked as leaders in Chambers USA. Our commitment to continuing education helps us provide sound, current, and practical counsel on virtually any matter concerning trusts and estates. In fact, we pride ourselves on being some of the most educated practitioners in each of our markets.

We are discerning in what we implement and who we represent. We are not the most aggressive practitioners. We are proud of our PCS practice, and respectfully consider it among the finest in the country.

Estate Planning

Our clients face a range of challenges that affect their estate plans, including difficult family legacy decisions, ongoing legislative and regulatory changes, evolving market conditions, and an increased focus by tax authorities on high-wealth individuals. We work as trusted advisors, collaborating with clients’ accountants, wealth advisors, and family office staff to design estate plans involving strategic lifetime and post-death wealth transfer:

  • Foundational wills, revocable trusts, and powers of attorney
  • International estate planning
  • Charitable trusts and private foundations
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Generation skipping transfer tax trusts
  • Family limited partnerships
  • Planning for IRA and qualified plan assets
  • Corporate governance and management
  • Notice and communication with beneficiaries
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Merger and acquisition transactions for family businesses

Probate and Trust Administration

In addition to helping our clients maximize and preserve their legacies, our PCS attorneys guide fiduciaries in navigating the intricacies of post-mortem estate and trust administrations and advise on valuable, post-death planning opportunities. Some of our capabilities include:

  • Preparation of gift and estate tax returns
  • Filing of probate instruments in local courts
  • Counsel regarding dealings with beneficiaries
  • Fiduciary tax reporting
  • Interpretation of tax allocation clauses
  • Post-mortem disclaimers

Dispute Resolution and Trust Litigation

Diminished capacity, blended families, sibling rivalries, unfamiliarity with will and trust formalities as between different states, and the vast amount of wealth in trusts today all contribute to increased trust and estate litigation. Unfortunately, conflict may ensue even when an individual carefully plans for their own incapacity and death and seeks qualified counsel. If disputes or complications arise, our attorneys have extensive experience in representing trustees, executors, and beneficiaries in a broad array of matters including the following:

  • Claims of vulnerable adult abuse and financial exploitation
  • Claims of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity
  • Will and trust contests
  • Claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Personal Representative/Executor-Beneficiary disputes
  • Enforcement of "no contest" clauses
  • Secured and unsecured creditor claims
  • Defense of debtors against estate claims
  • Pre-litigation planning

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