Taxation & Wealth Planning

Federal Estate & Gift Tax Planning

Fox Rothschild’s Taxation and Wealth Planning attorneys provide clients sophisticated estate advice to help them achieve their family and financial goals.

We understand the unique tax implications faced by our clients, which include company founders, venture capitalists, Fortune 500 executives, closely held business owners, real estate investors, hedge fund managers, retirees, divorcees, single parents, and entertainment, sports and media figures. We consider estate planning to be a collaborative process with our clients and their advisers—one best accomplished through continued conversation, as needs may evolve over time, and that considers how those objectives can be realized in light of an uncertain and constantly changing federal tax law landscape.

Changes to the federal tax code the past two decades have drastically changed how families should plan for the future. For instance, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 significantly shortened how long non-spouses can delay disbursements from inherited retirement accounts, like IRAs, 401(k)s and pension and profit sharing plans.

Fox attorneys stay abreast of such changes, which could cost clients millions. Through the use of various trusts and other financial instruments, they can help prolong some distributions and maximize retirement benefits.

Among other things, they are skilled at establishing:

  • Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs), which are planning tools that can help reduce a person’s taxable estate while also protecting assets from creditors and allowing distributions to the beneficiary-spouse.
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), which are irrevocable financial instruments that can help a person minimize taxes on large financial gifts to family members. Under such a plan, the person can freeze the value of their estate for a set number of years – sometimes as little as two – and give the appreciation during that time to their heirs tax free.
  • Grantor Trusts, which are irrevocable instruments that can help a business owner divest his company while both avoiding some taxes and ensuring his heirs remain in control.

Additional revisions to the tax code are also expected in the coming months and years, with some legislators proposing bills like the “For the 99.5 percent Act.” If it passes, the federal government could start taxing estates worth more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples) instead of $11.5 million ($23 million for couples.) The bill also calls for changes to how SLATs, GRATs, Grantor Trusts and other trusts operate.

Sound estate planning now could mean significant savings later.