Firm Services

I truly want to be a counselor at law -- not simply a contract attorney limited to a particular niche.

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My Principal Areas of Practice.

My principal areas of practice include Wills, Trust and Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Business and Transactions. I also handle certain Commercial Real Estate transactions. For any matters that I don't handle directly, such as Litigation, I have contract and referral arrangements with other attorneys and firms to help service those needs. My goal is to serve as an integral resource for my clients in all of their legal needs. I truly want to be a counselor at law -- not simply a contract attorney limited to a particular niche.

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Why use three words when one will do? I try my best to make documents more readable and cut out the old legal jargon where possible.

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Of course there are numerous matters that I don't handle at all including family law, criminal, traffic tickets and residential real estate for example. Usually I have an attorney that I can refer for these matters as well.

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning? I am in the business of helping clients protect their families and preserve their assets. If you have minor children and need help establishing a basic Will and naming guardians, check out Estate Planning For Young Families. If you have Wills and related documents that you signed years ago, I can review your documents and advise you of how best to update everything. I work with clients across the full financial spectrum, those with minimal assets and those with a net worth in the tens of millions, but they all need help in planning their affairs in death or disability. I work with clients in all aspects of their personal and tax planning goals. Many of my clients rely on me for more than simply drafting a Will or Trust; I become their counselor helping them deal with various legal decisions throughout their lives.

A few examples of my estate planning work include:

  • Wills
  • Living Trusts
  • Financial Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Trusts for Children
  • Gifts and Gift Tax Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Installment Sales, GRATS, QPRT's
  • Generation Skipping Planning
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Private Foundations
  • Insurance Trusts(ILITS)
  • Re-titling real property

If you are not sure what you need, by all means give me a call and I am happy to talk through your situation and see if I can help.

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Estate Planning for Young Families

If you have minor children or if you are expecting your first child, add a basic Will and related documents to your list of things to do. Your Will allows you to name guardians who will care for your minor children if both you and your spouse are deceased. Equally important, you can provide a trust within your Will to manage assets for your kids until they reach an appropriate age. In the absence of such a trust, the Court will require the creation of a guardianship to manage the assets; this requires cumbersome reporting and unnecessary Court fees and the guardianship terminates at age 18, providing the child with all the money at that early age. A trust allows you to delay the ultimate distribution to ensure that the child reaches a more appropriate maturity level before taking control of a large amount of assets (e.g. 25 or 30 years old). In addition to your Will, you will need a Financial Power of Attorney and Health Power of Attorney to name someone to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

My process for working with young families is very straightforward. We usually start with a phone conference, video conference or office meeting. I will gather information about your family and your assets and we will discuss the basic documents I recommend and the decisions you will need to make. The most important decision for you to consider is which individuals will serve in the different fiduciary roles such as guardian trustee etc. Next I will prepare draft documents and email them to you for review. We can discuss questions or changes you have through email or phone conference. Finally we will set a time to sign the final documents in one of my office locations or possibly in your office or advisors office, whatever is most convenient.

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Estate Administration

When family and friends are faced with the death of a loved one, the prospect of dealing with an estate administration can be overwhelming. I help clients work through the entire process including court filings, tax filings and transfer of assets. I can provide a "turn key" services handling all aspects of the estate administration with assistance from my contract paralegals. I can also provide ad hoc advice and review of the client's work product where the client prefers to take on more of the responsibility directly. Above all, my goal is to alleviate as much of the burden as possible for the family so that they can instead focus their energies on coping with their loss.

Typical work in estates includes:

  • Probate and Qualification
  • Notice to Creditors
  • Inventory and Accounting
  • Asset Tranfers
  • Income Tax Returns and Estate tax Returns
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Business & Transactions

Approximately half of my practice is centered around work with businesses. Through over 16 years of work in a mid-sized law firm I gained considerable experience in a wide range of legal issues and transactions facing businesses of all sizes. My work in this area includes everything from setting up new companies to structuring the sale or purchase of a large established business and quite a bit more in between. I excel particularly where a matter calls for creativity or where there may not be an easy contract template available to document a transaction; this is where my practical approach is most attractive to my clients. If there is an easy way to solve a problem that requires the least amount of time and documentation, that will be my path. I don't get paid to make things long and complicated. I also have a fairly strong background in corporate and partnership tax which allows me to approach a transaction or an issue with a full understanding of the tax implications; this avoids false starts on a nonviable transaction or the need to associate in tax counsel for special analysis.

In additional to my work with corporations, I provide regular business and tax counsel to nonprofits. I can provide a complete organization package for a nonprofit including all corporate documents and tax exemption approval. I also provide regular advice on corporate or contract issues facing any given nonprofit.

Select examples of my work with Business and Transactions include:

  • Organization of Corporations and LLC's
  • Assisting Businesses with Contracts, Purchase/Sell Transactions, Customer/Supplier Payment Disputes
  • Advising Investors in Development Projects
  • Organizing and Advising Nonprofits on Corporate and Tax Exemption issues
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Commercial Real Estate

Although I don't hold myself out as a commercial real estate attorney, I have plenty of experience dealing with commercial loans and related transactions. I can assist clients in buying or selling or refinancing commercial real estate, investing in a development project, preparation and review of leases and many other transactions. Where title work is required I typically associate in a title attorney who can provide the service more efficiently. Of course if there are special transactions or matters that are outside of my experience I have a network of commercial real estate attorneys for referrals to best service the client. Again my goal is to help the client find the most appropriate answer to their legal needs whether that is working with me or someone else.

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Litigation and Disputes

I have a bit of experience in litigation, but this is not a service that I offer directly. However I welcome clients or contacts to call with questions about a potential litigation matter. If you are unfortunate enough to have been served with a lawsuit, then I can help you understand the basic issues and what you need to do to respond and I can probably recommend someone to assist you. Alternatively if you or someone you know believes that they have a claim or basis for a lawsuit I can offer some input on how best to proceed. Again I may be able to help find you the right attorney and I may even wish to stay involved to help shepherd the process along and serve as a another attorney resource for the client.

Sometimes a matter may not be ripe for litigation, but warrants some interaction with an attorney. If someone owes you money and is not responding to your calls, a demand letter from an attorney can often get their attention and speed up the payment. Or if you are in a business relationship that has hit a problem, consulting with an attorney early in the process can often help avoid costly litigation. My approach in these matters is again practical and designed to follow the path of least resistance. I understand the costs and delay associated with litigation and my advice takes all of that into account in hopes of resolving the matter as painlessly as possible.