Trust & Estate Planning Practice Group
The accumulation, preservation and transfer of your family’s wealth are at the heart of our Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group. We are focused every day on helping our clients achieve these goals through comprehensive tax, business, and personal planning strategies. You receive personalized estate planning solutions to carry out your particular desires while minimizing taxes, maximizing financial benefits to your family and fulfilling your philanthropic objectives.
Business owners, farmers and ranchers, physicians, lawyers and other professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, executives, retirees and their families all trust Friday, Eldredge & Clark for counsel on these matters. We not only help individuals but also family-owned businesses and all types of tax-exempt organizations. We also advise fiduciaries on the administration of estates and trusts.
Just like these clients, you can rely on lawyers who have all the credentials you expect from members of a strong Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group. Nearly all of our partners have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, and several have been recognized by Chambers USA. Our team consists of CPAs (inactive) and Fellows in the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. We even have the top tax lawyer in Arkansas as named by the Arkansas Times. With all of the resources of the largest law firm in the state, we have the knowledge and insight necessary to meet any need for you, your family, your business or exempt organization.
Whether your estate plan involves a simple will or a series of complex trusts, we work with you to make sure all the details are handled properly, honoring your wishes while protecting your heirs. You will deal with a trustworthy counselor who understands all aspects of the estate planning process and who will help you develop a plan tailored to your family situation as your needs and financial circumstances evolve.
Every client’s estate planning environment and preferences are different, but everyone needs a complete and up-to-date estate plan. We can help you clarify and achieve your goals for the accumulation, preservation, and transfer of wealth in the context of your own unique circumstances. The process often involves creating a variety of lifetime and testamentary trusts and employing strategic wealth transfer techniques to protect and preserve family assets and to minimize the impact of taxes. We customize estate plans to suit your particular needs so that they address all the important aspects of your financial situation:
- Personal tax planning
- Business planning
- Retirement planning
- Life insurance planning
- Planning for disability and special needs
- Risk management and asset protection
- Family legacy and philanthropy
While much of our work involves plans for saving taxes and transferring assets at one’s death, a comprehensive approach that considers all of these factors can promote your financial success today. A complete plan will also prepare you and your family for lifetime risks such as incapacity and will include documents such as durable powers of attorney, advance health care plans and living wills in addition to testamentary wills and trusts.
Estate and Trust Administration
Your estate plan is effective only if it is properly executed and administered. Our lawyers will work with your executors and trustees in matters of probate and estate and trust administration to see that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are protected. We effectively counsel individual and corporate fiduciaries, executors, administrators, guardians, trustees, and beneficiaries on the estate administration and settlement process, guiding them through the legal requirements imposed by the governing documents and state law as well as the tax compliance obligations for fiduciary income taxes, estate and gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. We have proven success representing clients in tax controversies with the IRS on such matters. Also, we regularly help resolve sensitive disputes regarding the validity, construction, and administration of wills and trusts, and when litigation is necessary, we engage Friday, Eldredge & Clark trial attorneys who are recognized as among the best trial lawyers in our state.
Family businesses pose special estate planning challenges, and Friday, Eldredge & Clark is skilled at all aspects of business asset and succession planning. We will help you achieve personal and business objectives through effective corporate and tax strategies. Our tax lawyers have advised founders of many public and private companies on estate planning, business succession planning, financial and liquidity planning. We also represent multiple generations of family members who need help with issues such as:
- Choice of entity
- Subchapter S corporations
- Family limited partnerships and LLCs
- Tax planning for family businesses
- Business succession planning and buy-sell agreements
- Life insurance planning
- Business valuation issues
- Business control controversies
- Business exit strategies
Our business succession planning helps you as a business owner develop the right strategies to maintain or transfer control of your company as personal needs and requirements dictate. We can help you provide for the future management of your business by the people you choose. When family control spans several generations, or is made more complex by death, incapacity, or divorce and remarriage, we handle succession issues professionally and with sensitivity.
We prepare buy-sell agreements with owners to meet their tax, business succession, and estate planning goals. And, if the eventual disposition of your business is the most practical choice, we guide you to the most tax-efficient strategies for a sale, merger, or liquidation.
Nonprofit Corporations, Charitable and Tax-Exempt Organizations
If your plans include a significant role for philanthropy, we can help you maximize the impact of your giving by determining the most tax-efficient techniques and the most effective vehicles to accomplish your charitable objectives. Our lawyers are experienced in establishing family foundations and public charity-supporting organizations, as well as charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts which benefit both family and charity, while securing the advantages of income, estate, and gift tax deductions.
We also advise charitable organizations on compliance with public charity rules, private foundation rules, unrelated business income tax, executive compensation, planned gifts, and all other applicable provisions of the federal tax code and regulations. Additionally, we provide guidance on complying with state laws regulating nonprofit corporations, charitable solicitations and endowment funds.
We work with trade and professional associations on tax and legal compliance matters, including lobbying and ethics rules, political action committees, member services issues, employment laws, and employee benefits programs.