Croke Fairchild attorneys have estate planning insight and technical expertise acquired through decades in practice.

We learn about our clients’ needs and goals and help them protect their families, plan for their financial security, avoid unnecessary taxes and plan for the future.  Our attorneys have many long-standing client relationships because we work diligently to find practical, tailored solutions, while protecting and preserving our clients’ privacy as we help them achieve their goals.  We are sensitive to the dynamics of complex family and business situations and often collaborate with other advisors to our clients to ensure comprehensive planning.  From the simple to the complex, our Private Client Services attorneys assist clients with all aspects of estate planning including:

  • asset transfers at death
  • lifetime gifting strategies
  • minimizing taxes
  • protecting assets from creditors
  • preserving and transferring retirement plans
  • planning for minor children

Our Private Client Services attorneys also represent business owners, who are often challenged with decisions regarding family succession and legacy when establishing or restructuring the ownership of closely-held businesses, such as when the current owners will transfer ownership and control, and how to plan for family members not involved in the business.  We work with our colleagues in our Family Enterprise and other transactional practices to ensure a unified and thoughtful approach to these critical needs.  Our perspectives and diverse expertise allow us to contribute objectively while appreciating each client’s unique goals for the success of the enterprise.  We help our clients with such decisions and implement smartly tailored solutions including:

  • drafting and funding buy-sell agreements
  • reorganizing equity
  • establishing compensation programs
  • structuring employee incentive plans
  • obtaining valuations of assets

We successfully assist clients with tax-effective methods for charitable giving and administration and compliance for tax exempt entities, and refer our clients to a wide range of charitable organizations and philanthropic professionals when needed to further explore client goals.  These services include:

  • charitable gifting strategies
  • establishing donor advised funds
  • creating and administering private foundations
  • drafting and administering charitable lead trusts
  • drafting and administering charitable remainder trusts

We also provide counsel to individual and corporate executors and trustees in all aspects of trust and estate administration.  Our attorneys understand that trust and estate administration immediately after death is often a very difficult time for many clients and we diligently respond to the unique needs of our clients in a sensitive manner and continue to assist with long-term trust administration.  In addition, we provide effective advocacy to fiduciaries and beneficiaries involved in both contested and uncontested litigation, successfully resolving complex legal issues through court proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, or private settlement agreements.  Our services to fiduciaries and beneficiaries include:

  • collection and retitling of assets and funding of trusts after death
  • preparation of estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax returns
  • preparation of estate and trust income tax returns
  • probate of wills
  • will and trust construction
  • trust reformation or termination
  • family settlement agreements
  • will and trust contests
  • spousal elective share rights

Our attorneys represent fiduciaries in audits of estate and gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns, and in response to compliance matters with the states and the Internal Revenue Service.  Our representation includes:

  • estate and gift tax disputes
  • IRS or state tax audits and appeals
  • IRS or state tax collection matters
  • failure to file tax forms
  • late tax filings or payments
  • penalty waivers and abatements