Tax Planning: Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. is highly recognized in the Income Tax Planning and Estate Tax Planning areas. The Firm represents individuals in such matters as estate tax, retirement planning, the tax consequences of forming, operating, and dissolving limited liability companies, partnerships, corporations, trusts, and other entities, the structuring of stock incentive plans, and tax minimization for individuals.
Business Law: Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. is experienced in Partnership Agreements, Limited Liability Company Agreements, Corporate Buy-Sell Agreements, and other agreements to purchase and sell interests in businesses.
Business Entities and Succession Planning: The attorneys at Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. have many years of experience and the wisdom to develop comprehensive analyses and advice regarding the creation, operation and transfer of closely held and family owned businesses. The Firm has a unique understanding of all phases of the business life cycle. As a result, the Firm plans for the tax and non- tax issues specific to each unique business and family circumstance. This area is typically integrated with Estate Planning, Asset Protection Planning and Transfer Tax Planning to promote a business' continuation to the next generation with sensitivity to overall desires if one or more family members are not expected to be involved in the succeeding business operations.
Estate Planning: Estate Planning involves more than just a Will. It also typically sets up contingency planning to (i) make sure the client's wishes regarding health care treatment are followed, (ii) manage and administer the client's estate, and (iii) appropriately distribute the client's assets to his or her intended beneficiaries.
Estate Planning is the process by which a person, normally with the guidance of an Estate Planning attorney, arranges his or her affairs to accomplish his or her goals by utilizing various legal strategies which can include, but are not limited to:
- Will Preparation
- Establishment of Trusts
- Structuring of Business Entities
- Gift, Generation-Skipping or Estate Tax Planning
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates ("living wills")
- Asset Protection
Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. has set up thousands of estate plans, often geared toward minimizing federal estate tax. In this regard, the Firm has extensive experience in the areas of drafting and administering trusts and charitable entities. The attorneys of Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. have utilized:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Grantor Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Charitable Lead Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Intentionally Defective Trusts
- Private Foundations
Asset Protection: An experienced Estate Planning attorney combines various legal techniques designed to protect assets from unknown future creditors. Not any one type of plan will meet the goals of every individual. Proper asset protection planning requires client involvement to tailor the plan to ensure the most effective plan possible. These techniques are formulated to lawfully shelter assets from the individual's liabilities, but do not involve "hiding" assets from creditors.
Planning for Estate, Gift, Generation-Skipping and Fiduciary Taxation: This area requires a deft understanding of taxes and their implications. Shanks & Hauser L.L.P. has attorneys and CPAs to analyze the impact of tax laws with unusual and complicated estates. The Tax Law practice involves the laws related to transferring wealth and taxation of the income created or caused by the plans formed. While the goal is to minimize taxes of whatever type related to clients' practice areas, the Firm guides clients to balance tax and non-tax issues according to priorities using advisory strategies unique to that particular client's goals.
Estate/Trust Related Tax Compliance and IRS Representation: Estates and Trusts are legal entities with unique responsibilities under the tax laws. Proper administration of estates and trusts in accordance with the law, as well as certain transfers to, by, and from these entities, requires that tax returns of various types be completed and filed with appropriate state and federal authorities.
Probate Law: Probate Law consists of working through the court process to verify a Will, or an estate if there is no Will, and to oversee property distribution to the beneficiaries, or heirs.
Estate and Trust Administration: Estate and Trust Administration is a process beginning with the gathering of information, valuation of the assets of the estate or trust, accounting to the beneficiaries and concludes with the final distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries. The activity of the attorney includes the preparation and filing of federal estate tax returns, fiduciary income tax returns and the audit of federal estate and gift tax returns.