Cooley's Estate Planning and Personal Representation practice serves the needs of not only established individuals and families, but also younger entrepreneurs, executives and professionals who are planning their affairs in anticipation of future success. The essence of our approach combines tax and estate-planning fundamentals with our solid understanding of how business actually operates, allowing us to focus on both lifetime benefits and planning for death.
Our attorneys have substantial experience planning for family businesses, private companies that may be acquired or go public and individuals and families with substantial wealth, handling personal matters effectively and discreetly. They are adept at representing clients' interests, both in the U.S. and abroad, across the full spectrum of estate and family tax planning matters, with extensive experience in representing wealthy families in Europe, Israel, Latin America and the United States.
Our team regularly develops and implements sophisticated estate plans for clients and their families, with the goal of facilitating the wealth transfer process and minimizing the family's overall tax burden. Planning includes, where appropriate, elements such as:
- Minimizing gift, estate and generation-skipping taxes through the appropriate use of trusts and other entities designed to take maximum advantage of various exemptions and other measures
- Planning for the transition of ownership and management of family businesses and other family assets, including arrangements to accommodate the differing interests of younger-generation family members
- Protecting wealth from undesired spousal claims through pre- and post-nuptial agreements, trusts and exempt assets
- Protecting assets, where appropriate, from potential creditor claims through transfers to trusts in jurisdictions having laws favorable to the use of such techniques
- Planning for the consequences of catastrophic illness or mental disability
- Guiding foreign clients as to special advantages and issues presented with regard to family members or investments in the U.S
Every aspect of personal representation requires a profound understanding of all the areas of law that affect a client's life. That is why our Estate Planning and Personal Representation attorneys work closely with partners and associates in the Tax and Real Estate practices as well as other Business and Litigation practices, fully integrating their work with the efforts of these attorneys. This integrated approach gives our clients seamless access to all of the Firm's expertise while still maintaining the benefits of one-on-one interaction with their primary counselor.