Archer’s Estates and Trusts Department has provided estate, business continuity, charitable giving and elder care planning, estate and trust administration and litigation services, as well as tax services to individuals, professionals and institutions for over 90 years. The legal professionals of the Department concentrate on providing quality and personalized services to clients and, when appropriate, in conjunction and consultation with client’s advisors like accountants, financial planners, investment advisors, custodians and trustees.
The Department is staffed with attorneys having substantial experience, masters degrees in tax (“LLM”) and/or who are also certified public accountants (“CPA’s”), as well as individuals concentrating in fiduciary litigation. Department attorneys are members of national organizations like The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”), as well as active on the state level in the New Jersey Probate Code Revision Committee and the New Jersey Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. They have published books and articles on a national and statewide level. Paralegals and Trust and Estate Administrators, some with more than twenty-five years of background, provide experienced support to the Department.
One of the principal functions of the Department’s estate planning is to review with clients the complex relationship between the transfer of property and Federal and State taxes imposed on such transfers. The Department is called upon to recommend plans which not only achieve the client’s objectives of transferring property to desired persons or entities, but also reduce the cost of transfer taxes imposed and provide for liquidity to pay taxes and costs. The implementation of Wills, Trusts, Insurance Planning, Gift Planning, Partnerships, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and other techniques are frequently utilized.
For those clients with closely-held businesses, the Department assists them with the complex problems relating to the transfer of the business from one generation to the next, reduction of death taxes, liquidity for the payment of taxes to avoid sales of the business, financial protection of spouses and equalization among children. Common tools in this area are Buy-Sell and other family or business agreements, as well as gifting and liquidity planning.
Estate planning involves programs for lifetime transfers of wealth as well, and the Department assists clients with the utilization of transfer techniques during lifetime, including transfers and gifts which are outright, in trust, partnership or corporate form.
Planning for aging and incapacity is important, and the Department provides advice regarding lifetime assistance, elder care, the right to control medical treatment through the use of Living Wills and Advance Health Care Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney and other mechanisms for the management of assets during lifetime.
The Department spends a significant amount of its time handling the administration of Estates and Trusts. Areas of responsibility include probate, inventories, accountings, requests for instructions, Will and Trust interpretation, prosecution and defense of disputes and other Court matters.
The Department assists fiduciaries in estate administration. Areas of responsibility include the preparation and maintenance of calendar systems, collection of information and/or assets, valuation of assets, verification of bank balances, maintenance of financial records, filing life insurance and other death benefit claims, and the preparation of preliminary tax and cash estimates. The Department also provides counsel in the preparation, examination, audit and appeal of inheritance, estate, generation skipping and fiduciary income tax as well as gift and Charitable Trust tax matters.