These are the most basic tools for seeing that things go the way you want them to go. We will discuss what you want and draft accordingly.
We'll discuss the optimal designations for your life insurance and retirement plans.
Can provide ease of transfer at death, as well as protecting against incapacity
Trusts to Protect the Immature
Congress, in its finite wisdom, has decided that estates under $1,000,000 (which figure will go up, then down, are "small" and not subject to tax. As the parent of a teenager, does that mean you feel comfortable with them getting $600,000 at 21?
Special Needs Trusts
Sometimes it is desirable to provide for a friend or relative -- but not disqualify them for public programs. These specialized needs are becoming an important aspect of planning.
I started with IRS, have chaired the Chicago Bar Association's Division on Federal Estate and Gift Tax, and been active in the tax area. (see Who is Jay S. Goldenberg). I do a lot of tax-oriented planning.
Marital Deduction/Shelter Planning
The important thing in planning for couples is not getting the marital deduction at the first death -- you almost have to deliberately foul up to avoid that -- but in protecting the maximum amount to not be taxed at the second death.
Irrevocable Insurance Trusts
Insurance on your life will be subject to estate tax (not income tax) at your death unless you take steps to avoid it.
Value Reduction Methods
The Family Limited Partnership can be used to reduce the value of your estate for tax purposes -- and for asset protection against creditors
IDITs -- Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trusts
A little ju-jitsu on an IRS anti-taxpayer provision can be used for enrichment of your family.
I call them Heritage Trusts but the other term is getting popular. You can give your family extended benefits of trusts for generations.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
Increasing popularity as a means of being charitable yet providing for yourself and your family. They've gotten particularly popular lately as a way of selling appreciated property while avoiding capital gains taxes.