We provide a wide range of services in the following specialized
fields: estate planning (wills, trusts, asset protection and tax
minimization); elder law (disability and long term care planning,
Medicaid planning and guardianship); tax planning and income tax
return preparation; business counseling (formation and restructuring
of family and business entities, acquisitions and sales of businesses,
assistance with various routine business planning matters; probate
and estate administration; tax consulting on all business and investment
2. What makes Lavelle & Finn, LLP the right
choice for me?
If you want personal services from caring professionals in a private,
highly efficient setting, you have come to the right place. We offer
the highest quality services through well trained paralegals and
experienced lawyers. We understand your legal needs and deliver
the legal assistance you need at a reasonable cost.
3. I have heard lawyers can be expensive. How do
I know I am getting my money's worth at Lavelle & Finn, LLP?
One typical example will illustrate the value of our services.
If you are a successful couple who has yet to do any estate planning,
we can show you how to save up to $435,000 by reorganizing your
assets and getting proper documents in place. The average cost of
these services? Typically not more than $3,000, frequently less.
And that is just the basics. Many of our estate planning services
have similar savings potential for modest fees. The only way to
know for sure is come in for an appointment. You won't be disappointed,
and you will be amazed at the potential savings for you and your
family. When you factor in the tax savings alone, we like to think
we never cost our clients anything. On the contrary, not coming
in to see us can be very expensive.
4. How much wealth is enough to benefit from meeting
with Lavelle & Finn, LLP?
People in all different circumstances have benefited from our services.
Sometimes, people of modest means have a house and some savings
that they would like to protect in the event of long-term care expenses
or nursing home charges. We can show you options for protecting
these assets and provide an inheritance to your family, even if
a long term stay in a nursing home is in your future.
Other folks can benefit from a wide range of planning options in
the estate planning field. For young couples with children, protecting
assets for the benefit of the children in case of a mutual disaster
is the most important reason for getting new documents. For people
beginning to accumulate wealth, proper organization at an early
age can delay and sometimes avoid future estate tax problems. Finally,
for singles and couples with more than $1 million in wealth, estate
tax reduction and proper planning can easily reduce your family's
exposure to death taxes. The cost of these services is usually a
very small portion of the savings and protection that the services
can create for you and your family.
5. I don't have enough wealth to worry about taxes.
Should I still do an estate plan?
Taxes are only one risk factor in any estate plan. Equally important
is how protected your wealth is for your surviving spouse and eventually
your other heirs. Divorce, lawsuits, malpractice, accidents, disability
or long-term care expenses can be just as devastating to a family.
Every estate plan for any estate worth worrying about should consider
protecting spouses and heirs from the risk of future events. Death
and taxes may be inevitable, but exposing your family's wealth to
all the world's risks is just unnecessary. Call us today for a review
of your plan and to learn about your other planning options.
6. My son is getting a divorce. I have a family
business. I'd like to start passing it along to him, but I am worried
about his personal life and it affecting our family's principal
source of income. Am I stuck?
There are many options in properly passing on the family business.
Any good plan will have many protective devices built in. Although
no plan is fool-proof, by choosing the right entity, and the right
transfer scheme, you can take most of the risk out of reducing your
holdings in the family business. There are even ways to keep control
of the business while decreasing the value of your holdings, thus
avoiding death taxes. If you are wealthy enough to worry about estate
taxes, you should definitely call us to review your options in removing
or reducing the family business from death tax exposure.
7. I notice that some lawyers use only New York
entities when planning a family business or an estate tax planning
transaction, while Lavelle & Finn, LLP considers other states
as well. Why is that?
Choosing the right state for an entity is a complex and sophisticated
decision that should not be done lightly. The right choice of entity
can lead to terrific discounts in gifting transactions, and can
maximize asset protection for the family. Unfortunately, the right
state is not always your home state. Many lawyers were unaware that
New York State's family limited partnership and limited liability
statutes were deficient for estate tax and gifting tax purposes.
Many of these entities were formed at least in part to take advantage
of family gifting, but the IRS will challenge discounts taken on
a gift tax return or in the estate tax return.
New York fixed one of its biggest shortcomings a few years ago,
but only for new entities. Old entities must adopt this new law
specifically in order to take advantage of it. In addition, New
York still requires a "business purpose" for its entities,
which prevents them from being used generally for investment portfolios,
passive rental properties, and personal use real estate like vacation
homes. Unfortunately, these are precisely the assets many families
want to plan with - lawyers are still using New York FLPs and LLCs.
This can lead to a disaster, as such an entity with no business
purpose does not exist - and can be defeated by a creditor or disgruntled
heir, or an ex-spouse.
In addition to the income tax, estate and gift tax, and planning
characteristics of an entity, familiarity with the right state's
laws governing the entity is crucial. If you have been using those
discount incorporators in the back of magazines, or your adviser
is not familiar with these issues, come see us. We can help.