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Life's Big Events

Each day, your life is in some way influenced by income tax, estate tax or other legal issues affecting your assets, business or estate. That is why you need someone who speaks your language and understands both your situation and the applicable legal issues, making your life just a little easier.

We at Lavelle & Finn work with you to ensure your objectives are met. Our hands-on, personal approach is designed to make sure you feel comfortable and fully informed. You are not simply a client at Lavelle & Finn – you are part of the family.

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Estate Planning & Elder Law

Well-designed estate planning efficiently transfers your assets to your family and designated beneficiaries while minimizing costs, taxes and delays. Our team works with you to identify your individual goals and maneuver through state and federal laws. We are there to safeguard your plans and your family’s future.

Asset Preservation

We are familiar with the full range of pitfalls associated with asset preservation. We take a multidisciplinary approach to help you keep what is yours, deploying protection against taxes, potential creditors and predators.

Estate Administration & Probate

We are there for your family when tragedy strikes. Continuing your care for them, we work with your survivors to manage your estate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Your family’s interests are our interests.


Corporate & General Business Counseling

Getting comprehensive legal guidance for your business on a day-to-day basis frees you up to effectively run your business. We make ourselves accessible to you with the timely assistance you need to make sound decisions –on time, every time.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Private Equity

We are always here to advise you on attracting strategic partners or new capital, planning the sale of your business or purchasing another, or successfully implementing major transactions. Our team of dedicated professionals has the legal insight and business relationships that will help your new venture succeed.

Business Succession Planning

Assuring that your family business passes to the next generation is the last test of greatness for any business owner, and, therefore, planning is essential. We work with you to develop a succession strategy and provide the legal framework you need to ensure your business follows the path you have outlined.

Commercial Real Estate

We work with developers, contractors, investors, lenders, and business owners across all levels of real property acquisition, development, leasing, and sales. In such complex deals, you want a single point-of-contact and end-to-end provider to address your needs. You can count on us to structure transactions for maximum tax and asset protection through negotiating, drafting, and implementing the operative transaction documents.


Income Tax Planning & Compliance

Income taxes are increasingly major budget line items for businesses and business owners. We work with you year-round to identify strategic opportunities that will ultimately help you preserve more of your income and build assets. Our tax professionals can assist you in structuring your business transactions in the most tax efficient manner and also ensure that your business operations and transactions are properly reported to the appropriate taxing authorities.


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 your other loved ones. Divorce, lawsuits, business failures, accidents, disability, or long-term care expenses can be just as devastating to a family and its assets. Everyone should do some basic estate planning and have key documents, including a will, power of attorney and health care proxy.

Sound planning will help protect your family 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 existing plan or to get started on a plan that will help make sure your assets continue to provide for your family in the future.

I have a family business that I’d like to start passing to my children, but I’m concerned about maintaining the business as our family’s principal source of income. What do I need to consider?

There are many options to safely and effectively pass on the family business. Although no plan is foolproof, a good plan will have many protective devices built in to it. By choosing the right entity and transfer strategy, you can take most of the risk out of reducing your holdings in the family business. There are even ways to maintain your control of the business while decreasing the value of your holdings, effectively avoiding death taxes. Call us to review your options in removing or reducing a family business from death tax exposure while securing future income.

How long after my estate planning documents have been executed should I review and update my estate plan?

Just like your tax and financial planning, it is important to review your estate plan on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean that you need to update your documents every year, but you certainly should take a careful look at your personal and financial situation on an annual basis to determine whether updates are necessary. As a general rule, we suggest our clients review their personal situation and estate plan at least every couple of years. We also publish information about significant changes to laws that could affect your estate planning. Check our website often.

Here is just a short list of examples that may necessitate changes to your estate planning documents:

Changes in personal situations

  • The birth of a child or children
  • A death in the family
  • Divorce

  • Changes in financial circumstances

  • Material increase or decrease in net wealth
  • New or different income sources, including starting or growing a business or receiving an inheritance
  • Where should I keep my original documents?

    Your will does not need to be filed with a court prior to your death. Approximately 95% of our estate planning clients keep their original documents secured in the safes at our offices. You will also receive a bound copy of the documents for your reference.

    As a general rule, keeping original documents in a safe deposit box is not advisable, since that box may be sealed on your passing, to ensure the appropriate distribution of its contents.

    We generally advise against providing estate planning documents to family members, friends, or other acquaintances, except in the case of health care proxy forms, which should be provided to the appointed agents and health care providers.

    I have adult children from my previous marriage. What strategies can I use to ensure my current spouse and all of my children are all provided for in my estate plan?

    The composition of the American family has undergone significant changes since Lavelle & Finn opened our doors in 1991. It can be challenging to develop estate and business succession plans that contemplate multiple marriages, children from different relationships, same-sex marriages, and unmarried couples. However, by employing proper lifetime gifting, trusts, or counseling on appropriate agents and fiduciaries, we can help you achieve the outcome you want in your personal situation.
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