Amanda DiChello explains why an increasing number of estate disputes among family members are leading to legal action in The New York Times. More
Cozen O’Connor’s Private Client Services Practice Group assists clients in all areas relating to wealth management, wealth transfer, philanthropic giving, and business succession planning. We counsel high net worth families and individuals both in the United States and abroad, and assist successful business owners and entrepreneurs. We provide advice on trusts, estates, tax strategies, business strategies, and estate disputes.
Decisions about passing wealth to the next generation or restructuring a closely held business involve deeply personal considerations about family, duty, and legacy. Our attorneys are not simply legal technicians — they are trusted family advisors. They provide steadfast counsel through life’s most significant transitions so that clients’ goals are realized.
Fundamental to this work is a high-level technical understanding of the tax code, trust and estates laws, securities regulations, and accounting procedures. The group’s attorneys bring intellectual rigor and perspective to the practice, which ensures that our clients are able to capitalize on opportunities and avoid unanticipated complications. We are adept at identifying tax-favorable solutions that fit the needs of each family.
Cozen O’Connor also serves as litigation counsel to select clients in complex or high-value disputes. We represent executors, trustees, institutional fiduciaries, and beneficiaries in estate and probate litigation, will contests, trust disputes, and estate-related commercial litigation. Our aim is to achieve mutually agreeable negotiated solutions, but our abilities extend to successful trial advocacy, when necessary.
The group has more experienced private client services attorneys than almost any large law firm in the country, including numerous members who have been practicing for more than 30 years and a group of talented young lawyers. Our attorneys pair legal acumen with keen social intelligence. They know the law, and they know people. Establishing a sense of mutual trust and respect is critically important in the private client services field because of the personal nature of the issues involved. Our clients can talk in confidence, and we listen and advise without judgment.
Structure a full-range of trusts and wealth transfer instruments, including grantor-retained annuity trusts, asset protection trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor trusts, revocable trusts, special needs trusts, and private annuities
Advise business owners about succession management, asset protection, recapitalizations, gift programs, life insurance, benefit programs, and sales or restructuring opportunities
Establish family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
Further philanthropic goals through charitable lead and remainder trusts
Form private foundations and provide ongoing tax, operations, and compliance counseling
Handle all phases of estate and trust administration, including probate, taxes, and asset distribution
Draft powers of attorney and living wills
Advise clients on legal rights and wealth management around major life events
Counsel multinational clients on asset protection strategies in the United States and abroad
Represent executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in state and federal courts in disputes involving wills, trusts, and estates, including trust reformations and terminations, cy-pres and incapacity hearings, accounting proceedings, and tax controversies
We advise families and individuals with substantial wealth both in the United States and abroad. We work closely with business owners and entrepreneurs.
The members of Cozen O’Connor’s Private Client Services Group are among the most respected in their field and include four fellows of the invitation-only American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Our attorneys have been asked to serve on state orphans’ court rules committees and estate law advisory committees, and have been elected to chair city and state bar association probate and trust law sections. The team includes a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, two certified public accountants, and three attorneys with LL.M.s in tax law. Several senior attorneys regularly lecture and publish articles about trust and estate law and related tax issues.
Very few large law firms in the United States have maintained trust and estate practices of the size and caliber of ours. Rather than cede our practice to the boutiques, Cozen O’Connor remains invested in the private client field. First, our attorneys serve as primary business advisers to numerous families with successful closely held multigenerational enterprises. Second, we believe private clients benefit from working with a full-service firm. Because of the nature of the relationship our attorneys enjoy with their clients, we are often the first point of contact on a huge range of legal matters, from probate procedures to patent infringement, corporate transactions to real estate transactions. As a full-service firm, Cozen O’Connor is able to act quickly to provide seamless and effective legal counsel.