Wealth Planning


Estate and wealth planning can raise sensitive issues. Our lawyers act as both legal advisors and trusted counselors, helping clients leverage financial and legal tools to achieve their personal, family, business, and charitable goals.

Michael Best provides guidance on income and estate tax planning, business succession planning, financial planning, asset protection planning, risk management, and retirement planning.

Our clients, who come from diverse backgrounds and situations, include executives, private investors, family trusts, closely held business owners, and philanthropists. We look at the big picture of each client’s overall financial planning, often working with their accountants, investment managers, and other professional advisors. Our plans are designed to be flexible, and we assist clients in adapting and responding to unforeseen family and business issues, economic conditions, and ever-changing tax laws.

Contact our Wealth Planning Coordinator with questions on new or existing estate plans and to be directed to an attorney for assistance.

Contact Us


We have extensive experience across all dimensions of wealth transfer, asset protection, and estate planning matters. Our work includes the following areas:

Family Offices

A successful family office requires strategic planning and thoughtful design. Michael Best’s Family Offices team of legal and business advisors can support you at every stage—from initial vision through setup and ongoing operations. We advise on legal and tax structures, succession planning, philanthropic and investment strategies, regulatory compliance, privacy and data protection, and much more.

Tax and Estate Planning

  • Asset protection
  • Wills
  • Living trusts
  • Testamentary trusts
  • Gift and estate tax preparation
  • Individual income tax preparation and planning
  • Fiduciary income tax preparation and planning
  • Generation-skipping trusts and tax planning
  • Qualified personal residence trusts
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts
  • Trust administration
  • Family limited partnerships, LLCs, and other corporate structures
  • Intra-family sales
  • Minimization of transfer taxes
  • Changes of residency planning

Family Business Succession Planning

  • Transition to next-generation owners
  • Formation and maintenance of corporate entities
  • Shareholder and buy/sell agreements
  • Recapitalizations
  • ESOPs
  • Qualified Subchapter S trusts
  • Electing small business trusts

Charitable Planning

  • Income tax implications
  • Charitable remainder and lead trusts
  • Family foundations
  • Donor-advised funds

Contested Matters

  • Tax audits and litigation (federal and state)
  • Will contests
  • Trust litigation
  • Estate and trust accountings

Insurance Planning

  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Split-dollar plans
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Analysis of life, disability, and long-term care insurance

Marital Property Planning

  • Pre- and post-marital agreements
  • Titling of assets

Elder Law/Disability Planning

  • Financial powers of attorney
  • Healthcare powers of attorney
  • Special needs trusts
  • Long-term care planning
  • Governmental benefits

Retirement Planning

  • Qualified and nonqualified retirement plans
  • Deferred compensation
  • Retirement distribution planning
  • Stock option issuance and exercise


For matters involving state law, which can vary in different regions, we often work with trusted colleagues through the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is an organization of trust and estate lawyers and law professors who are at the top of their profession, committed to maintaining excellence in the trust and estate legal field and to continually improving the practice of trust and estate law. 

Primary Contacts


Primary Contacts

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