… Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman

The Beatles song composed by George Harrison captured a common sentiment, but with proper planning taxes can be kept to a minimum and the tax attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC are ready to assist. Our team works to develop a plan to minimize taxes during and after a client’s lifetime, utilizing a variety of techniques designed to maximize income and build wealth for our clients and transfer it efficiently to their children or other designated beneficiaries.

The tax planning department will guide clients on business and personal tax planning and will prepare estate and gift tax returns including assistance in resolving audits of estate and gift tax returns. In addition, we will consult with our clients to help them fully understand their retirement benefits and advise and develop strategies to maximize the benefits our clients and their heirs receive from their retirement plans. Key services in Tax Planning include:

Developing an Estate Plan to Maximize the use of the Estate Tax Exemption:

Does your existing estate plan provide for the maximum use of your estate tax exemption in order to maximize the wealth you transfer to the next generation? In 2024, the federal gift and estate tax exclusion rose to $13,610,000 per person up from $12,920,000 in 2023. In New York State, the estate tax exemption rose to $6,940,000 up from $6,580,000 in 2023, and yet it’s important to know that if you pass away within three years – gifted assets are taxable in your estate. A step-up in basis is still available upon death which is an advantage to your beneficiaries, if planning is done precisely. Portability of exemptions between spouses for federal and estate tax purposes is also important to understand. We will review an existing plan and consult with you to develop strategies to maximize the use of your estate tax exemption.

Image of the Beatles Taxman record album cover.
Tax Planning Team
Louis W. Pierro, Esq.
Louis W. Pierro
Caryn B. Keppler
Anthony Khatchoui
Anthony Khatchoui

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Planning to Avoid the Cliff!

In New York, once an estate exceeds $6,940,000, the entire exemption noted above and the corresponding applicable credit against the New York Estate Tax is phased out to $0.00. The phasing out of the credit is complete at 105% of the New York exemption – the ‘cliff’ – and can have catastrophic tax consequences. The attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss can you advise you on how to ‘beware the cliff’ by using lifetime gifts if three years prior to death, or in the case of married couples, by using credit shelter planning. Other powerful strategies include adding a clause to a will or trust with a charitable contribution or using a formula to fortify savings by employing a “Santa Clause” to pass the maximum amount to your heirs.

Preparing Estate and Gift Tax Returns and Resolving Audits:

Are you in need of someone to prepare an estate or gift tax return, or someone to help you resolve an audit with the federal or state revenue department, then we can assist you in preparing an estate or gift tax return, or in resolving an audit with the federal or state revenue department.

Use of Advanced Trusts to Maximize Wealth Transferred to the Next Generation:

Do you have the proper planning in place to maximize the wealth you pass to the next generation while reducing your estate and gift tax liability? We can assist you in developing a plan through the use of sophisticated trusts and planning techniques to remove appreciating assets from your estate and transferring the assets to your intended beneficiaries, while reducing your estate and gift tax liability. Examples include the Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLAT) to use current Gift and GST exemption of each spouse along with a gift & note sale to a Grantor Trust are effective in giving full control and access to funds during a spouse’s lifetime. Asset protection and reduced or zero estate tax are additional benefits that offer protection from multi-generational tax, divorce and lawsuits to children and grandchildren.

Our Professional Advisors Lifetime Management System (PALMS)

PALMS technology gives you and your team of professional advisors an invaluable tool during the development, lifetime maintenance and after-death administration of your financial, tax and estate plan.

Tax planning lawyer works on client tax returns

Planning With Investments and Retirement Benefits:

Do you have an investment strategy in place that takes into consideration your future retirement goals and provides efficient tax planning? We will work closely with you and your financial advisor to review your current planning and develop a plan that will minimize the tax liability on your investments and retirement benefits, while accomplishing your retirement goals.

Charitable Planning with Retirement Benefits:

Do you have retirement benefits that will incur a large income tax liability upon distribution? Through the use of charitable trusts, we can develop a plan to minimize your tax liability while retaining an annuity or remainder interest for your benefit or the benefit of your intended beneficiaries, and still allow you to receive a charitable deduction on your tax return. In addition to efficient tax planning, this plan will allow you to fulfill your philanthropic goals.

Planning to Minimize the Impact of Large Capital Gains:

Do you have investments or a business that will incur a large capital gains tax when sold, or when distributions are required to be made from the asset? We can work with you to develop a plan to minimize the capital gains tax liability.

An experienced tax planning lawyer will take into account your current situation as well as your goals to customize business and individual tax and estate planning vehicles.

The tax planning lawyers at Pierro, Connor, & Strauss, LLC are committed to serving clients in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as New York City, Long Island, Hudson, Plattsburgh, Lake Placid and in Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. If you are in need of tax planning, call us to schedule an appointment to get the answers you need.

We offer a complete slate of elder law services

Our team has extensive knowledge and experience in guiding and advising elder clients and their families on:

  • Estate Planning
  • Wills, trusts, and succession planning
  • Long-term care planning/Medicaid planning
  • Competency, Guardianship, and Advanced Directives
  • Health care discharge planning and senior housing advocacy
  • Geriatric care management
  • Income, estate, and gift tax planning
  • Business planning as it pertains to obtaining government benefits

    i.e. Medicare Benefits, Veteran’s Benefits, and more

Life Happens…..Are You Prepared?

Contact us today for a FREE consultation and we’ll be happy to help take the worry out of tomorrow so you can live today.

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