Thomas J. Drew ATTORNEY AT LAW WESTPORT, CT _______________ Estate Planning, Administration/Probate Elder Law Taxation Business Transactional _______________ EMAIL US BELOW

           
     ESTATE PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION/PROBATE:
 
 
Estate planning generally involves providing legal advice as to the most effective, sensible and cost effective manner (including minimizing estate and income taxes, probate fees and other costs) to arrange one’s affairs upon their death and/or lifetime assets transfers. If this is not done properly you and your family are at risk of losing your life savings. These services, therefore, include the drafting of Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Life Insurance Trusts,  Living Wills, Powers of Attorney among other legal instruments, strategies and techniques. Higher net worth individuals whether with careers in a larger corporate executive environment, business owners or entrepreneurs as well as individuals of more modest means generally all need such services which I can provide at, generally, a very reasonable cost in a value added manner.
 

            Estate Administration, which often (but not always) includes Probate Court involvement can be either a very satisfying and efficient timely process or potentially, in some situations, rife with family or other conflict and unnecessary delay and cost. If a love one dies and you have not taken the appropriate action a family can experience extreme and unnecessary financial and other tragedy. My view and approach is to first carefully plan ahead to minimize potential risks of problems and to listen carefully regarding unique family circumstances, challenges, needs and other dynamics and to offer common sense and legally effective solutions. I explain to clients and families, if desired, exactly how the process works and seek to ascertain the client’s and family’s intent and capability to divide the work involved between attorney and client to achieve the desired efficiency and cost effectiveness. In some situations this can be an extremely stressful process and I am very sensitive to that and will seek to listen carefully to minimize or eliminate that serious burden and stress. 


            ELDER LAW: The practice of Elder Law involves the financial and healthcare issues typically related to an older or elderly client. Certainly a parent or family member’s health and quality of life could be at great risk as well as a family’s entire net worth. These services also often include strategic planning regarding Medicaid and Title XIX Planning and, if necessary application before the state government agencies for such services. Often a fundamental issue is to arrange for a spouse who is continuing to live in their home to not become impoverished because a spouse’s health needs necessitate expensive skilled health care. It is important to note that when I am approached by the middle age or younger family member with respect to the legal needs of a parent or other older family member, except in unusual circumstances, my ethical and legal obligations would be in support of that elderly or older parent or other family member rather than the typically younger family member. As such the elderly or older family member should be clear and satisfied that my obligation would, therefore, be to them. These legal needs typically include issues related to being sure the elderly client’s Estate Planning Needs are completed while they are still fully competent to execute legal documents such as a Last Will and Testament, Living Trust, Living Will/Health Care Instructions and Directives, Power of Attorney, and Naming of Conservator, as applicable. Often this process also involves transfer(s) of property and Deeds if appropriate. There are also typically issues related to obtaining appropriate skilled, homemaking and related and other care for the client and family and to assist in identifying the most sensible housing arrangement whether it be assisted living or other arrangement. When a family member needs assistance to care for themselves or their assets particularly Voluntary Conservatorships are sometimes advisable and I am pleased to successfully advise and guide families through that process if necessary.

 

            TAX MATTER REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE IRS AND STATE AUTHORITIES: With my background as a former IRS Agent and Certified Public Accountant, I provide services in the circumstance of collection for back or unpaid taxes to the IRS or state tax authorities.  Generally these difficult circumstances can be adequately resolved and your business protected if timely appropriate action is taken. It is vital for clients to be accurately informed as to what their rights are and, conversely, the powers of these tax authorities. Typically, a primary goal in these situations is for the client to make necessary adjustments to their business management circumstances in order that a business or other assets can be preserved to survive these collection efforts and, indeed, hopefully, be much stronger in the future with the tax authorities cooperating in this transition. In some situations an Offer in Compromise of unpaid U.S. Federal Taxes is possible.

 

            BUSINESS FORMATION AND TRANSACTIONAL (BUYING, SELLING AND INVESTING IN BUSINESSES): I provide services related to forming or creating new businesses whether Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Partnership, Joint Venture or other arrangement. Essential in this process is that I go well beyond simply forming a new entity as I provide insight related to my financial, accounting and business management background to provide guidance for a new business to maximize a client’s long term success. I do not simply form an entity and move on. I make sure I understand the business operation and goals so I can advise most usefully. I also provide the service of representing clients selling or acquiring a business or investing in a business.  Again, in this situation as well, I seek to understand the deeper dynamics of a specific business environment to create better value and avoid dangerous risks.  Often related services include Shareholder or Operating Agreements among co-owners, Succession Planning, Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement and Non-Compete Agreements and Employment Contracts.

 

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