Morris James provides a comprehensive range of services to high net worth clients, often with complex holdings and diversified assets.
We assist our clients in all aspects of individual and family wealth management and preservation, designing successful strategies for minimizing income taxes, as well as gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes through multi-generational planning. Taking advantage of Delaware’s unique and favorable trust laws, we create trust structures tailored to specific client needs for reducing taxes, providing protection against creditor claims, and targeting individual beneficiary situations, including those with special needs or disabilities. Through the use of trusts and other planning techniques, we have successfully implemented countless intra-family sales and gifts of business interests, residences, real property, and other high-value assets to efficiently shift wealth within families and minimize taxes. We frequently advise financial institutions regarding transfer planning, fiduciary, and custodial matters, and represent executors, trustees and beneficiaries in probate proceedings and trust administration matters. We are often called on to represent executors or trustees in complex administrations involving multiple jurisdictions, hard-to-value assets, management issues of business interests, difficult distribution problems including family settlements, and tax audits.
We collaborate with our clients, their financial advisors, and our attorney-colleagues in related areas of the law to develop individualized responses and strategies that align with our clients’ business, financial, and personal objectives. As our clients’ needs require, our team regularly includes members of several Morris James practice groups, including:
- Trusts and Estates
- Real Estate
- Business Transactions
- Succession Planning
- Strategic Business Planning and Counseling
- Family Law
These collaborative efforts provide client benefits in matters as diverse as the negotiation of prenuptial agreements, seamless business continuity, structuring arrangements for shared ownership and use of vacation and resort properties, creating vehicles for ownership of aircraft and yachts and, where necessary, supporting our clients in litigation and other controversies. In appropriate situations, we assist in comprehensive planning to protect assets against potential creditor claims, employing limited liability companies, Delaware asset protection trusts, and other strategies.
Morris James attorneys counsel our clients in appropriate and tax-efficient uses of life insurance, and can assist in developing retirement plan distribution strategies to minimize taxes on distributions, respond to individual beneficiary situations, and provide a standard of living commensurate with pre-retirement levels. In appropriate cases, we develop plans for charitable giving, including charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, gift annuities, and the creation of private foundations.
We work with our clients’ professional advisers to perform wealth management analyses and evaluate assets from the perspective of wealth preservation, gifting, and suitability in light of the client’s goals, tolerance for risk and relevant timing considerations.
Through our affiliations with law firms throughout the United States and internationally, we are able to provide services to clients who maintain homes or other assets outside the tri-state area.
The Morris James' High Net Worth Strategy Team measures our success by that of our clients, as well as by the close relationships we develop over time with the families we serve. We are proud that we are frequently called on to advise and guide successive generations of the same family in preserving family wealth and protecting prospects for the future.