Briani Bennett Mellen is an associate in the firm's Tax group and practices in the Columbia office. Her law practice is primarily focused in the areas of estate planning, wealth transfer planning, and federal transfer tax planning.
Briani advises clients on tax and estate planning matters, including:
•Gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax planning;
•Trust decanting and modifications;
•Creation and implementation of irrevocable trusts;
•Planning for incapacity;
•Formation of limited liability companies or family limited partnerships;
•Family succession for closely-held businesses; and
•Advanced estate planning techniques.
Briani also advises nonprofit and tax exempt clients on issues that they encounter. She helps form and administer charitable trusts, assists and advises donors on charitable giving, and advises private foundations on formation and administration.
Briani received a B.A. in Economics from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law and an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. While obtaining her law degrees, Briani served on the editorial staff of the Tax Law Review and the South Carolina Law Review.
Briani has presented on advanced estate planning topics for the American Bar Association, Bloomberg BNA, and the North Carolina Bar Association. She has written articles on matters involving estate planning and trust administration for numerous trade publications, including the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal; Trust & Estates; and Estate Planning magazine.
Briani is a co-author of the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio on Trust Decanting, No. 871. She also serves as Co-Chair for the American Bar Association's Generation-Skipping Tax Committee for 2014-15.
•Co-author of Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio on Trust Decanting, No. 871
•Presenter and panelist on trust decanting issues for Bloomberg BNA, the American Bar Association, and the North Carolina Bar Association
•Recipient of the Tax Law Review Scholarship from New York University School of Law
•Federal district court clerkship with the Honorable Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.
Speaking & Writing
•Trust Decanting: An Overview and Introduction to Creative Planning Opportunities
January 1, 2013
Panelist at seminar to discuss South Carolina's New Probate Code, Greenville County Probate Court, Greenville, SC, on October 4, 2013. Presenter for Bloomberg BNA live webinar, Trust Decanting: Examples and Analysis, on September 25, 2013.
Panelist on trust decanting at the 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, ABA Sections of Taxation and Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Estate Division on September 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Panelist on Modifying Irrevocable Trusts, North Carolina Bar Association's Advanced Estate Planning Survey Course, April 19, 2012, Cary, North Carolina. Panelist on trust decanting at the 9th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Tax Section Workshops, May 28th-30, 2010, at Kiawah Island, SC.
“Trust Decanting: An Overview and Introduction to Creative Planning Opportunities”
Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio, Trust Decanting, 871-1st T.M. Real Prop., Tr. & Est. L. J., Vol. 45, Issue No. 1
“Use of Trust Decanting to Extend the Term of Irrevocable Trusts”
Estate Planning, Vol. 37, No. 6, June 2010
“Closely Held Business Interests and the Trustee's Duty to Diversify”
Trusts & Estates, April 2009 (co-author)
Outside Nexsen Pruet
Briani loves to spend time with her family and her dogs - especially when it's outdoors. A day at the zoo or the dog park with her daughter and husband delights her.
A life-long athlete, the former college softball player now channels her physical energies into tennis and hiking. She enjoys Crossfit and skeet shooting, but is just as happy curled up with the latest Economist, practicing her skills as an amateur chef, or catching an independent film at Columbia's Nickelodeon Theater.